Every Saturday, I will post an excerpt from my weekly newsletter, A Segue Into Certainty. If you like what you’re reading, consider subscribing.
I know it’s been awhile since I’ve sent out a newsletter, and I promise that this time I plan to make this a weekly ritual. I’ve wasted too much time trying to provide my readers with the “expected stuff” (book reviews, career updates, etc.), only to figure out that all the expectedstuff felt wrong. While being a young adult writer plays a big role in my life, writing young adult doesn’t even touch the surface of how I spend my time. Pretty much all of 2017 was dedicated toward self-improvement and cultivating self-care. I was forced to grow in uncomfortable ways. I know these changes were critical for me, but change at any magnitude is hard, and I’m finally in a place where I can talk about it and attach a lesson to the struggle. That is the stuff I want to share with you. So for my first revamped newsletter, I want to talk about the five things I try to do each day to bring joy and fulfillment into a life filled with too much existential awareness and a little bit of anxiety (which is getting better).
1. My Five Daily Tasks
After reading The Gifts of Imperfection by Bene Brown, I 100% agree that the best we can do is find joy and fulfillment in the everyday small stuff. Happiness, even contentment, is so temporary that it’s useless to chase either of them down until we’ve finally “snagged” them for good. It’s just like chasing after a guy who’s not that into you (which, I’ve been there many times, so I can provide this analogy to you with confidence). So, I’m not dating that incredible good looking improviser I asked to be my practice group coach in order to get him to ask me out (but I was this close to sealing the deal), and I’m also not happy all the time. However, I’m glad that I’ve found these five things that fill me with the proper dose of gratitude each and everyday:
Meditating has become the best part of my day. I try to do it as soon as I wake up. I’m still a relative beginner, and only meditate about 10 minutes a day, but this is the one task I plan to make a daily habit out of. I just feel the mental and physical benefits of meditation. I’m calmer under stress, more compassionate of myself and others, and am so much more aware of my body’s needs. I’ve dabbled with both guided and open-ended meditation and love them both. If you’re new to meditating, I suggest guided practices to start out, then you can transition into open-ended meditations if you want. I started out meditating for two minutes a day, and now those first two minutes fly by during my sessions. I like the Calm app and Insight Timer with Andy Hobson.
Yoga with Adriene has become my go-to daily yoga practice. I am definitely not a handstand yogi, probably never will be. But Adriene is a humble instructor who’s turned me into a yogi for the mental and emotional benefits. She has hundreds of free videos on Youtube and provides her viewers with a monthly calendar with a “practice of the day” to make finding the perfect video all the more easier.
Back when I wrote A Fantastic Mess of Everything, I wrote 3 days a week (Monday/Wednesday/Friday) at the same time every morning and had optional editing/writing days on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These days I keep to a similar schedule (I write Mon/Wed/Fri as soon as I make my morning coffee), and I work for no more than two hours to avoid burnout unless I’m having a rare breakthrough that morning. I still keep my Tues/Thurs as optional days as to not feel guilty if I have too many errands to run or I prioritize rest to writing. Surprisingly, I get a LOT done on this schedule. Plus, it’s totally realistic and attainable.
To read how I’m incorporating exercise and journaling into my daily routine, please consider subscribing to my weekly newsletter, A Segue Into Certainty. Delivered to your inbox every Monday.
Do you have any daily rituals that bring you joy and fulfillment? Share them with me, I’d love to hear them.