This is my last post of the year, and I cannot believe how short and long this year has been (all at the same time). If I think of December 2020, it feels like it was yesterday but when I pause and give this year a thought; it has had so many significant moments.
- I was forced to let go – I had to make many changes from my natural state of being, in the zest to do it all – I had ignored my own wellbeing. And this year since my mind did not take charge of the situation, my body did. I am just glad that it was a warning and not a point of no return.
- I got COVID and I gave COVID – I will forever remain guilty; it was an emotional decision to plan a visit “back home” during the pandemic. I was very careful; but I guess I was not careful enough. I also realized that “being privileged” and” contracting COVID” are absolutely unrelated.
- I got promoted – This was a significant career milestone, the one to be proud of! The joy was momentary, the responsibility is for forever. I underwent a range of emotions – from an unexpected state of happiness to experiencing the very famous imposter syndrome.
- I fell in love – all over again – with my family, with my friends and with all the little things I took for granted. I will never forget the moment when I took a walk after my isolation period, I saw the Kirche Elisabethen from a distance and I couldn’t hold back my tears. Freedom is extremely underrated.
- I overcame overwhelm – I recognized my triggers that have often led the path to overwhelm and stress; the #1 trigger was my inability to say NO – to people and to opportunities. It was uncomfortable, it made me uneasy, but it didn’t shake up the universe.
- I was diagnosed with burnout – Burnout can surface in several ways, sometimes you could spend a whole day in bed doing nothing and feeling pathetic or sometimes you could spend a whole day going about doing everything you are supposed to do, you could briefly even smile, and you could be surrounded by people. There is no set format, for me, it was the latter.
- I became choosy – of the people in my life, of the work I would invest my energy in, and of the things that gave me joy! And after doing this, I could let go of a lot….and it wasn’t that hard.
Just like 2021, life is pretty short and long at the same time. There is only so much time left and it’s important to make it count. Here are some of the things that I would like to take with me as I go ahead:
Even if life is short. 😊 I want to savor the moment(s) – my morning tea and the 2 biscuits that I eat with it, every time my daughter has the most fascinating story to tell or even if it is that one meaningful paragraph that I wrote. I am so tired of my full calendar; endless to-do lists and “FOMO” feels. I want to embrace JOMO now; I want to sit in a library and enjoy the stillness that gives birth to real productivity and I want to visit the best cafes in the world with my people.
Building a routine that works
In my experience, the thing that really works wonders is first and foremost having a routine and then having one that actually works for YOU. Social media is flooded with morning routines, night routines, daily routines, and more – but a routine is extremely personal. While seeking inspiration from content creators, coaches and colleagues could be the first step, however, using the same routine that works for someone else might not be the best choice for you. When you think about your daily routine, it needs to spark joy, it must be good for YOU, and it has to make you look forward to your day. When you are in control, you will make continuous adjustments to arrive at the routine that best works for you.
Here are some thoughts that could help:
- What’s your wake-up time and bedtime? Do you think you need to change this for a better life? – For example, I wake up at 6.30 AM every day and I try to go to bed by 10.30 PM. So, when I am invited to dinners and events which might run late, I politely decline. I might make some mindful exceptions to my routine, but these are rare occurrences.
- What does your morning look like vs. what you want it to look like? For me, I know that I am a morning person… I am most productive during the mornings and I am trying to be more mindful of the things I want to do during my golden hours. Use the most productive segment of your day wisely.
- What is your idea of neatness, cleanliness, and hygiene? Are you meeting your own standards? For instance, I cannot sit on my desk, if the house is not in order. This does not mean a deep clean on a daily basis, this only means – made beds, empty dishwasher, things being kept at their designated spots and clean kitchen counters. You decide what your MVP is. But these things can instill immediate calm to your mind.
- Do the tasks of your day tie back to your goals? Spend the time evaluating till it becomes natural to you, this is when you will know – what really needs you, what can be ignored, and what can be delegated. I used to overwhelm myself with my list, I still make a list…. but I no longer focus on things that bring me no satisfaction.
- What are you eating, how much are you drinking, what days will you go to gym? These basics should be on the top of your list, despite us knowing that without eating, drinking, and exercising we might not live a fulfilling life – these continue to remain the most ignored topics.
Showing up and staying consistent
Be it your personal life, your professional life, or your passion projects; you need to first show up, not once (or twice) but rather consistently. Not everything gives you a thrill on a daily basis. I love writing but there are times when I sit in front of a blank document for days and that’s ok. You will have off days and constant distractions, and you can make up for those off days by being mindful, through planning in advance, and instilling discipline.
Putting your oxygen mask first
It sounds easy but is mighty difficult. After becoming a parent, things changed a lot – I was no longer the person I used to be! And this is quite the norm, and after these many years and constant conditioning of never putting your own self first, this is probably the hardest thing for me. If you’re like me, take these tiny steps – voice out your preferences and opinions (even to your family, they’ll adapt), show your feelings (even if it’s not always going to be pretty, people will deal with it ), and don’t fear judgment.
My Swiss Story
I am making no promises, and I never make any resolutions but only reflections. 2021 was not the best year for My Swiss Story – the Body Positivity project was a movement that I started but I could not take it towards a conclusive end, we will re-initiate the topic again in the new year. We wrote over 120 articles on the blog this year on various topics, I made over 250 posts on Instagram and in retrospect, this makes me feel so full of gratitude. Many women were featured, many local businesses were highlighted, and I let go of brand collaborations this year. I let go of social media services completely and I let go of the pressure associated with being a content creator.
MSS is a passion project, maybe even more – I will never associate it with burden, stress, or burnout. Here are the links to our 5 surprising top articles from 2021 (as per # of hits):
- The Body Positivity Project
- Crash Landing on You Filming Locations in Switzerland
- 3 easy steps to your Indian Passport Renewal
- COVID vaccine: Are you prepped for the test of your life?
- My COVID story: Here’s what happened.
In 2022, we will start slow, but I will show up and remain consistent. 🙂 We will introduce “Coffee with a purpose” and participate in collaborations and projects that tie back to the vision of this platform. If you would like to be a part of my swiss story, fill the contact form below.
Thank you so much for reading; your support means a lot! Wishing you and your family a blessed holiday season!
See you in 2022!
To read posts from November, click here