Real Talk · Uncategorized

What I’m doing to stay on top of my workout game.

OK, I feel like I have to kind of say something before diving into this post. I am NOT any kind of personal trainer/fitness influencer LOL. I started sharing my workouts with friends a while ago because we thought it would be helpful to us all who struggle to workout even though we know we should (AKA me!). With all this Covid chaos, working out hasn’t really changed for me. I have always preferred to work out at home so having to adjust from being able to go to the gym isn’t something I have personally struggled with.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I STRUGGLE with working out. It does not come naturally to me. But what has worked for me is trying to find different ways to stay on top of it. TBH, I feel like I have to trick myself into working out most days or turn it into some kind of game since I do have a bit of a competitive streak in me. Anyway, here’s what I’ve been doing lately that I think has worked well for me as well as some things my girlfriends have found too.

PS – Wherever you’re at right now on your fitness journey or with working out, you’re killing it! I mean, we’re all just doing the best we can right now. I don’t want anyone to feel like if they’re not doing the same things I am that they’re doing something wrong. These are just things that have helped me so I want to share! 🙂

walking

Finding accountability.

A friend and I work out together on our lunch breaks at home over FaceTime. We know we’re going to do it every other day at 12:30pm and we hold each-other accountable. If you don’t have someone to workout with at the same time, maybe filming or live streaming your workout videos will actually help with holding you accountable to get your workout in!

Feeling comfortable working out at home AND the gym.

I feel like a lot of people have strong opinions on working out at home vs going to a gym. Usually, it seems like you either love one and hate the other. I actually HATE going to gyms. It feel like for me it’s a waste of money and I felt very intimidated by the other people there working out. Some people, like Tyson for example loves the gym and it started to become an accountability thing for him. His gym requires you to make an appointment now if you want to come in and knowing he made an appointment forces him to actually show up.

Getting back into cooking again.

If you’ve been around recently, then you know I’ve been hot and cold with cooking lately. Some nights it feels relaxing, others it feels like the most daunting and time-consuming task. BUT, I totally feel like, for me at least, that cooking and staying in a good workout routine go hand-in-hand. Not that every meal I cook is perfectly healthy, but I think it’s more about being in a routine. Like when I’m in a routine of cooking, working out, going to bed at a good time, etc., I just make better choices all around.

Keeping the walking going strong.

I love my walks, and to be completely transparent, walks are making up the majority of my current workout routine. It just feels like the most doable thing whenever I really, REALLY don’t want to do anything. Plus you can go with a friend or listen to music or a podcast and before you know it you’ve walked more than your daily goal! Basically what I’m saying is, when in doubt, go for a walk!

Challenging myself to new things.

I mentioned above that I sometimes have to trick myself or turn things into a game in order to get workouts in, and that’s what I did in July and August to motivate myself to run more. I challenged myself walk 5 km every day (roughly 3 miles) throughout the months. I actually did pretty good at keeping up with it too! It was just a fun way to keep my workout routine interesting. Plus I think it’s good to mix things up and try different workouts otherwise I get bored, and when I’m bored, all bets are off.

I hope this info is helpful to you guys if you’re looking for ways to keep up with working out! And if you have any of your own tips to share, please do in the comments!

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Real Talk · Uncategorized

What’s helping me work from home right now.

I’m not going to lie to you, I kinda feel like I need the below tips as much as anyone else does right now. Focusing on work lately has been such a struggle. But, I’ve been working from home once a week for years now and even though I’ve obviously never experienced a pandemic like this, I do go through times when working from home and focusing has been hard, so I thought putting together a post like this would be helpful. Especially for anyone who has never worked from home before and is having a hard time adjusting.

I want this post to really feel relevant to the current situation and not just so general, so while a lot of the tips are applicable all the time, half of them are really focused on how to get through things right now. And if you have anything to add, PLEASE share in the comments! I’d love to know how you’re balancing life right now while also getting work done.

Taking things day by day.

This has been huge for me. I easily start to overthink things so instead of spiralling and thinking about how long we’re going to have to stay isolated/practice social distancing, I try to just think about what’s happening today and what I can do right now. It helps me keep things in perspective.

Routine.

In my experience, whether you’re working from home temporarily or it’s your new permanent situation, having some kind of routine is key to getting the most out of your day. I know for a lot of you, your routine has been turned completely upside down so if you’re struggling right now, try to focus on giving your day some structure. Maybe try using the extra hour each morning that you would spend commuting to the office to work out or cook that breakfast you don’t usually have time for. It’s easy to spend that extra time sleeping in the morning but why not use the time to your fullest capacity and do something that lets you feel accomplished.

Brain dumps/journal.

If you’ve been about here for a while, you’re probably not a stranger to the brain dumps. This is pretty much how I start my day every day. Brain dumping helps me determine my to-do list and set up my priorities for the day. Speaking of priorities, I have a whole post on How to prioritize your priorities (because I’ve found doing so can be easier said than done). But anyway, if you haven’t done a brain dump before, do it – even more so if you’re new to working from home. It will help clear your mind and get rid of some of those feelings of overwhelm. If you’ve never done it before, here’s a post with instructions.

Start small.

Alright, so after I brain dump (write my daily to-do list), I start trying to check things off. I typically try to start with some of the smallest tasks on my list – especially right now. For example, making my bed is one of the first things on my list usually. This way no matter what else happens that day, at least I got that done. It’s just a morale booster if you ask me. Also, drinking water! That’s another small thing that I like to do right away in the morning.

Next, I’ll do quick, easy daily things like checking my email and touching base with coworkers before I really dive in. Once I get started with those smaller things, the rest of my day feels a lot more approachable. If you’re struggling to stay focused, I’ve heard productivity time cubes can be really helpful. I’ve never tried one but I’m tempted to test it out. Anything that helps me get my work done and manage my time is worth it to me.

Checking in on co-workers.

Since I can’t physically meet with my coworkers, I try and check in with most of them daily to make sure they’re getting through everything OK. People are in a weird place mentally right now and I think checking in goes a long way, so shoot a quick text or email to anyone you would usually see at the office. I guarantee they’ll appreciate it. We have a group lunch once a week online and catch up too.

Look for joy.

This one is especially important for me personally right now. Not that my work doesn’t give me joy, but I think it’s important to find something each day right now that makes you happy. For me, it’s dancing or going on walks with Tyson and Winston. Those are the moments when I forget about everything else and just let myself have fun. As a result, I feel less overwhelmed, which helps be able to get work done.

Being flex/non-judgmental.

Everyone is handling this new reality differently so I think the more grace we extend to one another the better off we’ll all be. Try to be as flexible as you can with deadlines and projects. Even though it is possible to be productive while working from home (and I hope some of my other tips help with this) a lot of people are doing it for the first time (and with their spouse and kids at home!) so try not to judge if things are pushed back or meetings have to be rescheduled.

Quick news and food breaks.

TBH I think breaks are one of the most important components of any workday. I’ve found I’m much for productive when I give myself a few 20-minute breaks throughout the day and a full hour around lunchtime. You can get out and walk during this time, make something yummy to eat, check the news, tend to your garden, prep dinner or just take a nap if that’s what you need. The biggest thing here is to not feel guilty about giving yourself this time. You need it and you deserve it, trust me!

Anything that helps balance.

It’s important during a time like this to not only give yourself grace but to make sure you’re taking care of yourself mentally and physically. Finding balance in life is hard enough when we’re not in the middle of a health pandemic so anything that usually helps you find that balance, definitely be sure you’re doing it now. For me, I’ve started to take CBD oil as well as melanin in the evening.

I feel like maybe these tips are a little different than the usual ones I’ve been seeing other people give, but that was kinda the point. I hope I’ve given you some actionable ideas that will really help you approach your day and be productive! And like I said above, please share if you have any other tips that have worked for you!

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.

Decor · Real Talk · Uncategorized

29 things your house doesn’t actually need

Let it go, let it go…

There are plenty of things we hold onto for good reason. Treasures from our travels, family heirlooms, sentimental birthday cards—all justifiable keepsakes. Then there are the odds and ends we accumulate just because we have the space to store them. You know, the “But what if I need this one day?” items. It seems like a rather harmless habit—until those non-essentials add up and turn your cabinets and closets into living nightmares. The chaos stops here. It’s time to re-purpose, recycle, or kick ’em to the curb.

While I’m not here to push a hyper-minimalist agenda, I do believe every object in your home should serve a distinct purpose or, at the very least, brighten your day a little. I really doubt your excessive tote bag collection or rubber band–filled junk drawer is offering you much. Since many of us are adjusting to our new reality of working from home for the future, it’s the perfect time to think about this. Here are the 29 things you’ll be better off letting go:

kitchen

THINGS IN YOUR KITCHEN:

  • The ominous cloud of plastic shopping bags stashed under the sink
  • All those spices that are long past their prime time (yes, they do have a prime time)
  • Mismatched Tupperware that is taking over your cabinets – invest in quality containers that stack neatly
  • Extra knives, because all you really need is like 3 good ones
  • Single-use accoutrements from your last Uber Eats order (think: chopsticks, napkins, ketchup packages)
  • The logo-heavy cups and shot glasses from your college years
  • Any subpar tote bag or lunch bag you snagged just because it was free but you never use
  • Stemmed wineglasses – simple stemless glasses work for your water, juice and vino

bedroom

THINGS IN YOUR BEDROOM:

  • Dingy hangers from the dry cleaner
  • The top sheet, unless you really do love to bundle up with it
  • Beat-up shoe boxes and the accompanying protective bags – streamline your collection either with shelving or a tiered rack over the door hanger
  • The stack of books you’re done reading (donate them to a used-book store or pass them along to a fellow bookworm)
  • The obscene amount of decorative pillows you purchased during your boho phase

bathroom

THINGS IN YOUR BATHROOM:

  • Every hotel toiletry you’ve ever stolen
  • Sad towels that are filled with holes or makeup stains
  • That horribly ugly shower caddy – invest in a teak stool or over the tub tray that won’t make you cringe every morning
  • Expired medication, makeup and sunscreen (yes, these all have an expiry date)

living room

THINGS IN YOUR LIVING ROOM:

  • That dead plant you keep trying to revive
  • A china cabinet (re-purpose your plates as wall art instead)
  • Subpar vases from those very kind and thoughtful flower arrangement deliveries
  • Trophies and any other inconsequential childhood memorabilia collecting dust

office

THINGS IN YOUR OFFICE:

  • The dead batteries rolling around in your desk drawer
  • Junk mail (unsubscribe from that stuff and save a few trees while you’re at it)
  • Old magazines you haven’t looked at in years and never will again
  •  Supplies from that creative project you started and keep meaning to pick up again “someday”
  • Chargers that belong to old devices. And old devises which no longer hold a charge
  • Half-used cans of paint
  • Clunky filing cabinets (try going digital or keep super important documents in thin transparent envelopes instead)

As always, don’t forget to subscribe to LiveLaughLearn.blog to stay up to date and follow on Instagram @LiveLaughLearn.blog

XOXO.

B.