Our mindset makes a huge impact on our approach to what otherwise might seem mundane, but necessary. Think about your daily or weekly to-dos at home; which ones are the most frequent and which seem the most tedious (at the moment)?
The contents of our lives may be different but there are some tasks that just need to be taken care of whether we like it or not. However you choose to pace them is up to you, but a little tip – when you remember their purpose and benefits, they’re not half as tedious as they seem to be on the surface.
They all take time, but our approach to them can help time to stretch or zoom by, and each of them comes with perks we might not recognize at first.
Here are 10 activities you can do at home to promote patience and proactivity, for those days or seasons when your work-from-home journey could do with some refreshing.
These activities shared here don’t ‘make us happy or fulfilled,’ but our approach to them can help us become more thankful in everyday moments, complain less, be more refreshed, patient and proactive.
When paired with de-cluttering, this one makes a bright difference to the home while you’re in it and when you return to it after any outdoor errands. Depending on how intense your cleaning regime is, things like sweeping, mopping, dusting, discarding and scrubbing can be an informal exercise session with benefits that include a refreshed, sweet-smelling home and a satisfied you.
one of those home chores that are always on repeat. You wear, you wash it. Wear it again – wash it again. You’re right – a load (or multiple loads) of dirty laundry isn’t exactly the most inviting scene to slow-mo-run-with-a-smile to.
It’s the small moments in between the general task that lightens the overall load.
When I was living that washer-with-dryer life, the sweet part was the aroma and warmth of fresh towels and soft fabrics.
Now, it’s the fresh air that comes with setting the clothes out on the line, the intermittent birdsongs, bright sky above, and the mangoes that I often discover in the nearby tree. That, plus watching my two jack russells thoroughly enjoy playtime and the idea of having clean clothes to wear are bonuses of a task that could otherwise seem tedious with a capital ‘T.’
Fresh air, creation, stretching, and exercise wrapped up in one activity that can result in growing plants, flowers, seasonings and food while brightening the ambience around your home. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming and you don’t need to have a full-fledge farm to grow food well.
Your garden can start as a few plants sprouting roots in water bottles on a kitchen window sill, a balcony of growing greenery, small pots of fragrant herbs (like rosemary or basil) on your desk or in your home office/studio, a palette garden in the back yard or plot of land dedicated to growing different types of food.
Not only are your arms likely to become lean and defined, but you’ll be growing food and saving on some groceries at the same time. This was my experience while living on a farm in the countryside for a number of years.
It’s also a beautiful thing to watch plants grow from seeds and cuttings, with water, sunlight, time and care.
The cool thing about this is, you can include some of what you grow into the meals you make. Yes, cooking takes time but it can also afford you time to refresh your thoughts, enjoy light music, listen to that podcast episode you opened in a tab but haven’t gotten around to yet, watch a YouTube video while something’s on the stove, and get more ‘au fait’ with the cosiness of a kitchen. This point fuses nicely with the next one.
- Making Something/creating
What’s your thing? Into writing? Sewing? Painting? Digital Drawing? Whether it’s a gift you’re already nurturing or a skill you’d like to develop, being creative by working on a project is a productive way to make use of time while producing tangible evidence and something to work towards in steps.
The Word, a blog, a paper, magazine article, a reference book, a novel, the news on or offline, the ingredients listed on a product, an infographic – something. Getting those mind wheels turning, brain learning and thoughts circulating all help with communicating.
Little note: When you read (and write) something, it embeds itself into the memory, so be aware of what you read. Still, reading, in general, will help your grammar and writing.
- Stretches & Exercise
Since we’re talking about home-based activities in this post, this can look like a daily workout regime at least 3 days a week, time on the treadmill or stationary bike is that’s your kind of thing, and the stretches can be included in house cleaning and gardening time.
I recently shared part of my current fitness regime in this post right here which is a fusion of outdoor exercise and at-home workouts.
Find out what works best for you. I’m not a personal trainer or a fitness pro but it’s common knowledge that deep breathing, stretching and a certain degree of movement are helpful for both physical and mental well-being.
- Skin & Hair-Care
Skin-care is more than just splashing a handful of tap water on ya face, a l’il travel-sized lotion and starting the day. While my skin-care regime is likely to be a lot different than yours (any sand-scrubbers out there?) and not as meticulous as many vloggers’, I think we can all agree that taking care of our skin is important.
Whatever your regime is, and whether you have a morning and evening one, let’s see it not as something tedious to do but something essential to tend to.
For naturally curly girls like myself, hair-care is either a breeze when your hair is in twists or plaits for a few days, or an intense operation outfitted with oils, deep conditioning ingredients, natural teas and an invisible ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door so you can focus on detangling, moisturizing and styling without interruptions.
I’ve come to appreciate this task on my tending list, after having locs’ for more than ten years and not ‘having to think much’ about regular maintenance, styling and after-beach treatment. This newfound girly-girl hair-care time comes with results seen in increments and is a consistent reminder of the value in slowing down for a purpose.
- Home Decor
Sprucing up your space can raise your gratitude level for the gift of having a place to call home. It can also make you feel like a welcome visitor at first or contented host (even when no one might be coming over.)
Things like shifting furniture to create ‘more space,’ de-cluttering your desk, re-painting that wall or those kitchen cupboards, adding a cushy rug under or a ‘throw’ over the sofa, building a bouquet from flowers nearby and setting on a table as an accent in a couple rooms – all those things can brighten and decorate a space in a welcoming way.
Can I share something with you? I wasn’t sure at first if to go ahead and add this one, but here goes (and here’s why.) Busyness can be a type of ‘sickness’ or at the very least, a distraction when it isn’t directly related to work, family structure or a demanding season in life.
Did you know that someone people can but don’t know how to slow down, even when nothing is immediately pressing and their life is hollering out for a breather? Are you aware that some fear pockets of silence, still moments and holidays?
Rest and relaxation can be the toughest thing for the busy (this was a struggle for me at one point) but on the other hand, anxiety can throw a hammer in the wheel of creativity, restlessness can rob peace, panic can stamp on the feet of inspiration and an obsessive drive can sabotage friendship.
Many boast about being busy, as if life is only meaningful when the full weight of your foot is pressed onto the gas pedal.
Oceans of compassion to those struggling with pace (whether physically rushing or mentally processing.) Let me clarify and share here that I wasn’t always like this, and neither was life.
There have been intense seasons designed to exhilarate, exhaust, and exterminate and pockets of unwanted and unexpected drama that compel me to speak about the importance of content, gratitude and kindness in all seasons.
I’m a work in progress but this much I know – you matter and life is about much more than a career, material possessions, connections, and accolades.
Thanks for taking the time to read, and feel free to share this post with people you care about.
From the list of 10, which one will you start adding some refreshment to?