Is feeling kalat something that you experience every day? Like, you try your hardest to actually be efficient and productive, and nothing seems to be happening? Don't worry, you're not alone—a lot of women (which would probably include most of whom you think have everything in order) feel like their lives need fixing, and it's fine. You're an ongoing project, and in the end, there's no other way to go but up.
If you're willing to acknowledge that you do need a few improvements, then you've already got half of the work done. Admitting that there's always room to be better is the first step to moving to a more positive direction. Once you've internalized that, here are a few things you can do to become the best version of yourself:
1. Wake up early—even on weekends.
There's a high chance you're already waking up at the same time every day. But the thing is, you're probably guilty of saying "five more minutes" on a regular basis. While it may be tempting to snooze, try to avoid this; as we've previously featured, "Behavioral scientist Dan Ariely says hitting the snooze button doesn’t just mess up your morning routine, it also literally makes it harder for you (and your body) to wake up: 'In general, our bodies do better when they can get used to a single clear rule: Get out of bed the moment the alarm sounds.' By doing so, your body learns to associate the alarm with the act of waking up, which eventually makes it less of a struggle.
"But hitting snooze button disrupts this mental link. Ariely claims, 'Our bodies get a confused message: Sometimes we hear the beeping and get up, sometimes we hear it and stay put for 10 more minutes, sometimes we lie there for another 20 minutes, and so on.'
According to a feature on Very Well, waking up at the same time every day is also better for your body clock, as it reinforces your internal schedule: "Waking at the same time every day will actually help you to sleep better at night. A fixed wake time helps to build a strong desire for sleep throughout wakefulness."
When your body wakes up, get up. You'll feel better when you do, and you'll have more time to enjoy the weekend.
Admittedly, waking up late on weekends seems like the ultimate treat, especially if waking up early for work is probably the bane of your existence. (Raise your hand if you waste a lot of precious time commuting!) However, sleeping well into the afternoon can honestly just make you feel like your Saturdays and Sundays are too short.
Of course, if you wake up daily at 4:30 a.m. and you sorely lack sleep, feel free to sleep in and recover!
2. Make your bed first thing in the morning.
You may have already seen the University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address by Admiral William H. McRaven, which has been going around the internet for quite some time. In it, he highlights making your bed:
"If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day," he says. "It will give you a small sense of pride and will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day, that one task completed would have turned in to many tasks completed."
It may seem like a mundane task, but making your bed (and making it well) can set the tone of your whole day: starting off with organizing something can make you feel like you can fix anything. More over, it reminds you that even the simplest things can make a huge difference. "Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter," he says. "If you can't do the little things right, you can never do the big things right."
3. Find a physical activity that you actually like.
You know that exercise is important, and you know its benefits, but the challenge is actually doing something that will keep you interested. Some people are made for the gym. Others like hiking. What's important is what works for you. Don't feel bad if you give up on your gym membership, and don't think that you have "commitment issues" when it comes to wellness. Just acknowledge it and move on to something else, because when you find the right thing for you, it won't even seem like a chore, and you collect all its perks without trying too hard.
4. Breathe, and preen.
Whether you're early or you come in late to your desk due to circumstances beyond your control, find time to slip into the ladies room and preen. This may seem very simple, and even vain, but take this as your own personal time-out after a long, dusty commute. Wash your face, put on a bit of makeup if you wish, and calm down. The simple act of fixing yourself or indulging in even the simplest beauty routine can actually help lessen anxiety, and many women subscribe to it. It'll also make you feel more ready to start working, even if your day didn't start well.
5. Clean up clutter online and offline.
We know you're busy, but if you can squeeze in time to actually clean your email inbox, then do so. Delete events that are long done as well as threads that are already of no value. Download the important attachments that you need and delete the email that it came in. Of course, paper trail is still a must so keep important conversations in neat folders so you can pull them out easily. This can actually help you feel more efficient since you've optimized something that you interact with daily.
Cleaning up clutter online also means cleaning up your social media friends list. If you have to unfollow or even unfriend contacts because their negativity is not doing anything for you, then do so. Don't feel guilty about it, and if they question you about it, tell the truth. If these people are your real friends, they'll understand and still keep in touch offline.
Outside work, you may also want to go Marie Kondo on your living space. Out with the old and in with the new. While it's okay to be sentimental, it's important to know that there are things that you simply need ot let go of, whether it be a bacon-ed underwear or your ex's love letter. It may be hard at first, but trust us, you'll feel lighter in the end.
6. Actually eat well.
And do your best not to skip meals! Working on an empty stomach can actually make you less energetic, less focused, and less productive because at the back of your head, you're thinking about your next meal. Moreover, you're actually stressing your body by starving yourself, and it's been scientifically proven that irregular eating habits can actually make you gain unhealthly weight, and even affect your insulin levels.
If, for some reason, you can't help but skip lunch, always bring a healthy snack with you that you can nibble on. Aside from satisfying a bit of your hunger, at least you don't need to suddenly spend on either junk food or expensive coffee.
7. Validate yourself.
Probably one of the most important thing you can do in a day is validating yourself. Too often, you forget that you're valuable, and you tend to skip the small but crucial activities that would actually remind you of yourself because you're busy, or because other people need attention.
Don't validate other people's experiences and then invalidate your own. Girl, you're doing the best you can given your situation. Give yourself the attention that you deserve. You can write on a journal, you can go to a spa, you can meditate—the bottom line is to acknowledge that your time is as important as other people's time. Appreciate yourself, and every thing else will follow.