Lately, I've noticed that "life routines" have been gaining steam on the internet. They are all over Pinterest, the "Successful Woman's Morning Routine", or "How I Routine My Night for My Best Sleep" posts. I've read through my fair share, wondering if the posts had any tricks that I myself might find useful. Some I definitely did, while other routines I found far too elaborate for my liking.
But reading through them did get me thinking. There are routines I do in my life that I know I won't regret, and there are some I know I need to start implementing.
As of writing this post, I'm twenty-four. But whether your age or gender, I know some of these will be helpful for anyone.
This, hands-down, is my most important routine at the moment. No matter how young or old you are, your skin type, how great your parents look at their age...everyone needs a skincare routine.
Your skin is the one thing you'll have throughout the entirety of your life. Hair falls out and regrows, your teeth can be fixed or altered with veneers. You can buy new clothes, and you can have your lips injected if you find them too small.
But you cannot replace your skin. (Unless, you're like, a burn victim. But I'm assuming most of you reading this are not).
It's of the utmost importance that, starting now, right now, you start caring for your skin. The younger you are, the better. I'd rather obsess over it now and thank myself later than grow old and look like a baseball mitt.
And don't use the excuse of any good skincare being pricey either. The majority of what I use is from the grocery or drug store. It may not come in pretty packaging but works just as well as, if not better, than the pricier stuff.
So wear your sunscreen, take off your makeup at night, and slather on your moisturizer.
Like I mentioned in the intro to this post, having a morning and nighttime routine has been growing in popularity. While it doesn't have to be planned out to the minute, knowing what you need to do and planning it out will save you time and stress.
So why not?
Getting up at the same time every morning, and going to sleep at the same time every night is good for you. Or at least, that's what I hear. I try my best to do this, especially because the earlier I go to sleep, the earlier I can wake up to get some writing in (read more about my writing routine here). If you don't write like me, you could use the time to exercise, or play with your dog, or put the night's dinner in the crockpot.
It's the same with nighttime. Plan your stuff out to where you're washing up before you're too tired to. Give yourself time to read in bed, or journal the past day's events.
You'll thank yourself the next day.
It doesn't have to be considered mundane or boring to do this. No matter whether or not people may think you're a bit obsessive, the benefits of having a semi-set schedule are too good to ignore.
A cooking "routine" may not make much sense, but hear me out on this. I've been living alone--well, with a roommate--for 5+ years now and meals are always what clean out my wallet. I'm not a huge fan of cooking, don't know many recipes, and despise going to the grocery store. These three things make the perfect storm that always ends with me eating out.
And that adds up to be hella expensive.
So lately I've tried finding recipes that are easy and have a good bit of the same ingredients. That way I don't have to learn or buy too much, and only have to make the occasional Target run. It's so much cheaper and so much healthier.
If what I used to do sounds anything like you, maybe you should try out the same thing.
One of the best things about being a twenty-something with your own place is that you don't have someone nagging at you to clean up. For most people, this ends up being a catalyst for a bedroom filled with dirty clothes and a shower covered in soap scum. You don't have to be a clean freak, but being hygienic is kind of a must. Except for, you know, if you never want people to want to come over ever again.
One of the best things to do to boost your cleaning is to make your bed every morning. You've probably seen this tip countless times, but take it from me, who does try to make her bed every morning and feels a significant difference. IT HELPS. Something about it makes you want the rest of your room to be just as tidy and making your bed only takes one minute from your day.
So just do it.
Managing my money better is one of my main goals for 2018. I have a whole post on my others here. When it comes to money and spending though, I haven't always been the best. Which is why I have a significant amount of debt to pay off (thank you, college).
But, like many other people my age, I support myself about 90%. I pay my own rent, my car & its insurance, my groceries and prescription medicines. I have expenses and I have bills, aside from also needing to make payments on my credit cards and student loans.
Which is why I have to keep my finances organized--a money "schedule" of sorts. Some people do this in their journals, others use a phone app, and some (like me) use Excel spreadsheets.
It's whatever is best for you to see your monthly expenses as compared to your income. Whatever method you use though, you need to have a method. Your money is the roof over your head, the food you eat, and the Netflix subscription that keeps you from going crazy.
It's important, okay?
I don't care how much of a homebody or introvert you think you are. You need human interaction, some form of it, at least once a day. Being cooped up in your bedroom alone may sound like the best time (at least for me, it does), but it can quickly deteriorate into you feeling alone and depressed.
Not only that, but person-to-person contact cannot be taken for granted. To keep your relationships, familial and friendly and romantic, you have to put time into them. Even if you're feeling lazy, calling your parents or meeting up with your best friend for coffee are things that, more often than not, you won't regret.
Your social health is just as important as mental and physical.
But spending time alone and pampering yourself is also necessary. Self-love is necessary for any person out there to live a happy life. You need to be able to enjoy alone time, even if that time only lasts fifteen minutes.
Doing something small every day or something big once a week, only for yourself, isn't a bad thing. Being selfless may seem like an entirely good thing, but can end up driving the most put-together person insane. Selflessness isn't always good, just like selfishness isn't always bad.
Being good to yourself will only make the good you give to others greater.
So take that bubble bath, eat those chocolates, or roll your windows down and drive that drive.
Do what you gotta do.
And that's that! Obviously one of the greatest things about life is the freedom to be spontaneous, and having routines for certain aspects of your life help with that. Being rigorous about things you need to do can help lead to more free time and less stress weighing you down. Which then leads to having more fun when it is time for fun.
Hopefully this helped some of you! If you have any other life routines people need to try, please leave them down in the comments. I'd love to see them :)