I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve become accustomed to a quieter lifestyle over the past year or so. It was nice to have quieter weekends and a sparser schedule. I’ve revelled in cozy evenings at home, and take-out eaten on the couch. I’ve really loved walking by the lake with a coffee on a Saturday for as long as I want, not feeling the need to rush to my next calendar item.
But I’ve equally missed things too, like seeing friends and family whenever I want, and hopping on a plane to see a new place, or just generally wandering about, free of restrictions. Thankfully, these things have been coming back to us. And with that, we’re seeing yet another shift in how we’re living life.
I’m happy for it, but I feel (as I’m sure many of us do) a bit whiplashed. I want to do all the things (!), but I also want to feel that peace that I felt in the quieter months. It’s a complex feeling, craving those quiet times when they were caused by a super crappy world event. But we’re complex beings, so here we are.
I feel myself losing some of my inner quiet lately. I’m excited to travel again, ecstatic to be reunited with friends and family, enjoying rediscovering the world. But I know I need to realign and find some kind of middle ground that is sustainable for the kind of life I want to continue to lead: one that is social and adventurous, but also prioritizes rest and quiet moments.
If you’re feeling similar, I want to share three ways I’m realigning my values in hopes that you might find some inspiration to continue putting yourself first.
three ways I’m realigning my values
Savouring my sleep routine
I am one of those people who loves sleep but also loves falling asleep on the couch – haha! I know that to feel good, I need to be fully rested, so I’m relearning how to savour my sleep.
This includes putting on my coziest pjs and socks at 10pm, climbing into bed to put a dent in my reading list, and doing a short meditation. I also just bought myself a silk sleep mask to improve the quality of my sleep. My goal is to have my bedside light out by 11pm every night so that I can get a solid 7-8 hours of rest. I’m a big fan of romanticizing my life, so I’m going to start romanticizing my sleep, too.
Keeping some weekends open
I didn’t know how much I needed free weekends (that is: weekends free of plans) until all I had were free weekends. It was a big wake up call to me that I need to slow down, that I feel more grounded when I slow down, and that I actually am content with quiet time.
Now that life is looking more and more like it did *before*, I know that I can’t be booking myself solid every weekend. I need some free time – at least a totally free day here and there – to watch nine hours of Meg Ryan movies in a row.
Protecting your time is so valuable, and I know that now more than ever.
Knowing when to turn off work
I got a new fully remote job this year, so I’m working from home indefinitely. I have loved working out of the comfort of my own home office, but I also find myself more attached to my laptop than I ever have before.
Something I’m trying to be more conscious of is not thinking about work when I’m not working, whether that’s my full-time job or my brand photography side hustle. To me, this doesn’t mean a strict 40-hour week as I have my own business and sometimes I simply need to put in more work hours; what it means is that I actively shut off the work part of my brain when I’m not physically working. I have many wonderful aspects to my life, and work thoughts don’t need to creep in when I’m doing other activities.
Our routines and values take realigning every so often. We experience so many changes in our lifetimes – some wonderful, some difficult – and that means we often have to take a step back and decide what is or isn’t working, what we truly need at any given time. I appreciate this sentiment so much more than I ever have before.
How are you feeling lately? Do you find you need to remember and realign your values once in a while?