I’m in the process of catching my breath, but I just wanted to write a
little big something because I have just completely dropped off the face of the Internet, which I suppose is a good thing!
I have busied myself with the simple practice of actively participating in life, and I have been enjoying myself quite a bit :~)
This post is going to be one filled with tips and tricks to reclaiming your life, spoken by someone who has just recently reclaimed hers. It is a bit long, but I think it is worth it. I wanted to split this up into multiple posts. However, I am simply too impatient, so I have stuffed it all into one post. Perhaps I’ll separate this all out on a separate page and sub-pages on my site sometime soon! But anyhow, I hope this can help in any way possible. I am still in the midst of getting myself out of my funk, and I hope that sharing this and getting all of my thoughts out to the world will aid in that as well. So, without further ado—
HOW TO TURN YOUR LIFE AROUND:
A Step-by-Step Guide by Me, someone still spinning
Step 1: The Funk
The dreaded first step. The funk. The step that you may be in the midst of, the step that you perhaps will pass up. It is not the good kind of funk. It is the bad funk that makes you feel “meh.”
I must admit, my last half of January was absolutely terrible. Well, not terrible. In fact, I was happy-ish, but not satisfied. I let a lot of things slip. I stopped going to the gym as often, and I went to bed at godforsaken hours for no real reason. I didn’t do my homework to the best of my abilities, and I let the title “Second Semester Senior” eat my entire life whole. I just stopped caring. I didn’t lie in bed at the end of every day and say, “Wow, I am proud of how today went,” which is shameful. I indulged myself in short term pleasures all day for immediate gratification, in the form of junk food and binge watching shows online, and then proceeded to pardon it with the notion that I was “treating myself.” Then, wallowed in my grief when I realized that I could have been more productive.
That’s how that went. But now, here I am! I realized that everything I was doing was not benefitting my well-being or my future, so why was I doing it? Treating myself to popcorn and Ouran High School Host Club wasn’t a treat anymore if I did it every day, you know?
So, since then, I have been making little adjustments to my life though there is still a lot of room for improvement. While in the funk, you need to ask yourself what exactly you would like to change. What new habits do you want to start forming? What will make you feel like “you” once again, or even a better “you” than before? I recommend that you write it down somewhere you can see it regularly because you know I sure as hell did.
Step 2: The Adjustments
The daily habits I wanted to form (initially): read, go to bed at 10 pm, yoga, take better care of my skin, and control emotional eating.
You know what I did? I made a chart. I know, I’m a dork, but, hey, it worked! It made completing tasks every day so satisfying! Like those chore charts from 2008? With the sparkly star stickers? Where you fill in a box every time you do something right? I did that. That’s right. I did the heck out of that. And it worked. Here it is, it’s really simple, but feel free to download it and use it if you feel so inclined.
Since I started this chart…
- I have been reading in my free time, whether in class, between sets at the gym, or while I’m eating meals.
- I have gone back to practicing yoga every day, and though I am frustrated at how much flexibility and strength I have lost, I know that I have the power to gain that all back.
- I have been taking care of my skin and actually developed a daily skin care routine for once in my life. (By the way- skin toner, if you don’t know what it is, is incredible, and I just started using it after washing my face every morning and night and my skin has been clearing up like a fresh spring day) (10/10 would recommend).
- And, most notably, I have been going to bed earlier. I realized that I wasted all of the idle time I have, in the morning or after school, on the Internet or my phone, so I deleted all the social media apps, deactivated my Twitter for a week, and stopped using electronics at 9:30 pm every day. (Unless I am texting my brother, writing, or doing homework all on my laptop.) I go to bed at 10 pm every day and wake up at 5:15 to work out. It’s amazing how much productive time is available in the mornings when the world expects nothing of you yet, and you aren’t weighed down by fatigue of the whole day. I am officially a morning person now.
It’s all about small adjustments and noticing that they are 100% worthwhile. You can’t turn your life around with a killer 180-degree, life-changing bout of restrictions and limitations. Adjust small things regularly that make you feel good in a healthy way. Things that don’t kill you and are genuinely manageable.
~ More on adjustments will soon be available here :~) (x)
Step 3: The Routine
Since I am so excited about it, I’m going to tell you all about my daily routine because it has helped me a lot, and I think it can help someone else out there as well. Waking up early in the morning will kick your butt at first, but you will never regret it because it is so worth the effort!
5:15 I wake up to my favorite song, rinse my face and brush my teeth, then get dressed.
5:20 I sit down and eat a bit (pre-workout carbs) and drink water.
5:30 I work out. I either go to morning spin cycle classes, or do yoga in my side yard, or go for a morning run (sometimes all three, if I’m feeling gutsy and I have extra time).
6:30 (This is usually when I do yoga if I’m not already doing it.) I do a sun salutation until day breaks, and though it’s a bit chilly, it is rejuvenating and worth it!
7:00 I take a quick shower, go through my skincare routine (cleanser, toner, moisturizer), then go downstairs, sit down, and eat the rest of breakfast (post-workout protein).
7:30 I get dressed and put on some make-up.
7:45 I leave for school! (I use my morning commute to run my lines for Theatre or practice my songs for the musical. Or I talk to myself. Or simply enjoy the morning. :~) )
*All of this takes only 2 and a half hours but look how much was accomplished!
**From first-hand experience, I have noticed this routine…
- … leaves you feeling awake and alert throughout the day (no more falling asleep in AP Stats).
- … warms you up, so you don’t feel cold and “wanting-to-curl-up-and-die”-y in the morning when you’re at school.
- … helps you stay focused throughout the day because you already have so much oxygen and blood pumping through your brain.
- … makes you feel super confident and productive and motivated and just all around alive!
8:00am – 3:00pm I’m at school. I don’t fall asleep in class anymore. I do my homework or read in every idle moment I have in class. I start the homework in class and ask questions, taking preventative measures against getting stuck on it at home. I throw myself into my work, only concerning myself with tasks at hand and not letting myself stress about things that are not in my control at the moment.
3:00 – 5:00 (or 7) I have rehearsal or piano lessons. Again, I give it my 100%, and if there’s downtime, I read or do homework!
7:30 If Zumba is that day at the gym, then I go to Zumba! Or I go home, eat dinner then finish up homework. I have recently been taking it upon myself to watch a lot of Crash Course or Khan Academy videos if I don’t understand what exactly is going on in my classes, and it has been helping a lot.
9:00 I make sure to get everything, that is due tomorrow, done already, and then I can ease up on the work and enjoy my night a bit.
9:30 I take a shower, brush my teeth and hair, and go through my skincare routine. I then set my alarms for the morning and then I get my clothes ready for tomorrow, or, at least, find socks (because it always takes me 20 years to find socks in the morning). Also, I put down my phone! The blue light will make it hard to sleep at night. I have Flux on my laptop, so I can get away with using it at night though I try not to.
Lights out by 10; I take a moment to thank any good things that happened to me that day, I stretch a little bit, and then go to sleep, playing a fond memory over again in my head. I used to have a night light and music playing, but I noticed I feel more well rested after falling asleep in a pitch black room with my window cracked a bit, so I listen to the white noise of my street instead.
Then we do it all over again!
Jam packed and productive, and you become a kick-butt member of society. You can swap “homework” for working on resumes or doing taxes; rehearsal can be considered the hours you’re at work. All you have to know is that scheduling is pretty important, and time management is more so. It’s nothing but beneficial to get rid of everyday time-sucks such as Twitter and TV. I watch the news on the treadmill at the gym, and I scroll through Instagram while I’m in the bathroom or walking to my car. I try to make sure I make every minute count. Then I don’t have any regrets, and after being so busy all day, I fall asleep like a baby.
Step 4: The Love
Now with your new and improved lifestyle and adjustments, here comes the easy part. You simply have to love it! Talk about it. Post about it. Be proud of yourself! Love yourself and take the time to be proud of the progress you are making. Remember, it is never, ever too late for progress. Life is ever-changing, and you are ever-growing. Once you come up with your routine, you don’t have to be strict about it, you simply have to let it get you into the groove of living. Healthy habits = healthy human :~) Also, remember:
“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” -George Eliot
(There are a lot more quotes where that came from.)
You will have days where you falter. However, that is not failure. That is human. The worst thing you can do is tell yourself that you are “wasting time” or that “it’s too late” or “it’s hopeless” or that “you’re never going to be _____.” Your journey is your own, and you should put your pants back on and be proud of every step you take.
Love the lifestyle you have created, this little ecosystem of self-love and productivity within your body, mind, and heart. You deserve every ounce of self-confidence, from the tips of your toes to the top of your head.
I hope this helped. I really do. I don’t have much left to say because the clock just struck 10 pm at my time of writing this and my eyes are falling out of their sockets. I will be posting follow ups to this indefinitely, but for now, I hope this can do. I am still figuring things out, myself, and I will be delighted to share it all with you.
This past month has been crazy and I really regret not writing about it. I have been running all over my city trying to find time to even take a breather, but I am still very much so here, alive and kicking.
I am also very sorry if you have emailed me recently, and I haven’t gotten back to you; everything has been a hot, yet fun, mess, but I will reply soon :’) Thank you for your love; I am always here for you.
Best of luck, my dear friend!
9 replies on “Step-by-Step Guide to Taking Back Your Life”
Hey! I know this post is a couple years old and I’m kinda stalking your blog, but I just wanted to let you know how inspirational it is! I originally found this page after doing some research into Stanford summer session, but I’ve since been checking back regularly. This is one of my favorite posts so yeah I just wanted to say thank you 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Eric! This means a lot to me! Thank you for taking the time to write this, I’m happy to have you as a reader 🙂
LikeLiked by 1 person
Hi Izzy! I came to your blog by the way of CathinCollege and I have loved reading through your blog posts. Recently I have tried to adopt the “do all the hw you can in your free time” and “exercise more” lifestyle. It gives me so much hope and motivation to continue to better myself after seeing someone else take control of her life!
Hi Evalyn! That is awesome to hear, I am so glad! Thank you for the love!!! 🙂
What a fantastic person you are 😍 thank you for being inspirational izzy ❤
You are a light, Mouadh! Thank you for your love! ❤
LikeLiked by 1 person
Aww Izzy! What true and lovely words, thank you for writing ❤
LikeLiked by 1 person
Thank *you for reading :~)