routine check-up

We all hear about the importance of a morning routine lately – it’s every influencer’s favorite topic and every entrepreneur’s secret to success. But for the rest of us – the normal, everyday people stuck at home, with limited income or view of anything outside our apartment walls – are routines actually that necessary?

For me & my anxiety, the answer is undoubtedly: YES. When I slip up on my routines, or choose to relax a little on my daily schedule, I immediately notice a shift in my day, mood, and reaction to the world around me. Routines have kept me sane for years, but especially now in quarantine while working from home, paired of course with increased depression and anxiety, I have relied on routines far more than before. I don’t think routine makes me an exceptional employee, or a fitness guru, or a budding CEO, but they do level me out from general anxieties, and help me sleep, work, and achieve my daily short and long term goals that I otherwise let slip. My routines help me stay on track, motivated, grounded, and stable no matter what else is going on around me. For that peace of mind, I have basic routines for morning, noon, and night.

Morning Routine

I like to start my mornings with a little extra time before work to focus on my intentions for the day, spend time with my dog, Kali, and get a healthy mindset before diving into work. This routine helps me keep goals front of mind to carry through the rest of the day and a foundation of mindfulness I return to when external sources could potentially shift my mood or increase my anxiety. Some days I work out in the morning, some days I don’t – there is room for some spontaneity but still a sense of structure. I think it’s important to have a routine to guide you, but be able to make adjustments as you need each day/week. This routine is a foundation to start, and anything I supplement or change I make sure is still in the same energy – mindfulness, meditation, goal setting, movement, clearing & energizing.

6:30 – wake up, make a glass of warm or room temperature water with lemon, and start a manifestation course through To Be Magnetic

7:00 – 10 minute guided meditation and 2-3 pages of morning brain dump/morning pages

7:20 – 1 mild walk with Kali and a motivational, educational, or entertainment podcast

7:45 – clean up around the apartment, set up my space for the day OR yoga practice if feeling the space is clean and ready

8:15 – shower, skincare

8:30 – make my cup of coffee and start work

Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny.

Mahatma Gandhi

Midday Routine

Typically by lunch time I am itching to get moving again, or else I’ll end up taking a lunch time nap and spiraling into a lazy depression from there. If I can get up and moving, clean up whatever messes I have created, and spend another 30 minutes to an hour focused on re-grounding myself, it’s a successful day. My lunch time cardio typically consists of light jogging or incline walking on a treadmill. Sometimes I will watch Netflix or listen to a podcast, sometimes I just have music playing, but either way it’s an opportunity to step away from the rest of my life and my day and do something entirely for myself. Additionally, I have found that healthy eating habits as a part of my routine have made a world of difference. I feel entirely better having a salad for lunch than I do having pasta, but some days are better than others. At times I make a fresh kale salad, and other times it’s post-workout pizza, mac and cheese, or a frozen burrito. Again, I try to give myself some grace but know that conscious healthy decisions and patterns leave me feeling better day to day and in the long run.

12:00 – walk with kali, or cardio in the gym (put roomba on so floors are vacuumed upon return)

1:00 – take a shower, make lunch (ideally a salad)

1:30 – clean up lunch mess and organize desk/area for rest of the day

3:00 – 15 min walk with Kali

Evening Routine

By 5:30, I’m logging off of my computer (ideally) and, though I am still in the same spot I was during my work day, I try and kick back and relax. Evenings can be far less structured for me because I have spent the day prioritizing my goals, movement, my health, and my space. I typically start dinner prep with the goal of eating around 7pm, but it depends what’s on the menu each night. Some nights it’s Chipotle and I lay on the couch until 6:45 when I head out for pickup, and some days I’ve started dinner as soon as I log off. My routine again is more about setting up opportunities for success than it is setting a rigid, mandated schedule.

5:30 – log off from work, watch tv, chat with friends

6:30 – start dinner

7:00 – eat dinner

7:30 – clean up kitchen

8:00 – bath, read a book (typically something fun & fiction)

8:30 – watch tv & relax OR do some computer work/online courses, have a glass or two of wine and/or dessert

9:30 – clean up any knick knacks that accumulated throughout the day, wipe down counters, set up any necessary items for next morning (mug, lemon, notepad)

10pm – sleep!! aka my favorite part of the day

Hopefully this breakdown of my morning, noon, and nightly routines gives you some ideas for your day and reminds you of how much better you feel when you stick to a schedule. Having daily targets and a sense of structure help achieve both short and long term goals and allow for a productive day, rather than the bed-and-netflix spiral I have been prone to in the past, and especially now with quarantine. This post is as much a reminder for me when I get off track as it is for others. The power of consistency and routine can change your attitude and change your life.

If you have any question, tips, recommendations, or want to share your routine, comment below or let me know on my Instagram, @hannahfaithprice!

EFT – tapping your way through a pandemic, a worldwide movement, and your daily anxieties

As some of you may know, and as many can relate, I have anxiety. For many of us, our anxiety has largely been exacerbated during this time. While my personal situation during this worldwide pandemic has been truly a blessing, and many are far less fortunate than I, there are still aspects of this time that have put me into anxious spiral. In addition, the conversations around and continued learning of racism and the Black Lives Matter movement has added to a lot of the concern, stress, and anxiety. While all of this is extremely important and I by no means intend to take away from or diminish the responsibility of people in doing this work, maintaining mental health practices and decreasing anxiety so we can continue the conversations we need to be having is also necessary.

In order to help others, you must help yourself.

Throughout quarantine, I have significantly increased daily practices in meditation, yoga, and self care, which have aided in significant overall improvements. However, when I feel a particularly crippling wave heading my way, I have started implementing EFT practices and felt wonderful results for my anxieties.

If you haven’t heard of EFT, I believe it can be an extremely helpful technique, especially while we are distanced in so many ways. EFT, or emotional freedom technique, is a tapping technique to help reduce anxiety. It is based on similar principles to acupuncture and the points on your body that can effect your mood, health, wellness, and more. For me, EFT has been especially enjoyable because it is free, personalized, easy, and requires no doctors visit, therapists office, or prescription. I have not found a prescription that suited my needs and am not actively on a therapy routine, and while I am no doctor and not suggesting anyone use EFT to replace the medications and support systems you need, it has been an easy supplement to my daily mental health routine that is simple and anyone can do.

Here are some basic steps below:

  1. Start by identifying, if possible, the root of the anxiety
    • This can be hard, especially for me when I often have generalized anxiety that I struggle to pinpoint or find triggers of.
    • What works best for me is to acknowledge my feelings around the anxiety in the moment, identify any common denominators, and try to use whatever phrase I can come up with to verbalize the problem to myself
    • For example, anxiety can come on for me often times when I have been laying on the couch for several hours at a time, binge watching seemingly mindless tv (Gossip Girl, RHONY, or the like) and comparing myself in countless ways to characters or situations I am seeing. I then often realize these feelings come on because I am perceiving myself as lazy, or wasting time or letting my life slip past me, or I am a failure. I often uncontrollably fear I will not amount to “someone”.
  2. While tapping the side of your hand (karate chop point), repeat to yourself “Even though I have insert problem, I deeply and completely accept myself” three times.
    • Following the example above, the sentence I would repeat to myself would be “Even though I am not where I want to be in life, I deeply and completely accept myself”.
    • For this and all following tapping, I use my middle finger to gently and repeatedly tap. It is neither fast nor slow, but it is an intentional tapping that I am focused on while I repeat my mantra to myself and go through the exercise
  3. Then, tap each of the following zones 7 times in this order:
    • start of the eyebrow
    • outer corner of the eye
    • under eye
    • under nose/above lips
    • center chin
    • start of the collarbone
    • under the arm
    • top of the head
  4. Repeat steps 1-4 until anxiety reduces

I hope you find this technique helpful for you as we all navigate the pandemic, the worldwide movement, and the difficulties we face in our personal lives. Acknowledging my anxiety, sitting with it, facing it, and accepting ourselves in spite of it is the healthiest way for me to heal it more quickly and for longer periods of time.

If you have any questions about EFT or other practices I am implementing in quarantine, please leave a comment below.

Please know you are loved, supported, appreciated, and needed in this world!

15 Ways to Ruin Your Boyfriend’s Life While Quarantined

’cause some things should still be fun, right?

With all of the world on practical lockdown right now, many of us are spending a significant amount of “quality time” with our SO’s that we aren’t quite used to. Sure, I’ve always imagined how fun a weekend would be getting cabin fever together, trapped in the house all cozy and cuddled up with my love, sleeping in and coffee in bed. But reality hit about 5 hours into day one, and now on day 7 I have a much different perspective on being trapped indoors together (and on him – that’s for another day, though). 

Prior to this caging, I never really realized just how much time men (I use that term lightly) can spend playing video games. Or watching people play video games. Or talking about video games. Frankly, I thought I was in for a treat when all sports were put on hold and I wouldn’t have to hear the phrase “line-up” anymore, but now I long for the days where I had the TV remote and he was in his own world, nose pressed against the phone screen organizing thoroughly researched players into a competition that would undoubtedly lose. Instead, my well-organized, decorated, and beautifully curated living room has become a gamer’s sanctuary, with coffee mugs and open Cheez-It boxes scattered across the floor. I am a guest in my own home.

Initially, I tried to keep things civil. Sure, rest your sweaty feet on my glass coffee table 5 minutes after you watched me clean it. No, no, eat your Chex-Mix on my couch – I can vacuum again later. Don’t worry about me quietly reading in the other room, yell as you need! I wouldn’t want to interrupt your “me time”.

Now, a full 40 hour work week of Call of Duty and MLB The Show later, I’m saying fuck it. While I’m relatively non-confrontational, I have found these little things can make his day even just 2% more difficult – and that makes me 10x happier.

  1. Unplug the HDMI to the PS4 every time he leaves the room for a semi-extended period of time (showering, pooping, walking the dog).
  2. Put the video game controller and headset “away” in random locations every time he’s “done playing” but leaves them out on the counter. Forget where you placed them when he asks. 
  3. Watch Netflix on your laptop on full volume next to him on the couch. Repeatedly sigh and turn down his TV because it’s too distracting.
  4. Put the dog’s toy under the couch so she stares at him and barks, and then, with a “really upset tummy”, hide in the bathroom until she annoys him enough to get on the floor and get her the toy.
  5. Use all of the coffee mugs for various random things and leave them dirty in the sink overnight so he has to hand wash one for his much-needed morning refresher after an all-nighter with the boys.
  6. Swap the bags inside his favorite snack boxes so he thinks he’s having one snack but getting something entirely different.
  7. Be overly difficult with dinner options. Blame it on the fact that crazy hoarders wiped the shelves clean and you just have no appetite for anything. Disagree with everything he suggests until he is so distraught he opts to go out and get you Chipotle.
  8. Leave the Brita filter empty and blame it on him if you need to use it before he does.
  9. Strip the bed sheets and leave washing them until very late. Go to bed with the only blanket you have in the house before he comes to sleep – and don’t share.
  10. Play your favorite music while you pace around the house aimlessly – don’t actually do any chores. I like to play the same song I know he hates on repeat so he spends the rest of the day singing it.
  11. Wash all the towels when you know he is about to shower. 
  12. When you do finally get ahold of the TV, play Gossip Girl, Real Housewives of New York, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, or some other overly-girly show. 
  13. Vacuum the patch of carpet in front of the TV repeatedly. It is very dirty. 
  14. Finish the creamer and put the empty container back in the fridge. 
  15. When you make any food for him, add a dash of something he hates. For my gamer, it’s too much garlic and/or salt. Eat up, babe! 

If you’re going to be trapped indoors, you may as well have fun. Good luck ladies, and remember that wine always, always helps.