A day in the life: Life after education

21 November 2022

These days, my daily routine from 9-4 looks a little different. And this routine is actually different every day but I have implemented some things that I can do daily to make me feel like I have a bit of structure. Here are the main things I plan in my day on an average Tuesday, I say Tuesday is the day that has the least plans every week, and I think that's by choice. 

1. Get up around 7:30-8:00am and practice yoga

I started doing yoga around the summer of 2020 and it's the only exercise I've ever stuck with, running is not for me! It is such a nice way to start my day, whilst I stretch my muscles and improve my strength at the same time. Some days I feel like I have the energy for a longer practice but most days, especially weekdays, I complete a 10 min body stretch. And with the bonus of using teachers on youtube, you don't have to leave the house or pay for a session in a yoga studio. 

2. Have some kind of breakfast, get ready, make my bed (it's a day game changer) and do a 30 min blitz around the house. 

I can never decide what meal of the day is my favourite but the process of making breakfast is one that I love. That makes it sound like I cook up something really fancy, I don't. It's normally a bowl of porridge or granola and maybe some cut up banana if I'm really pushing the boat out. However, when I go downstairs and practise yoga, followed by having my breakfast; it's time in the day when I don't have my phone in sight as I leave it upstairs. I have a love/hate relationship with my phone which is another blog post in itself but what I do love is finding times in the day when I'm really in the present moment. 

Most of the weekdays, unless my dad is off work, I spend alone so I'm learning to love my own company but what helps me a lot is listening to the radio, a personal favourite is Radio 1. Hearing other people talk and listening to music is a huge motivator in itself and it feels like I have some kind of company. 

Then come the boring, mundane tasks like getting ready, making my bed and completing some chores around the house that are so much easier to do when listening to the radio but also when ticking them off my mental to-do list, I feel like I can really start my day and the 'tidy room/house, tidy mind' quote couldn't be more true. 

3. Breathwork

This is a new one for me but genuinely one I will be adding to my routine for the foreseeable. Some people say you are either a tummy ache or a headache person, but I believe I am both. Not to be greedy! This year but especially during my a-levels and post a-levels, I struggle with tension headaches as a result of a busy brain that doesn't stop worrying and overthinking. With these things, it's hard not to focus on them and when you do, they get worse which can lead to further worry. My counsellor and my mum (definitely listen to your mum when she recommends something) both said I should start meditating or practice breathing at some point every day. It sounds a bit stupid when you put it like that as we breathe all the time but when prioritising time to learn the best ways of breathing, I learnt that the way you breathe changes your mind which can affect how you feel. After a week of the same tension headache that was so frustrating I didn't think it would ever leave me, I decided to finally give it a go and I'm so glad I did. I've never felt calmer than after a session of just focusing on my breathing as my mind can't drift onto anything else and with that, the headache gradually went. Breathing is so much more important than we think. 

@breathpod on Instagram for all your breathing exercise needs.

4. Fresh air 

I go out for a walk at different times every day, sometimes I go into town and make sure I include a walk past the sea in my route or it can be a walk up the fields for a break in my day to fully escape. It can be really hard to prioritise these kinds of things if the to-do list is overflowing and your mind is telling you to just get your head down and work through it, but walking and coming away from the 'mind buzz' is quite the opposite of being counterproductive. My head always feels so much clearer and more focused on the task I'm doing when I'm home. I use this time to catch up on some podcasts, listen to music or even just listen to nothing but the noises going on around me to process my thoughts and not overload my brain with any more content. 

5. A plan with a friend

On days when I'm not doing much, I try to organise something with one of my friends, not only because I want to see them but after spending a while on my own, I crave any human interaction. The radio can only give me so much company before I start to go crazy. I'm learning to enjoy my own company too as I take myself out and am on my own most of the day time in school hours whilst my family is working. However; a walk, a coffee date and a browse round charity shops are firm favourites when organising a plan with my friends. If this isn't possible, even interaction in shops, giving the awkward to smile to anyone you walk past or having a solo dance party also do increase the serotonin. 

6. Planning and writing

At the moment, the words aren't flowing as much as I would like so blog posts are coming few and far between but when they are, writing is a big part of my day. I spend a lot of time finding inspiration for things and topics to write about before actually putting the pen to paper, or fingers to my laptop keys in my case. Even if no one was to read the writing I put out on here, I still would do it because of the way I feel when I'm writing, a kind of cathartic emotion as the words from my brain are visible on a screen. With this being said, I don't like to spend too long looking at my laptop screen so I take breaks, leave it and come back to it or allow time allocated to writing on the days when I'm at home. 

7. Creating content for Instagram

This is also a recent one. I've previously delved into the editing world when creating Instagram reels a few years ago or in my media a-level coursework but I had always wanted to try out creating fashion reels. I started by seeking inspiration and then I just had a go, I was a bit scared as I have a desire for everything to be perfect first time round which is never the case but if you don't try out new things, then you'll never know the outcome. It turns out that I love the process of having an idea, planning and choosing the outfits to offer some style advice or outfit inspiration, filming the clips, editing it together and picking a song to go over the top is possibly the most important part of it all. I'm still very new and not posting them regularly yet but I love finding a new outlet for my creativity and this ticks all the boxes. 

The rest of my day when my family get back from work is different every day too, but I try to spend this time 'resting' and by that, I mean not ticking things off of a to-do list and instead, spending less time on my phone and being present. But you bet if I'm at home, I'm sat on the sofa ready for Strictly's It Takes Two at 6:30pm on the dot!

I think I need to mention that not every day am I motivated to do all of this, sometimes I have days where I just do one of them or have a few hours of watching something on my laptop and getting out on a walk is a big achievement. I'm still navigating this new chapter in my life and it's certainly a curve that goes up and down regularly, and the downs are normally when you think you're starting to get somewhere. There are so many things that I'm working towards in terms of goals, i.e getting a part time job is definitely high on the list but I didn't realise that would take some time. This part of my life is for working on myself and figuring out some kind of plan for the future, whatever that will be. 

Bethan xx

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