My Stay-At-Home Lifestyle & How I’m Keeping My Life On Track!

Hey y’all!

Super long title, I know. But at this point in time, after a very turbulent start to Social Distancing, I’m FINALLY beginning to feel like I’ve got a good routine going that’s both maintainable and relaxing. I feel like I’m not alone when I say it’s been difficult to not let my life and mental health completely fall apart over the last few months — on one hand, as I’ve been laid off, I don’t exactly have a lot of responsibilities right now outside of blogging, cooking, and cleaning. On the other hand, if I let myself lie around all day, waking up and going to bed whenever I feel like it and just watching Netflix all day, it’ll be a short path to falling into a severe depressive episode and becoming, likely, entirely nocturnal.

Obviously, that’s really not ideal. But I’ve also just come off of the most stressful year of my life — I really need a break. It’s hard to find the balance — trust me, it took me up until now to feel like I was really starting to get the handle of things — but it’s starting to feel like it is possible. If you’ve still been having trouble working out how to keep your life in order lately, or have been feeling as though your mental health is declining, hopefully my little schedule here works for you. You don’t need to copy it out point for point, obviously, but maybe you’ll be able to take inspiration to apply to your own life, or make your own schedule, that helps you keep it together in the face of sitting at home with absolutely nothing to do.

For those of you who have been keeping up with my posts lately, you’ll already know that I worked at a bar pre-COVID-19, which obviously closed to the public once stay at home orders were enacted. As a FOH employee, I was laid off. This ended up being a small blessing as it gave me time and extra energy to focus on my final exams, however, once those finished up the first few days of excitement and freedom gave way to the realization that I really had nothing to do.

For the last year I’ve been so busy that I’ve been putting off loads of tasks for when I had more time — but now I have too much time, and browsing online stores for furniture to complete my apartment and completing a couple of fixes around my home surprisingly aren’t the most time-consuming tasks all of a sudden. As such, I’ve been really trying to focus my energy on this blog, my hobbies and my chores, while still allowing plenty of time to kick back and relax. While my life would quite literally fall apart if I spent all this time doing nothing, spending every waking moment doing SOMETHING isn’t the most sustainable — and it’s entirely unnecessary. I don’t know about you guys, but I really needed this break. So I’m going to take this time to enjoy it — while I need discipline, I also need to not be too hard on myself right now.

The following is my daily schedule that I’ve been following pretty strictly since the last week of April. As someone who’s always tried to keep SOME semblance of a schedule in life, I don’t think I really realized what it was like to follow a schedule so strictly — it’s the sort of thing I honestly haven’t done since high school. While it certainly took some getting used to, so far, it’s really helped me feel as normal and productive as possible lately.

8:30am: Wake Up. This is a lot earlier than I’ve woken up at regularly for years — but it’s actually pretty enjoyable. Mornings are so lovely when you’re actually up to see them, and getting up “early” makes you feel like you have a good start on the day. Overall, I feel a lot more positive when I wake up around 8:30-9:00 am lately than letting myself sleep in everyday until 10:00-11:00 (which was when I used to wake up). Even if you’re awake for the same amount of hours, you feel like you have more time when you wake up early, you feel more refreshed, and it’s been putting me in a more positive mindset to get stuff done.

8:45am: Morning Skincare. I let myself have a little time to get out of bed and face the day, and then I go about my morning skincare routine, as well as brushing my teeth and hair before I go eat breakfast. As well, before I go eat, I’m sure change out of my PJs and into some workout gear.

9:00am: Breakfast. I don’t usually meal prep breakfast foods, so it takes me a couple minutes to throw something together. However, I find the sooner I eat after I wake up, the sooner I begin to feel alert and awake.

9:30am: Yoga. This has become my favourite part of the day. Before I actually began scheduling my life, I used running as my main form of stay-at-home workouts. However, I found running to be a little daunting and since I didn’t have any solid schedule, it was pretty easy to just push working out back endlessly. However, the lack of movement in my lifestyle was kinda starting to take its toll — I really felt crappy (emotionally and physically). When I made this schedule, I decided to incorporate Adriene Mischler’s 30 Days of Yoga to my daily routine. I’ve been loving this as it’s great for beginners, is easy enough to complete every day, doesn’t require a lot of at-home materials and is something I actually look forward to. While yoga is a work out, it’s also a great way to stretch, move your body and relax too — making it seem like less of a stressful workout than running.

10:00am: Shower. Pretty self-explanatory. Depending if I have to wash my hair or not, I take whatever free time I have after this to get started on whatever activities I have planned at 1pm — or just relax a little.

12:00pm: Lunch. Also pretty self explanatory, but I figured I’d add how I try to give lunch it’s own separate space — as in, I don’t multitask while I have lunch. I just sit down and enjoy it, and then move on to the activities I want to fill my day with!

1:00pm: Activities. This can kind of be anything, but I try to settle on what I want to do the night before. Whether it’s blogging, grocery shopping, cleaning, getting my May tasks complete, doing my makeup, creating art, playing Animal Crossing — I often plan out which activities the next day will hold during my bedtime routine, and write them out so I don’t forget. I generally try to pick around 2 activities for each day, depending on what I want to do and what I need to get done.

6:00pm: Meal Prep. This only happens every four days, but an hour before dinner I plan, prep and make dinner for that night and the three nights following. I enjoy cooking, but it can be a huge task to undertake — so if I meal prep and already have a home cooked meal ready, it’ll deter me from ordering in some unhealthy or expensive take-out on a whim.

7:00pm: Dinner. Also pretty self explanatory — and once again, like lunch, I give dinner it’s own space.

8:00pm: Netflix & Chill. This one is kind of important — I set a nightly space for Netflix and relaxing. The important part being — I don’t watch TV shows or movies before 8pm. I’ve been sticking with this since before I even made this schedule, and I’ve found it to be incredibly helpful for productivity. Giving myself time to watch Netflix and chill out each night helps me balance out being active in the daytime without overworking myself. It gives me something to look forward to at the end of each day, but also keeps me from lying in bed all day binge-watching shows I don’t even care about — which makes me feel lazy and can cause me to ignore my needs, sending my mental health spiralling. As well, I’m really not a productive person at night, and I hate how crunching in activities before bed makes me feel. As such, this time is for Netflix and relaxing ONLY — and this is what helps to keep my days balanced.

11:00pm: Bedtime routine. Before I go to sleep each night, I make some tea, get ready for bed, do my skincare routine (plus any face masks I’m in the mood for), and then go over my bullet journal. I mark down my mood and all the habits I completed, and read through to get inspiration for what I should do tomorrow/what I want to get done by the end of the month. After this, I turn on a relaxing YouTube video or Audiobook, and lay down for a little bit before bed.

12:00am: Lights out. It’s bedtime!

So that’s my daily schedule! I don’t switch it up ever, not even for weekends. As weekend-days have no real meaning to me anymore so allowing myself to “stay up late” or “sleep in” would just throw off my whole schedule. However, I kind of give myself up to half-hour buffering period with the times on this schedule as it’s very hard to keep everything perfect down to the minute. As well, it wouldn’t really give me freedom to enjoy my day and the ability to complete tasks if I’m rushing to move onto the next thing. As well, there’s no rush right now — and no point in stressing myself out! The point of this schedule is to keep me on track and at peace — not cause anxiety or pressure.

Have you guys been keeping up a routine in quarantine? (I’ve been trying to avoid the work quarantine in my posts due to the negative connotation, but I just couldn’t resist the urge to rhyme — sorry!). If so, I’d love to hear about what’s been working best for you, or how your schedules differ from mine. Maybe a more elaborate schedule helps, or maybe breaking things down by week and month makes more sense to you. If you’ve been feeling like you’re floundering lately and need something to bring a little balance into your stay-at-home life, hopefully this break down of my routine left you feeling inspired! I can’t even begin to tell you guys how much having it, whether I stick to it perfectly every day or not, has helped me and my mental well-being during the last little while.

Hope you’re all staying safe out there, and have a great week!

Much love,

Meredith

My Spring FabFitFun Unboxing!

Hey everyone!

Hope everyone’s still holding up well! It’s definitely a strange week, but I find one of the best ways to make it through social distancing is making sure you have little things to look forward to. This can mean anything from little FaceTime dates, to special blog posts you’ve been working on forever, or a fancy face mask/spa night you’ve planned out for yourself. But one of my favourites is buying little gifts for myself online. That’s exactly why I love FabFitFun so much — the element of surprise in every box turns it into a little seasonal gift for myself.

I’ve been a FabFitFun member for over a year now, and frankly, they’ve never disappointed. First of all, the quality of the products they offer is INSANE. Not only that, but they really seem to add a selection of staples and items tailored for the specific season. I feel like people worry about receiving items they won’t need or use in subscription boxes, but that’s never been the case for me. Maybe it’s because all the items FabFitFun offers are so universal and great, or maybe it’s just a mix of luck and getting to select a certain number of items per each box. Either way, in the year and a half that I’ve been a member, I’ve used and loved every single product I’ve received.

This season is no exception. I’ve already put so many of my items from this season’s box to good use, and I can’t wait to share each and every one of them with you! Plus, if you love what you’re seeing it’s not too late to get a box of your very own! You can get your first box $10 off by clicking here and using my affiliate discount SPRINGLOVE! It might just be the perfect pick-me-up to get you through this social distancing season.

Donni Ribbed Sweater Coat

When I saw this sweater as an option, I just KNEW I had to get it. Cardigans and sweaters are something my closet is hugely lacking in, which is a huge pain during spring. I always end up struggling with choosing between being cold or having to wear outer layers that don’t really match my outfit, and while the type of weather that calls for that kind of transition never lasts long and I always just scrape by, it really is an easy fix. I’ve already gotten the chance to try out this little sweater jacket once and I’m all about it — it’s casual and classic, super cozy and will go with just about any simple outfit I have stashed away in my closet.

Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion

I’m absolutely in love with this serum. I know I haven’t been using it for that long, but I’m absolutely adding it into my regular routine — even after I use this bottle up. First of all, I’ve already discussed in many previous posts all the benefits collagen offers. I know I’ve shared before all about how much I love Tarte’s Rainforest Of The Sea Collagen Super Serum, and I’d still vouch for it as a product. However, I find the cream-formulation of this serum so be a lot less messy to apply, and it doesn’t leave behind any sort of residue on my skin. Also, the smell of this stuff is just unreal — I’d love to have a candle with the same scent because I really just love it that much.

Wei Two-In-One Purify and Glow Mask Collection

I’ve been trying to use this quarantine time to work through a bunch of face mask samples I have to help refine my collection to products that really benefit my skin the most. While there’s certain masks in my collection that I’m certain are here to stay — such as Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Mask and Fresh’s Instant Perfecting Mask, there’s others that I feel may not be the best suited for my skin compared to newer options, plus I just like to switch it up and see what’s out there. While I haven’t tried out the exfoliating masks in this little package just yet, I can already say I’m definitely repurchasing the golden root clay mask.

This mask left me feeling like I had a whole new face. Even for someone who spends a lot (maybe even too much?) time on skincare, I had never seen my skin looking as good as I had after this mask. The mask itself is so soft and feels lovely to apply (especially with the little brush they include with it) and the deep-cleansing results are immediately visible. If you’re looking for a solid clay mask to add to your collection, I’d highly recommend trying this one out.

Jabonería Marianella Imperial Jade Body Oil

I’m really happy I received this product in my box as it’s definitely something I would have never tried normally. Body oils are something I’ve kind of kept a distance from in the past as they have a tendency to be messy and if they don’t absorb well, will leave your clothes/bed sheets/life oily and stained too. However, this oil is thick enough that it’s easy to apply without worrying about making a massive mess. Not only that, but it absorbs quickly enough you can apply it in the morning and not worry about ruining your clothes, which is amazing. This oil is perfect for mornings, too, because the scent is a) so heavenly and b) really helps wake me up and help me feel energized after I apply it. (Plus, it’s packed with all kinds of vitamins that keep your skin glowing and healthy!).

AG Hair Fast Food Leave-On Conditioner

This is the only product I’ve received in my box I haven’t had a chance to try out yet, but I’ll be sure to report back once I have the chance. I love that FabFitFun often throws in products like this, though, since I’m definitely not as knowledgeable about hair care as I am about skincare and makeup. FabFitFun really has introduced me to SO many of my favourite products/brands over the years, and many of my all-time favourites have been hair care products. Items such as Aveda’s Damage Remedy, DryBar’s Prep Rally, and of course, the entire brand of Ouai, have all remained in my full-time rotation since I first received them. So I’m not worried, I’m sure this product wont disappoint.

This Works Deep Sleep Body Cocoon

FabFitFun has gifted me many of my favourite body moisturizers over the years, and this one is no exception. My favourite types of moisturizers are the kind that are light-weight and absorb quickly, because I hate that lingering feeling so many creams have that you can feel on your skin for ages after you apply it. This cream is both fantastic and lightweight, but the smell really does help me feel relaxed and ready for bed after I apply it. It’s formulated specifically with shea butter, Lavender, Vertivert and Camomile essential oils, and Crambe and Camelina sativa oils to help soothe your body and protect skin from aging. It’s super soothing and I just love adding it into my nighttime ritual, it’s the kind of thing that helps me fully unwind and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

Chic & Tonic Silicone Straws

I am OBSESSED with these. First of all — look at how cute they are. But past that, I’ve really been struggling to find the perfect balance when it comes to not using plastic straws. Metal straws are challenging to carry around, and the silicone-metal hybrid one I had purchased I found challenging to clean and store. Paper straws are kind of gross, too, so I usually end up just drinking directly from the glass (which I kind of hate — maybe it’s just because I’m a klutz, but I always end up spilling drinks with ice all over me when I drink them directly from the glass). Anyways, not only are these straws eco-friendly and adorable, they fold up for easy storage (and they even come with a carrying case) and I personally find them easier to clean than metal straws. So, basically, me and my accident-prone self’s life just got a lot easier.

Avène Thermal Spring Water

I’ve always been curious about this type of product after seeing the Evian version available in Sephora for years, but I’ve never actually made the leap to try it. When I was reading the instructions for this product, I was blown away by how many uses it actually had. Previously, I never saw the point in purchasing “just water”, but the uses of this product range from makeup remover, to sunburn care, to soothing aftershave (and even more, I honestly can’t list them all). As well, this water has been purified and can help to soften skin and doesn’t include any irritants. As someone who’s morning skincare routine consists of a gentle water wash as the first step, I’ve been loving this product for that — but I can’t wait to test it out for more of it’s many uses in the future.

Add On: Calpack Packing Cubes in “Sorbet”

As an avid traveller, one of my biggest pet peeves about packing is how disorganized my suitcase looks after flying — it really doesn’t matter how much effort you put into packing everything as neatly as possible before you fly, by the time you land everything just ends up being a jumbled mess. When I saw these packing cubes as an option, I knew I needed to add them on to my order. While I don’t have any travel plans in the immediate future, the idea of being able to keep my clothes separate and neatly folded already has me excited for my next trip.

And that’s it for my spring box! I’m already obsessing over SO many of the items I’ve received, and I don’t even feel that I’ve gotten the chance to really see how amazing they are in the long run. Everything in this box is not only useful but universal, so while I know I’m definitely going to get use out of everything, I have a hard time seeing how anyone could ever struggle to find use for their items. While I am a little sad I now have to wait a whole three months for my next box, I love the seasonal theme of FabFitFun — it really helps to ring in each season, and it’s always worth the wait!

If you’re still hoping to get a spring box of your own, there’s still time! Don’t forget to click here and get your box discounted with the code SPRINGLOVE — if you were already considering it, the discount is just a bonus!

I hope everyone’s holding up okay while social distancing! The best thing to do right now is keep productive, calm and find little things to look forward to or make you happy. If you need some extra ideas, you can always check out my fifteen tips to get through social distancing — but also just keep in mind to take everything one day at a time and to do your best to stay positive. The more seriously we take this now, the sooner it will all blow over anyway!

Much love, and happy spring!

Xo,

Meredith