The majority of us in the UK are experiencing yet another lockdown. Once again, we are forced to adapt and do best with a situation that is out of our hands. Although we haven’t chosen this restricted kind of living we can choose how we respond to it. I know there are feelings of frustration, stress, isolation, anxiety and generally feeling fed up by it all.
With that said, I’ve had this post sitting in my notes for a while, and in light of the recent news it seems a pretty fitting time to share it.
I hope it can inspire you to think about creating a fulfilling day for yourself and to feel more positive about the times ahead of us.
How do I guarantee that each day I have is a fulfilled one?
My rule is if you keep things simple, the easier it will be to meet the requirements needed for a fulfilling day.
A friend recently said, ‘una vida simple es una vida mejor’ which means a simple life is a better life. This saying couldn’t be truer and is the basic principle of minimalism; to live a life with less.
I think we could all agree that when all is said and done, it’s the simple things that really matter.
E x 5 = A Fulfilling Day
I have identified 5 things (I call them the 5 E’s) that are important to me.
They can be done without much difficulty, at any time of the day and pretty much completed anywhere.
When I have met these 5 E’s I go to sleep feeling content, positive and happy.
Exercising My Mind
This looks like a meditation practice. I usually meditate first thing, after I’ve had a shower and before I’ve had my breakfast. I like to mediate bare foot as my feet act as an anchor which helps me feel grounded and present. And I sit facing an open window; the natural light and hearing the sounds of nature allow me to feel emerged in the moment. Meditation sets the tone for my day and gives me a sense of awareness and peace. In addition, there hasn’t been a day in the last 2 years where I haven’t practiced Spanish; learning is a form of mental exercise and it’s important for me to feel as though I’m challenging myself and growing as a result of that.
Exercising My Body
Thankfully being an athlete means I’m able to move my body and exercise on a daily basis. Yes, rest and recovery is just as, if not more important than the training itself, but if I’m being honest I do struggle with having a complete day off because I feel sluggish when I do nothing at all. As my mental health is always the priority, I make a small compromise by doing some very gentle stretching or by taking a walk to the local shop instead of driving, I may even do a few walking drills in the house. This isn’t about being addicted to exercise by the way. I’m just aware of how I feel when I don’t move my body in some capacity.
Expressing My Thoughts and Feelings
The notes app is in the top 3 most used apps on my phone. For me, it’s like my mind on paper (well a screen in this case). Almost everything that pops into my head: what I’ve heard, read or seen, I have to stop what I’m doing and take note of it. There are certain podcasts I won’t listen to whilst driving because I know I won’t be able to write down whatever has been said.
It’s super important to express my thoughts, not only because I won’t remember them but when I have lots of things going on it’s easy for me to feel overwhelmed. And if I don’t get the thoughts out of my head they will play on my mind, I’ll become distracted, less productive and probably a bit irritable.
Expressing my thoughts and feelings is a form of decompression. It’s a freeing experience that means I get to see my mind in front of me, which allows greater clarity around my internal state.
Engaging in Conversation
Luckily I live in a full house, my family are super close and there is always someone to talk to. To feel connected is a primary human need and is essential to well-being. Be it with family or friends, in person, over the phone or online; our conversations may not always be that meaningful but I guarantee that speaking to them will make me smile and laugh. I truly believe, that it doesn’t matter who you are, you can always bring something of value to the table. And if you know me personally you know I speak to everyone. No two people are the same and we all have a unique take on life, you just never know what you can learn from others and what others can learn from you.
Evaluating my Day
This is personal reflection. It typically occurs as I’m winding down for bed, I look at the day ask myself a few questions such as: Did I meet my 5 E’s? Do I feel like I’ve spent the day in line with my values and did I behave in a way that is conducive to my goals? I double check the to-do list, write any plans I have for the next day, take a few deep breaths and then go to sleep. One of my resolutions this year has been to leave my phone on my desk and not take it to bed. I shouldn’t have waited for 2021 to start doing this because I definitely fall asleep quicker, stay asleep for longer and overall have a better quality of sleep.
I’ve written quite a lot but to summarise the formula is simple.
Do something that is good for you and do it daily – Pedram Shojai
My 5 E’s mean that no matter what’s going on outside of my control, I choose to get the most value out of my day.
Being physically restricted doesn’t mean you have to be psychologically restricted.
More often than not, your day can always be a day that is fulfilling.
You just have to identify what’s important to you.