004 | Habits I Built During Quarantine

During my first few days in quarantine, I thought about resting because I was not feeling well when I came home from work. However, I didn’t really rest. I was literally just lying on my bed scrolling through my social media feeds and I fell in the hole of watching one youtube video after another which made me feel a lot worse. So when I decided to temporarily deactivate my social media accounts (which I mentioned in my previous post), I got the rest I needed. I feel a lot better and that’s when I began to do these habits.

✨ Make Bed

They’re right when they said that it’s fulfilling to have done something good the moment you wake up. It actually get me to start my day and it’s fulfilling to tick one off from my to do’s for the day. I remember a quote I came across a few months ago that says something like how you start your day influences your day. I find that when you left your bed undone, it will be easier to come back to its comfort and be lazy.

✨ Morning Pages

I heard about this a few years ago from Lavendaire. It is basically three pages of writing your stream of consciousness and it’s not meant to be read by you or others. It even doesn’t have to be meaningful. Just write all the things that are in your mind at that moment. You don’t have to think about things to write about. Just purely stream of consciousness. Over time, I find that the more I do this, the more I use this for reflection. There are times that while I am writing, my thoughts will automatically shift to some events that happened in the past or just recently and I find myself reflecting on it. It amazes me how that turns into a more meaningful and clearer understanding of what happened. Although it’s called “morning” pages, I do this in the afternoon cause I’m not a morning person haha. It still works its magic and I would love to read Julia Cameron’s book, The Artist’s Way, someday. It is where this habit came from.

Left: 2017-18, Right: 2020

Above are my second and third morning pages notebooks. I like using composition notebooks for this because it is easier to write on especially when you are writing at the back of each page.

✨ Meditate

I started meditating as soon as Jay Shetty’s 20-Day Live Meditation Challenge started. I remember getting excited when I saw his announcement on Instagram before I deactivated my account because I’ve been wanting to meditate again after two years. It didn’t disappoint. I have a newfound love for meditation because of the many ways he does it, such as meeting your younger self, climbing a mountainocean meditationearth rooting visualization, and nature walk. It’s a very different approach and experience from the ones I used to have before from the meditation apps. So after completing this challenge, I looked for other guided meditations on youtube and found Boho Beautiful which is what I am currently using. I like hers as well because of her soothing voice and the mantras she uses.

To be honest, I think a lot all the time! Meditation helped me take a break from my thoughts. It is very relaxing and calming. When you’re meditating, you wouldn’t even notice how long you’ve been in that state. 10, 15, or 20 minutes have passed and it didn’t feel like it. Aside from that, meditation also teaches you how to be present by watching your thoughts come and go as well as scanning your whole body and listening to the sound of your surroundings. I find that as I consistently do this, I am becoming more and more aware of myself and the things around me. Together with the morning pages habit, I feel like I’m getting more connected with myself than I’ve ever been before. It’s such an amazing experience. And as I go through this journey, I would love to be able to meditate for 30 minutes to an hour a day in the future. Slowly. One step at a time. By the way, the live meditation challenge is over but you can find them recorded in Jay Shetty’s Facebook or Youtube account. I recommend the one on Facebook because it has a much better audio quality.

✨ Workout

My current workout routine is a warm-up, full-body (most especially, tummy) exercises, plank, dumbbells, walk or jog in place, and cool down. I am always excited to workout. I’ve been tweaking this routine for a while now and I’m loving how it turned out. My favorite, by far, is planking. I came across this youtube video last month and I started to do the forearm plank (the first one in the video below haha). It’s quite challenging and I usually get distracted. This is the only workout that has different music. I always listen to my current favorite Asian (mostly, Korean) song. That’s how I track my time. I started with 30 seconds in the last week of March and just before April ends, I reached three minutes. I was so happy that it made my whole week, to be honest haha

✨ Pray

I always pray at night. I take this time to talk to God and tell Him what I am grateful for the day, which I think helped me wake up in the morning feeling blessed and lighthearted. Not always but most of the time. I remember this quote from Jay Shetty which he mentioned in one of his guided meditations:

When we are grateful for what we have, we receive more to be grateful for.

– Jay Shetty

I didn’t do all these at once. At first, I started with one habit until I came across another one and just started adding it up to my daily habits. I tried doing some of these a few years ago however, I didn’t stick to it. What I think made a difference now is my whys. Whenever I have a bad day or I feel like not doing it, I try to remind myself of my whys and all the benefits I have experienced since I started these habits. Over time, my whys are evolving in a way that a habit becomes more meaningful. For instance, my first reason for doing the morning pages was to release everything that is on my mind at the moment and to clear it. However, as mentioned above, it had become a tool for reflection.

April Habit Tracker from my Artist of Life Workbook

I started these habits late March and I think I’m doing good. As you can see, I missed some days and that’s okay. This month, I want to try to do it every day even when I don’t feel like doing it.

What are your daily habits?

[Second Photo | the rest of the photos are mine]

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