From Self-Care to Self-Love: 5 Things I Did To Change My Life and Mindset
It’s crazy to think that one year ago I was a completely different person, in more ways than one. I look at pictures of myself and don’t even recognize the girl in the photos. Scary, right?
Wrong. I used to look at it as a scary thing, but in all reality I now look at who I was and remind myself of how far I have come. If you were to ask me one year ago where do I see myself in one year, it wouldn’t be where I am today. I would’ve been having my usual self-pity parties where my mind would just be in a constant state of negativity. Between losing 30 pounds (yes I still can’t wrap my head around that one), shifting my mindset, creating daily routines, and eventually loving myself…I would never have guessed this is where I would be in 12 months.
But let me tell you…every one of these things that I did to change my life were honestly some of the most simple things. Not every single one was easy, I can’t lie. But a majority of them are simple implementations. If you’re reading this, I want to remind you that you can too. Sometimes it takes one small step at a time before you realize you have made several BIG steps because of all those little ones. And I must say, 2019 has been a year of more blessings than I could’ve ever imagined.
1. Morning Routines
Morning Routines. Morning Routines. Morning Routines. If we say it three times it’ll come true right? Every day I kept saying to myself let me create a morning routine. If it doesn’t work, and I’m still NOT a morning person, then hey, I tried. But if it works…
I never thought that mornings would become my thing. If you met me a year ago, you would look at me and say there is no way in hell that Megan could be a morning person. I was a night owl. I loved staying up late and sleeping until 10a, 11a…shoot sometimes I’d sleep til noon!
Your only limit is your mind.
I started forcing myself to go to bed between 9pm and 10pm every night and then setting an alarm for either 6am or 7am depending on the day. That ensured I was getting my eight hours of sleep. But what this sleeping routine also did was create a great schedule for my husband, Adam as well. We started going to bed at the same time every night together. I’m going to pause here and just add that with him as one of my biggest supporters, I don’t think I would be as far as I am today. He has been so patient with my daily changes, also incorporating them into his life having it become OUR routine, not just mine. Having someone cheering you on daily just gives such great motivation sometimes. I really am more lucky than I realize in that aspect.
So now my mornings look like this: I wake up at 7am. Sometimes a little before depending on how antsy the fur babies get. But after I wake up, I walk downstairs, let the pups out, and while they’re outside doing their duty, I start brewing myself a cup of coffee. Once my coffee is down, I sit on the couch, and plan out my day (depending on what time I have to work at my day job that day) and enjoy the mornings. This time alone every day gives me something to look forward to each night when I go to bed.
2. Eating Habits
About a year ago I really started to give serious thought to how I was eating. I know I’m not alone when I say this, but so many of us eat foods, not realizing the main goal of the food is to fuel our body. I will also admit that for a good portion of my life, I never looked at food that way. Food to me was a treat. To say I was obsessed with it is an understatement. I started to realize I was putting so much crap into my body, none of which was helping my situation. I was just continuing to gain weight, and mentally just spiraling downward because of it.
The first big step I made was no longer eating fast food. I can’t lie, there would be some days on my way home from work I would grab Culver’s for Adam and I. But it became a rare occasion, not something I was doing 3 times a week like we used to. When I started this journey a little over a year ago, I was making very small changes…more so small steps at a time. I didn’t want to overwhelm myself, so I didn’t dive into a crazy diet/change my eating habits/etc. all at once.
Cooking every dinner drastically facilitated the change in my eating habits. It gave me control over what I was putting into my body. I have loved cooked my entire life. My dad taught me a lot of what I know about cooking while I was growing up. Because of it, it is something I love to do now. It lets me be creative with my meals. Changing my eating habits though in this way meant grocery shopping much more, or buying more than I was used to. But, after doing the math…I was actually spending way less money buying more groceries than I was with my usual grocery trips plus all the going out to dinner and fast food meals we would pick up.
9 weeks ago I started the Keto journey, and can’t see myself eating any other way anymore. That post will be coming soon. I will go further into my weight loss and eating habits on Keto. But, truthfully…Keto is such a small portion of how I truly transformed my life.
My goal back then wasn’t the same goal now. For that I’m super thankful. Every step along my journey to not just change my body, but to change my mindset, and essentially my entire life…has only led to bigger and bigger goals and more and more success. Its crazy how much things start to shift in your direction when you truly believe in yourself!
3. Decluttering & Purging
The word decluttering has always sounded so freeing to me. Do you ever say a word and think to yourself, that just sounds productive? That’s how I felt about decluttering and purging. So that’s exactly what I did. Again, all of these things didn’t happen overnight. These are just some of the bigger picture things I have done that have really helped me along my journey of bettering myself health wise as well as mentally.
So. When I say I purged, I mean I PURGED. I went through my closet and literally every piece of clothing I owned. If I hadn’t worn it in a long time, or I had to stop and think about whether or not I kept it….in the garbage bag it went. I ended up donating ten, yes TEN, bags of clothes to Goodwill. And let me tell you, it was the best feeling. Getting rid of things like that gave me a sense of weight being lifted off my shoulders. It was literally as if I was holding onto unnecessary “baggage” if you know what I mean.
I continued on this purging and decluttering kick in the rest of my house too. We still had boxes from moving into our home that I hadn’t even unpacked yet! Yes, boxes that hadn’t been touched in practically a year. I went through every single box and donated or gave away things I didn’t need anymore or wanted. There were things like old books, or decor, or trinkets of sorts. Anything that didn’t “belong” in our home, or felt out of place I got rid of. After this, our house had felt lighter. I myself felt lighter! What I’ve been realizing on this journey is that when you start wanting to better all aspects of your life, the rest starts to fall in place.
4. Daily Chores
If I could come up with a better word than calling it chores, I would. But let’s be real. We all have “chores” even when we’re grown and living on our own! Haha! I sort of gave myself a daily chore list that helped me keep up with everything much more efficiently. For example, every night I now make sure all the dishes are in the dishwasher, that my kitchen table is free of crap that doesn’t belong, even making sure that my bed is made every morning. My grandma always told me that there is no greater feeling than climbing into a freshly made bed before going to sleep every night. I now finally understand what she meant. It really is a great feeling walking into our room at night with the bed looking so cozy and perfect. I definitely don’t get the same feeling when I walk into my bedroom and see a bed completely disheveled from the our sleep the night before.
In a way I started giving myself a daily routine. With my morning routine and less crap in my house, I feel accomplished each day when I can sit down after dinner and know that the dishes are clean, the clothes are washed, and there’s no mess for me to clean up. I was the queen at procrastinating before a year ago. The dishes would pile up for days, laundry baskets that just kept piling higher and messes I would refuse to clean. All that did was create unnecessary anxiety. I would always feel on edge, which in turn facilitated me in procrastinating some more. I was tired of being the procrastinator.
I am now living with very minimal anxiety, as far as chores go. I come home happy to be home, rather than walking in the door and being reminded of all the things I needed to still do. Who knew our parents giving us chores as a kid was gonna help us later on??
5. Night Routines
You absolutely cannot have a morning routine without a night routine, right? At least that is what I truly believe. Adam and I finding our own nightly routine has, in my opinion, been the biggest game changer to bettering our lives. It gives us a way to unwind from our daily stresses, not worry about what tomorrow looks like, and just being able to focus on relaxing for a while before the whole cycle starts over again.
After dinner, we both clear the table together. If any dishes are left in the sink, now is when we either finish loading the dishwasher, or unload a clean load. While one of us is doing that, the other gets our coffee pot prepared for the next morning. We like having our coffee pot filled with water and coffee the night before, so in the morning while the dogs are outside, all I have to do is press the ON button.
Once all of our chores are done, we both head to our basement to either play a game of Mario Kart (yes we are still those kids at heart) or watch a TV show together. This helps unwind from our day and enjoy something together at the end of the day. If I’m being honest, I think our nightly routines have been the biggest game changer. I look forward to our nights after dinner, just like I look forward to our mornings when going to bed. I start to really look forward to my days ahead now, rather than dreading what is to come tomorrow.
I can promise you this: No matter how small the step to creating a better version of yourself and future, it is all worth it. I am still learning as I go, and have many other things that I did to better my life, but these 5 things are what truly helped get me where I am today.
I would love to know what your story is!
What habits have you broke or created to better your life?
What kind of nightly routines do you have?
Adios for now,