Tag Archives: routine

Regaining my life in new territory.

I was becoming exhausted just being in my own body. Another suffering cause was the fact that I hadn’t been giving attention to my hobbies due to the change in my life. Moving here had turned my world upside down. I started to feel suffocated in my own house, trapped by my chores, agonizing over the memories I missed so much from back home. It was tearing me apart. I looked at myself like a quitter. Giving up on my routine and my hobbies of gardening, belly dancing, kundalini yoga sessions, dog parks, making a big breakfast every morning, going to crystal shops, hiking, going to church, etc. I had stopped doing it because I didn’t know where any such places were. I was accepting the fact that the Towne Park a mile away was enough to suffice, because the few dog parks Danny and I did check out, the dogs were all aggressive. Giving up on hiking, realizing that this isn’t Utah, this is the woods. Giving up on gardening because I no longer had a yard to do it in and overestimated the cost for indoor plants. Giving up on yoga because the classes here were just so expensive. I had succumbed to my own mental prison and wide range of excuses. Work and dog walks is all I will be doing here,  I thought, trying to hold back my tears. I just kept breathing and praying for something to change. Please, anything to get me back to a state of well-being, I begged. When you stop doing what you love, you stop being the person you are and you allow yourself to lose your spirit, it not only affects yourself, but everyone around you. I started feeling sad, depressed, and irritable, out of the unhappiness I had felt within myself.

On a day like many others, I was cleaning our house and sleeping the floors and organizing the DVDs on the shelf and that’s when I saw it: The yoga DVD I had bought at a pawn shop last Autumn! I stared in disbelief as tears of relief swelled up in my eyes. It was when I stopped looking so hard and so desperately, that it came to me at the right time. The next day, I met a neighbor who lives 1,000 feet away from me. Cristyn’s dog is the same breed as Zai and six months older. They run, they play, and I had found comfort in someone with a very similar lifestyle to my own. A holistic yoga instructor with a Masters in Sports Psyche raised by a homeopathic, animal loving massage therapist. My soul was fed. The bond was cemented and a friendship was born.

One week after that, I go across the street to get Danny some slices of pizza to have ready for his return after a 12 hour day of work. The same manager who was working is the same fellow with whom Danny and I are acquainted with there. Making small talk with Kade, I tell him about the beach in Stamford and he recommends a secluded and quiet beach in Norwalk for me to try. I say, it’s expensive, but I’m sure one day on a special occasion, it will be perfect. He knows Zai, and throws in a few other recommendations. Stone Hill Road, off route 137 and 124 has a dog park that is a wooded trail. It’s quiet and in nature. There are creeks and it’s off leash, he says. And as an added bonus, tells me about Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, not even 10 minutes from my house! It’s a 5,000 acre piece of land where people take their dogs, horses, and go just to enjoy nature. Sometimes there are workout classes there or meditation classes. You can even go camping! Lakes and ponds everywhere. Lots and lots of hiking too. Maybe not like in Utah, but you can certainly venture there, he adds.

My salvation was returning and my depression was diminishing. 

I have accepted the fact, that I may not find a belly dancing class here for a while, but why should that stop me from belly dancing in the comfort of my own home? The same day I went to the Stone Hill Road dog park is the same day I stopped at the library and got a library card. One week ago, Danny bought me house plant. I am not just gardening again, but building upon my happiness that is growing and connecting to Earthly life inside the comfort of a home that has no outside options.

I have met four neighborhood dogs, with amazing owners who I now walk with everyday and our dogs play together. Amazing women of all ages.

My spirits are up and my mood swings are down. My happiness is much and my depression, very little. I have a hunger to do things now. I clung to Danny when I had nothing of my own and it had put a strain and pressure on our relationship that neither of us could escape. I was dependent on him to give me what my hobbies had given me. I didn’t know who was happier when these past few weeks have filled my life with my answered prayers! The strain has been lifted. Being with each other is a choice everyday that we make and it’s enjoyable to make it now. I no longer feel guilty for clinging to him for comfort and a way to be alive. He’s happy for me that I have regained my own life I once had. The life that he loved seeing me have, a free woman who flies by what drives her and interests that she puts her heart into, he says. That’s what made his eyes unable to be taken off of me.

My days are much different now. Filled with moments of care-taking and soul work. Ego releases and breath of fires consume me as I sway around my house cooking and cleaning and running with Zai, falling onto my yoga mat and exercising until I am swimming in sweat to then relax and read whether in my home or at the beach, taking the time to paint my nails and sugar scrub my body and research and write and smile and kiss the Sun every morning that I wake, with a profound sense of fulfillment that must be worked for in life.

I am happy and I am free from my mind’s solitary imprisonment.


 

It’s hard to move to a new place and feel like you’re losing your sense of routine and then feel helpless and succumb to the overwhelming sadness that fills the void. What makes us happy is just too damn important to disregard or make ourselves believe we can live without it. No matter what it is we love, we do it for a reason. It will take a moment to make a new life in a new place and to figure out where your hobbies and craft fit into the schedule of the new environment. It will take a moment to hunt down the places you love going to and finding replacements for the ones you miss.

Moving and rearranging your schedule, routine, and timing for things when you uproot and move to a new place are inevitable. But if it’s an event you think you might ever do, it’s best to prepare for it. Unlike myself, I figured I wouldn’t have a hard time with coping. And assuming that, was my biggest error.

So, first step: Prepare (even if you end up being fine)
Consider what will be different for a bit and what will be the same. Research ahead of time, nearby places that you like to go to and map out areas you will be in a lot. Develop a sense of time that you will spend driving or doing things in your new area.

Second step: Confide in somebody you can trust and be comfortable with. Let them know if you feel like there is something missing and it’s hard for you to sort out your emotions on your own, because, sometimes it is. It’s a time where we can become confused and disoriented.

Third step: Make a plan for the future on what your days will look like at best. Fill in the blank areas with that of which you love doing. Make it realistic and make it count. Don’t wait like I did and struggle with heavy emotions and irrational thoughts. The more you prepare for, the less will surprise you if it happens and the calmer you will be in dealing with it.

You will remain happy, because you did.

 

Ditching the Daily Routine for Vacation


 

I recently got back from an eight day trip to my home-state, visiting family and friends, and watching two soccer games. It was amazing to see everyone I did, although, there is never enough time in the World to see everyone, because there is a huge list of people I still would have absolutely loved to see.

Going all around Salt Lake, laughing, seeing friends, hanging out with family, eating and making some great memories; I was lucky to have gotten the chance to run, walk, ride my bike one last time, and hike.

What I didn’t do however was: finish my plank challenge, squat circuit challenge, drink nearly enough water, read any of my book, or write in my diary once.

If it wasn’t for the cardio I did everyday, I would have completely disregarded my entire fitness and nutrition routine. There is no excuse why I didn’t write, read, or drink water.

That brings me to our topic today.
What is it about vacations that influence us to go off our routine almost entirely?



 For the majority of us, something happens to us when we start moving in the sight of vacation. Our lazy alter-ego takes over and prevails in our convincing that we don’t need to worry because we are on vacation. As if for the entire time we are away from home, our bodies won’t store a single cell of fatty tissue and our other fulfillments will take care of themselves, while we pretend like our being is on a real break from life.

That’s when it happens. We selectively forget that a good diet keeps us balanced and happy because… that brownie just looks way too good. We don’t want to pay for x amount of days at the local gym because to us, it’s just not worth it and for some reason, we don’t even consider a home workout or jogging outside. There’s more than necessary excuses as to why we can’t do a home workout other than, “I am here on vacation. I don’t want to work. I don’t want to think. I just want to relax”.

We push our routine away from us. We deny the voice inside that says, “Hey… You know you should be getting in some form of exercise right now. You know you will regret this if you don’t.”

Then we wonder why we feel like a bag of sand when we get back home to our bed. We unload our bags, put away our souvenirs and look in the mirror in disgust. “I don’t think I stopped eating the entire time.” Where does the “I’M FULL!” signal go when we forget our routine? Down with the hobbies and the email checking and appropriate water intake.


 


 Falling off my daily routine wagon confused my body, my mind, and my motivation. Only today, I started my routine again. I woke up early and got fresh and clean. I sang happy birthday to my boyfriend with candles on his favorite treat and got ready for work. I am off this afternoon and looking forward to the workout I have planned for myself as well as my dog while my Birthday Hunk is down at work for the big match today. I have been spending the last three days catching up in my diary as well as keeping track of any new events or thoughts that have passed since the days, to add them in as well. I unpacked my bags and did all the laundry in the house and cleaned and swept and today is the first day where my “vacation brain” is woken up. Cogs are turning again! I thank my boyfriend for taking on the role of permanent accountabilibuddy, because without him, getting back into my routine would be challenging against myself.


So when you recognize where you’ve fallen off your wagon, what steps do you take to get back on?

Where do you turn? Who do you turn to? How do you keep yourself inspired?


 

This is something we could print off and keep with us on our travels! I found this on google, and as what I’ve learned from it, other than being one of the more popular searches for “Getting back on Track” in the images section, this list of 10 is one of the most reposted, redesigned piece of advice for people. Why? 

Because it works.

When you don’t know where to turn to get back on track, start with the mirror.
Talking to ourselves in the mirror is extremely powerful. When we can visit with ourselves in the mirror and remind ourselves how far we’ve come on our health and our hobbies, it is the fire starter we need to push our spirits into the path of greatness!

Don’t get stuck with “vacation brain” and let yourself sink into a slump of laziness. Don’t be so disappointed with yourself that your bad week turns into a bad month. You worked so hard for what you have accomplished and now isn’t the time to deny that! (Is there ever a good time to deny that?)  And don’t ever be afraid to call upon your trusted accountabilibuddies!! That’s what they are there for. To reinvigorate the spark for your fire and help you see what you love the most. They are there to remember your why when you forget it.

We aren’t perfect beings, but we can do our best everyday to keep doing what makes us happy. And after all is said and done, happiness is the closest to perfection as the “perfect” illusion can get. And if you’re happy, then that’s good enough.


 So when you ditch your routine while you vacation and you come back home and the Real World life sets back in, don’t freak out and don’t lose hope and everything else you worked for! Remember why you made your routine, a routine in the first place, and go from there. Use your resources and take some time to zen and think, and even consider if your vacation is one that inspired you to change your routine. (because sometimes that happens too)


Stay strong! Keep the inspiration up and the doubt low! It’s okay to take full blown vacation, but settling back into a routine is not only comforting, but necessary for our sanity 😉

Have any other suggestions on how to get back into your daily regimen? Post your thoughts and comments in the section below and thanks for getting involved! Your words matter 🙂 

 

Side Effects of Jetlag.

THIS IS ME.

I can’t seem to get over the jet-lag since being home from China. Every day, I have had barely enough energy to make it through the next step. The moment the sun sets, my eyes are wide awake waiting for the next event. I am running around and talkative and sleep is the last thing on my mind.
I would have never expected to still be working off China time.

I used to never believe in jet-lag. I used to think, Well, it’s easy. You just go to bed when you normally would and it just goes from there. 
I am so, so, very wrong.
I am already debating on sleeping again as I am writing this.

I am going to bed every night (or day, depending on your perception of when a new day starts. For me, it’s not a new day until you shower or sleep) between 4 and 5 in the morning. And still waking up anywhere between 7 and 9 in the morning. I have to say, I still eat breakfast and that impresses me alone. Breakfast will always be the most important meal of the day, in my opinion. If I am not dragged out of bed by a social life, then I fall right back asleep.

It’s not that I am eating at odd hours, I am just not eating. My body hasn’t yet recognized when it should and should not be hungry. I have lost all of my routine that I had before and during China. I am currently in the process of putting together a new routine, depending on the job I get again.
I get so mixed up on what I should do throughout the day that I would have normally been doing for the past few months, that I just don’t do anything and sleep instead. Always hoping when I wake up, I will really still be in Bengbu, and have to get ready for teaching.

Though I was only gone for five months, it seemed like a year. When you immerse yourself in a different culture so quickly and so deeply, you forget a lot about your own culture, so coming back is just a little overwhelming. It’s like a roller coaster. I have forgotten how to talk to people sometimes because I have been so used to broken English, charades, and grunting my words out. I am used to staying more silent than my reputation holds me to be. I talk completely different.

I am so glad I have a best friend who stays up late. He has saved me from boredom, luckily because he had two days off. Together we ventured at night to mountaintops and movie nights in his room and hungout around a bonfire and he took me to a party. I was awake for all of this! Had this been in the middle of the day, I would have fallen asleep in the truck or on a chair or in the bed. So far, he is the only one I have seen and I am glad because it’s easy to get into the groove of things with him. He is making this process easy for me.

If you have ever had jet-lag then maybe you will understand how you question all the hours you are awake and yet not doing anything of importance. You know that diary I write in? Those pictures I have to edit? The things I still need to find a place for in my room? Yes, I haven’t touched any of it. How is it that I can give myself so little of sleep and yet can’t seem to find the time to do everything I need to do?
And maybe that is my problem. Maybe forcing myself to do those will help me get my balance back in life. The one thing I can’t let myself do is fall behind on things. That will only add to my feeling of overwhelming and stress. Although, why stress? I have time to get it together and there is no use in rushing, because as life teaches us: rushing things will only make it worse.

So I guess all I can do is start working towards the closest stamp of routine I can get used to. And no matter what time I fall asleep, I should wake up at the same time. That way, my body will at least be used to when breakfast is and the morning regimen I give it. I know jet-lag won’t last forever, or probably even to the end of next week, but there’s no better time like the present!

I just had to vent about this jet-lag and hopefully I can get through this sometime in the next couple of days. Not working is the perfect time to get things organized and figured out! So maybe this is a blessing in disguise. I am hoping this post made some sort of sense because my eyes keep shutting and rolling in the back of the my head as I type, still.

Although contradicting, maybe I will take a one hour nap and then get it all together. Good idea? Maybe not, but then again, maybe I just got inspired for a new 30 Day Challenge……