7 EASY SUNDAY NIGHT RITUALS

One of the things that has really helped my transition into the world of 9-5 has been to ease myself out of the weekend. I try to get into a weekday frame of mind on a Sunday evening so that the week doesn’t take me by surprise.

Moving out of wellness and hospitality management, my schedule has switched up a lot. I used to be all about working on evenings and weekends, whether teaching kids swimming lessons or closing a restaurant, and now I work weekday daytimes. It’s a big difference! I’ve had to adapt my habits, not just in going to bed and waking up earlier, but also in preparing for work and planning my mealtimes. My days are weighted towards getting to work earlier and having more time after I’m done, so I have to prepare more on the nights before.

After six weeks on my job, I’ve realised Sundays are the secret to my week. So here are 7 things I do on a Sunday night to set myself up for success:

  1. Laundry!: We basically do one wash of black clothing, one wash of other colours, and one linen wash each week, throughout the week. This means that Sunday is the last day in the week to do that final wash before the week ahead. We usually do our linens at the weekend. Even though we live in a small apartment, we hang our laundry up on wire racks and put a regular electric fan on oscillate mode to air them. This has the best side effect of humidifying the air in our warm, dry apartment and makes the plants really happy!
  2. Write everything down: During the weekends when I’m working on my own projects, I think of other things I need to (or want to!) work on. Articles, blog posts, graphics, etc. I find it really useful to make a note of these on a Sunday so my week begins with a clearer mind.
  3. Decide my weekly wardrobe: I don’t have a lot of clothes. You can call it a capsule wardrobe if you want to, but it’s just not a lot of clothes! I mix and match my tops, pants, and shoes slightly differently each week, so I do most of this on a Sunday night for the entire week.
  4. Manicure: I keep my nails short and painted with gel-style drugstore polish, so just need to replace my polish once a week. It’s nothing fancy but it makes me feel more put together and on top of my life. It’s the little things…
  5. Have a really good, thorough shower: I generally don’t have a high-maintenance routine so sometimes I need to give myself a reason to take a long shower, wash my hair, and shave. It’s not a lot but it always feels like such a luxury. Check out 7 Uses for Coconut Oil here.
  6. Read!: I believe in wonder. I love to disappear into a book for an hour or so on a Sunday night. It really helps me open my mind to further possibilities in preparation for the week ahead.
  7. Lunch prep: I use big glass jars to take my lunches to work each day and base them around a grain, a protein, and veggies. I cook the grains in a batch on Sunday, chop the veggies, and divide it all across the jars. I can add the proteins throughout the week. Look out for a post on my favourite jar lunches at some point!

What do you do on your Sunday nights to get ready for the week ahead? Do you have any ideas for me to streamline my process?

EASY STEPS TO SPRING CLEANING YOUR LIFE

So it’s that time of year when we all feel ready for new starts – what one thing would you love to change about your life right now? What’s standing in the way of that change? What if you could take small steps towards it, what would they look like? All change is hard; humans are creatures of habit and the immense weight of our evolutionary journey is so effective at crushing any efforts to break them. After all, it’s habits and patterns that have led to our survival.

So, anytime you feel like change is hard, take heart: if it was easy you probably wouldn’t be here today 🙂 Our modern life is testimony to the prevailing winds of habit, with systems and structures that serve to reinforce the status quo and preserve our continuity. Hack them all!

CHILL ON FOOD

Probably the biggest change we can make is to what we fuel our bodies with. And because it’s so closely linked with our survival, it’s the hardest change to make. Sure, whittling down your wardrobe is tough when you’re in love with your clothes and the freedom they give you to express yourself… but changing the fundamental nutrients your body is using for its functions, growth, and repair each day?

We are so physically, emotionally, and psychologically conditioned by the food we eat that it becomes really tough to break the habits we’ve already formed. That’s why the best way to succeed with dietary changes is to make small changes that we can sustain. My favourite example is to add some veggies into things we’re already eating, and starting with the things we already know we like. I really like condiments on my food. I’m the hot sauce diva of the world, and will habitually ask for hot sauce or mayo wherever I eat. The problem is a lot of these sauces contain refined sugars and modified starches, not to mention flavourings and preservatives that really aren’t good for us to eat regularly. So, I’ve recently had success in reducing them since I started making my own quick pickles by slicing up veggies and dropping them into a jar of sweet and salty vinegar in my fridge. I can use them as an a condiment instead of mayo or ranch, and use pickled chillis instead of hot sauce. I know that that pickling leaches a lot of the nutrients out of my veggies, but the benefits out way the costs as they perk up salads and other nutritious meals without adding in more processed condiments.

Start with something small that you’ll experience every day. Make simple yet regular change to begin with, just watch how over time the changes get easier and grow in size and number. You’ll surprise yourself.

CHILL ON EXPECTATIONS

As much as respect the move to zero-waste, I also see that we live in a wider social context and there’s not much we can do about the waste levels produced in commercial industries, so personal waste is only part of the problem. I think these movements are overwhelmingly positive in the awareness they propagate, and I’m definitely not criticising them. For me, they’re part of the solution, and I support people’s moves to reduce their environmental impact, along with growing consciousness of the ways our choices affect others. There’s a lot we can learn from each other.

But I also know that from experience that if I strive for any absolute goal: veganism/zero waste/capsule wardrobes, that shit puts too much pressure on me and I end up quitting – because positive change shouldn’t be so stressful. At the end of the day, it ain’t that deep. It’s good and right to take responsibility for the planet and for our choices, but absolutism seems so futile in the face of the sheer volume of people sharing this planet. There’s a lot of us making a mess out here, the idea is just to make our mess a bit less each day.

It’s great to have big dreams, and some people find working towards a big idea is the best dream to have, yet it’s also possible to see how that every giant object of the cosmos was forged through seemingly tiny imperceptible events that triggered a chain reaction. So give yourself a break. You mean well, you are working on it. Change takes time, and consistency is the key to all life’s secrets. Just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll find yourself further towards your goals than you’ve ever been before.

This really is the key to change: small, manageable steps that you can sustain without putting pressure on yourself to attain an absolute.

EVERY ENDING IS A BEGINNING

So I have decided to embrace my complexity and bring all my parts together into one cacophonous whole. Here you will find the devastatingly nerdy, the strangely cool, and the unexpectedly dope facets of me all brought together in a semi-incoherent mish-mash of posts. Expect poetry, knitting, workouts, rambling posts on health and physiology, food, lifestyle, style, books, and booze – along with some travel, plants, coffee, and pop culture. Who said anything about being one-dimensional?

If you arrived here looking for any of my previously separate enterprises, you will find them using the menu above. Dive in and have fun, don’t take anything too seriously (least of all me), and let me know what you find!