So I don't know if it was Mercury in retrograde, hormones, a series of unfortunate events or what, but two weeks ago I was feeling seriously off. I'm kind of thinking it was a combo of Nos. 2 and 3, but whatever was going on was a doozy. Luckily, the weird mental haze lifted a few days later and I felt mostly back to normal, but also like I needed to think about the way I handle stress and let it affect me. So, thanks to a book I was flipping through at the time, I started thinking about my ideal day—what I would do (on the weekends and weekdays) if I stuck what is essentially my dream schedule. And then I started thinking about the ways I can incorporate some of those dream items into my actual life. Turns out, my dream schedule is actually pretty darn attainable, and that is awesome. (Now I just have to get myself to do the things on my lists, but motivation—or lack thereof—is a whoooole other post.)
Before I go farther, a disclaimer: I am aware that the off-weeks are going to happen from time to time (and sometimes more often than that), that they're unavoidable, that they're part of the fabric that makes us who we are. In fact, as much as I joke about living in the marshmallow, I wouldn't want to live in it 24/7 (who would?). And actually, I generally appreciate the down days (at least after the fact). There's always something that can be learned from them.
I am a big believer in trying new things and making space in our lives for activities and experiences that make us happy and fulfilled and more productive. Hence this list. Below you'll find my ideal weekday and weekend day, and I hope you'll share at least a few things you'd do on your ideal days, too.
My ideal work day*:
Wake up early. (I am bad at this, but I feel so much better when I do. Plus, waking up earlier allows me not only to exercise, but also to do my hair and makeup in a more leisurely manner, which means I don't run out of the house with wet hair slicked into a bun.)
Twenty-30 minutes of yoga or Pilates.
Make a fruit smoothie (I'm partial to this strawberry-coconut one).
Breakfast: Greek yogurt with honey and fresh sliced strawberries; chai tea with almond milk and agave nectar.
Home for lunch: Big salad ( (I love arugula, beets and goat cheese drizzled with olive oil) and a tear of crusty bread and cuddle time with my cats, or lunch with a friend (preferably here).
Work-work-work. Also, good conversation with my coworkers.
Gym after work, or—if I did Pilates that morning—50 minutes of yoga and weights.
Homemade dinner (ending with a little treat) followed by reading time and bed at a decent hour (like, before midnight).
My ideal weekend day*:
Sleep in. (God, I love sleeping in. Especially on my new mattress. And in my very scientific research, 10:30 is the best time to sleep until—it feels like a luxury, but you don't have the awful sleep hangover that can result if you snooze much past that.)
Big, homemade breakfast (pancakes, eggs, the works) eaten lazily on the couch.
A brisk bridge walk, followed by a trip to the farmer's market.
A little shopping.
Some down time, whether at home or outside. (I tend not to nap, but I'll take beach- or couch-time with a good book any day.)
A nice long shower before heading out with friends for a fun dinner and lots of wine.
*Please note that my cats and ACS are inherently included in most of these activities—or at least where applicable, ha.
How about you?
P.S. A really good post by the wonderful Holly about life and how we balance what we have going on at any given time.
P.P.S. More related recommended reading: "The Busy Trap." It's a good one, trust me.
Photo by Anna Ådén