Benefits of exercise

Hello 👋

How are you doing today?

I hope you’re eating healthy and exercising, because I’m not!

Well, not consistently anyway.

It has been my goal since forever to exercise daily. The last time I had that goal accomplished was 6 months after I delivered my son, for 6 months I exercised an hour a day until I lost all the baby fat.

Now my son is 5 years old and my weight still fluctuates. I’m not overweight, but I’m definitely not fit. I feel like an 80 year old. Things like standing and sitting exhaust me, and I’m always tired.

I know why this is happening. I don’t eat breakfast, I don’t sleep well, and I don’t exercise daily. It’s not like I intentionally try to sabotage my life and be like this, but consistency is something I have always struggled with.

I get excited when I download a new workout app and then I get overwhelmed, lazy, busy, tired, or forget after a few days. I try to hold myself accountable by telling someone to remind me to workout but then they either don’t remind me, or they’d remind me when I’m busy.

So I came up with an idea. I need someone to follow me around the house, prepare healthy snacks for me and hand them to me, create a workout routine for me and do it with me, and then take my phone away at 10pm so I can sleep early.

Well since that’s not practical, I came up with another idea. To blog about it. Maybe if I reminded myself and others of the benefits of exercising, then I’d exercise more.

Going to the gym and for walks are currently not an option for me so I need to find a way to exercise every day at home until it becomes a habit.

Also, I ate a peach yesterday so I’m rocking it in the health department 😎 I’m pretty proud of myself right now for that.

So what are the health benefits of exercise?

  • Helps you control your weight. Like I said, I’m not overweight but my weight does still go up and down, which isn’t very good.
  • Reduces your risk of heart diseases. I already have a few health problems which, ironically, the doctors said I must eat healthy and exercise daily to avoid the long term complications of these problems but do I listen? No. I’m trying. I need to try harder.
  • Helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels. Another one of those complications. I’m supposed to be on a diabetic diet. Ha. I wish.
  • Helps you quit smoking. I don’t smoke but for those trying to quit, exercise!
  • Improves your mental health and mood. It’s true. Sometimes, when I’m having an anxiety attack, exercising stops the attack.
  • Helps keep your thinking, learning, and judgment skills sharp as you age.
  • It Is Good for Your Muscles and Bones.
  • It Can Increase Your Energy Levels. My main reason for wanting to exercise daily.
  • It Can Help Skin Health. Healthy skin is a combination of healthy eating, regular exercise, and finding the right lotion.
  • It Can Help With Relaxation and Sleep Quality. So healthy eating, regular exercise, and sleep are all interconnected. They’re a cycle that feed on eachother.

How much exercise is enough exercise?


Moderately strenuous
exercise, about 30 minutes a day, can lead to enormous benefits in terms of your mood, health, weight and the ability to live an independent and fulfilling life. The exercise doesn’t need to be athletic or difficult. My goal is 8 minutes a day but 30 minutes is definitely better.

I’m 55% exercising, meaning approximately 3 times a week

What happens if you don’t exercise?

Your muscles weaken. You will become more breathless as you do less activity. If you continue to be inactive you will feel worse, need more help and eventually even simple daily tasks will be difficult. Yep, pretty much.

What happens to your body when you start exercising regularly?

Regular exercise can have a profoundly positive impact on depression, anxiety, ADHD, and more. It also relieves stress, improves memory, helps you sleep better, and boosts your overall mood.

When should you consult your doctor before you exercise?

  • You have heart disease.
  • You have type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
  • You have kidney disease.
  • You have arthritis.
  • You’re being treated for cancer, or you’ve recently completed cancer treatment.
  • You have high blood pressure.

Is walking enough?

If you can walk independently and maintain a speed of 4-6km/h for half an hour per day, then walking is sufficient exercise. Walking needs to sustain your interest in the long term. Walking can protect against chronic diseases, and there is less risk of injury compared to other forms of exercise.

What happens when you eat healthy but don’t exercise?

You will lose weight if you eat a low-calorie diet in which you burn off more calories than you take in. Adding physical activity allows you to burn more calories than dieting alone.

Is it bad to exercise at night?

Traditionally, experts have recommended not exercising at night as part of good sleep hygiene. A study, published Oct. 29, 2018, in Sports Medicine, suggests that you can exercise in the evening as long as you avoid vigorous activity for at least one hour before bedtime.

Do you exercise regularly?

5 ways to be more productive during quarantine

I’ve been talking to friends and family during this quarantine, not that much because I’m an introvert so I don’t socialise much or maybe not that I don’t socialise much. I do socialise but I need my me time and I’m not being able to have much me time because my son is home.

Anyway, the people that I have been talking to were telling me how they have been spending their time, and of course, mom’s are spending most of their time with their kids and it’s important to use this time with your kids to do something productive but at the same time just let them play and make them feel less alone and more loved.

As for me, the activities that I do with my son vary depending on my energy and my mood and depending on his energy and his mood. Lately, I was playing “I spy” with him. It’s a very nice game that requires no tools because we have a lot of colouring books and art supplies and activity books so we’ve been doing a lot of coloring and activity books, but it gets boring after a while and so we’re looking for other activities to do.
Wait. This isn’t what the blog post is about. This blog post is not just for Mom’s. However, I will include a page of 100 activities to do with your kids indoors for my fellow moms (some of them apply to non moms as well, such as playing board games).

As for the rest of you and us moms as adults, we need to be productive as adults besides spending time with our kids and there are several ways to do so.

I’ve been talking to some people who are spending their time watching TV shows, and as much as I recommend binge watching your favourite TV show, I also feel like it’s a huge dopamine boost that when you’re done watching will fall and you will feel depressed probably. I don’t recommend watching all the time. I can’t tell you what you should or shouldn’t do but what I recommend is to do other things that will help you feel productive and help you feel less lonely and depressed.

It can be really depressing, being in quarantine, being trapped and not being able to go outside. I mean, part of taking care of your mental health it’s important to connect with nature, to go outside, to socialize and all these things many people are not being able to do them and so online socialising is a very good idea to take care of your mental health but again that’s not what this blog is about.

This blog is about productivity, so here are 5 ways to be more productive during quarantine:

1. Create a morning and evening routine, if you don’t already have one. Routines help us feel stable, and also boost productivity. When you have a productive morning routine, you get more things done and avoid procrastination. Example of a morning and evening routine:

2. Get moving! Whether you are able to go out for a run while practicing social distancing, or you’re on lockdown and have to exercise from home, just do it. If you have a treadmill, go on it. If you don’t have any equipment, watch a YouTube workout video or follow the exercises of an app. The workout app i use is called 7M women and has a variety of workouts for everyone.

3. Clean, tidy or organize your house. You know the loads of laundry you’ve been procrastinating? Do them. If you need to organize your bookshelf or closet or pantry, do it. Actually, with spring here, this is the perfect time to spring clean, remove the carpets, and put the winter clothes away. As for Australians, winter is coming, so you might want to do the opposite.

4. Read and/or write. If you don’t have a reading list, make one. Write down which books you want to read this year and start reading. If you have books at home, or ebooks on your phone or laptop, start reading them. Also, if you’re interested, you can read my books on Amazon. The links are all here, in ebook and paperback. Sadly, due to the virus, Amazon is currently not shipping paperbacks to Lebanon, and kindle ebooks are not available in any of the Arab world countries for some reason.

5. Dress well. Just because you are stuck at home, it doesn’t mean you can’t look good doing it. If you’re working from home, dress as if you’re going to work. It’ll make you feel better and help you be more productive at work. If you’re not working, still dress up, wear makeup, shower daily if you can so you can look good and smell good. The better you feel, the more productive you will be.

These are the main tips i have for being more productive. I wrote this because I needed it. I’ve been feeling very lazy lately, except for reading and writing, so i will start making these changes in order to be more productive.

Will you?

Healthy tips for a more productive energetic you

Tip #1

Drink a glass of water as soon as you wake up. Yes, BEFORE coffee. If you feel thirsty when you 1st wake up, then you’re already dehydrqted. Drink up!

Tip #2

Take your meds. If you have any medications or vitamins you must take regularly, don’t slack on them. There are certain heqlth condutions that will go out of control if you don’t take your medications properly.

Tip #3

Exercise in the morning, before breakfast. A light to moderate excercise gets your blood flowing and makes you more energetic. You feel too lazy or tired to do it, but try eating a banana or a few dates with your tea or coffee, then get moving. Listen to music or a podcast while you exercise if you’re not really feeling it.

Tip #4

Eat a healthy breakfast. A breakfast rich in carbs will give you energy for up to 2 hours, and then you will crash and burn. Try to integrate protein and fiber into your diet. Example of a healthy breakfast: eggs with cucumber and tomato.

Tip #5

Don’t scroll social media for the 1st hour after you wake up. It’s okay to go on your phone to read or do something productive, but one thing I’m working on is to not scroll on instagram at night or early morning.

What are your healthy tips to be more productive and energetic?

When the night falls…

So a while ago, i wrote a post about Morning routines https://stayathomemom495.wordpress.com/2019/12/05/mornings-are-for-productivity/, and i thought that naturally, Nighttime routines would follow, but it didn’t.
Why?
Because i don’t really have a fixed nighttime routine. Maybe that is why i have trouble sleeping at night. I mean, i know the main 3 rules for a good night’s sleep:

1. No food 3 hours before bed.
2. No screens 2 hours before bed.
3. No caffeine after 4pm.

I mostly follow the 3rd rule, I sometimes follow the 1st rule but never follow the 2nd rule. Recently, i have been trying to cut down my screentime in general, and it has helped me go to bed earlier. I used to go to bed between 11pm and midnight, but now i’m in bed between 9:30pm and 10:30pm.

In order to get a better look at what i normally do at night before i sleep, i wrote down what i did and at what time yesterday and today. What i noticed was there were a few things in common:

6pm It’s dinner time for my son (sometimes i eat dinner with him too) *to avoid confusion, lunch and dinner are switched in the Middle East, so the cooked meal is at lunch and a light sandwich is for dinner for example*

6:30pm We do some sort of quality time activity together. Yesterday we played Uno. Today we traced, colored and cut on cardboard

7pm I announce bedtime, which either results in hyperactivity or whining

The timing after this is not constant but approximate, because my son sleeps at a different time every night.

Sometimes my son lies on the couch until he feels sleepy enough to lie down in bed,or he would play with his toys until he feels ready to sleep, but sometimes he falls asleep on the couch like he did yesterday and i get to skip the whole bedtime routine. And yes he brushes his teeth before bed, sometimes 😳 Sometimes he stays up until 9 or 10pm, in which case i read a book until he is sleepy enough for me to lie down next to him until he falls asleep.

If you’re wondering about the bath, i do bathe him twice a week in winter but yesterday and today were not bath days. In summer i bathe him daily. And mind you, i’m talking about week nights/ school nights, he stays up until 11pm on weekends, sometimes midnight.

8pm I make green tea and either read a book like i did today or watch a dvd like i did yesterday

9pm Quality time with my husband, kind of. For example, i read while i sat next to him yesterday. Today i showered and then sat next to my husband and read a book (i also shower twice a week in winter and daily in summer)

9:30-10pm Go to bed, scroll on social media, possibly write a blog post

11pm-midnight Five trips to the bathroom and three prayers later, i fall asleep

6am Wake up (i wake up throughout the night 2 or 3 times too. I get nightmares)

What I am working on

I came across this on instagram, and it got me thinking. I often make to do lists, and this year i decided to make monthly goals instead of yearly goals. Things that i can track my progress in. For example: exercise daily for 5 minutes at least. If i do it, i tick ☑️ and if I don’t, I tick ❎

There are some goals however, that can’t be measured. In a previous blog https://stayathomemom495.wordpress.com/2019/12/27/my-main-goal-for-2020/, I talked about how my New Years Resolution was to live more wholeheartedly, and i explained that instead of being a S. M. A. R. T. Goal like exercising daily, it was a H. E. A. R. T. Goal. So i decided to write down the things i’m working on, in terms of what i’m trying to do less of. It’s not exactly measurable, but i need to be conscious when I am doing these things in order to minimize them.

So here it goes…

What I am working on (trying to do less of) :

  • My temper:
  • I have always been a hot head. I may not seem that way if you just met me. I may seem shy, calm and collected, but there is a volcano 🌋 brewing underneath. I get irritated/angered very easily, and some people take advantage of that and make it their goal to get me to explode. My goal is to get to the point where I am no longer phased when people try to get under my skin. It may take years of practice, and I don’t have a clear idea of how to get there, but i have to keep reminding myself that their behavior says everything about them and nothing about me and that reacting with anger will not stop their behavior but rather will make them feel like they succeeded in controlling my feelings.
  • My fear of failure:
  • Everybody is afraid of failure to a certain extent. Nobody wants to experience the downside of failure but everyone wants to reap the benefits of success. Success and failure both have pros and cons. With success, comes a new set of responsibilities, and some people fear success. But failure is an important step on the way to success, because if you don’t fail, you won’t know what NOT to do. For me, my fear of failure is debilitating sometimes. I’d like to blame it on my anxiety, but i’m not sure anxiety is 💯 the one to blame. I fear failure and loss and rejection to the extent that many times I won’t even try. I stay in my comfort zone because it is familiar. I go back to old habits because they feel safe. So my goal is to keep going despite my fear, and maybe along the way, my fear will disappear.
  • Stress/bored eating:
  • When i am hungry, i don’t eat much. However, everytime i am upset about a certain situation i’m in or a certain someone who got on my nerves, my mind immediately craves sugar, junk food, carbs, and i get this urge that doesn’t go away until i eat said craved foods. The problem is, after eating them, i get bloated and have a sugar rush and i feel horrible. Filled with regret, i promise not to stress eat, until i do it again. My goal is to reach for a fruit when i really want a chocolate bar. I did that last night. I felt i really needed chocolate and instead, i ate an apple and 2 tangerines and not only because i had already eaten my stash of chocolate and my sons as well (we still have chocolate in the freezer) but because i exercised will power. So my goal is to do what i did last night more often.
  • Laziness to exercise:
  • It’s too cold. I have housework. I’m too tired. My son is home and will climb on me if i exercise now. I don’t feel like it. I don’t want to sweat. It’s too hot. I’m too busy. All these are excuses. I know if i organize my time wisely, i will be able to squeeze time for exercise everyday, and not just for 5 minutes, but for 20 minutes. It’s just that i don’t like to exercise alone and it’s too cold to walk to the gym (see? Another excuse). Now that i recognize my excuses, my next goal is to ignore them and exercise anyway.
  • Being on my phone too much:
  • Last year, i downloaded an application that tracked my phone usage. I was on my phone for 6 hours a day on average. I tried to minimize my phone time and i was able to get down to 3 or 4 hours a day, which is still a lot. This year, what with reading blogs and writing blogs, and doing God knows what (well mainly instagram and youtube) i still spend an average of 6 hours on my phone a day. I do challenges on my phone to decrease the usuage of certain applications, but i end up using other applications more out of boredom. So my goal is to put my phone away everytime i feel i’m wasting my time on it.
  • Forgetting basic hygiene:
  • I used to be very keen on showering, brushing my teeth and brushing my hair everyday. It’s true what they say, that when you become a mother, showering becomes a luxury. Some moms don’t mind showering while their kids bang on the door, but i like peace and quiet while i shower and my son cries if i even go to the bathroom so I usually wait for him to sleep but by the time he is asleep, i’m too tired to shower anymore. So my goal is to shower/brush my hair/brush my teeth more, even if i have a kid stuck to me like velcro.
  • Being social ONLY on social media:
  • There are people I know who barely touch their phones. My cousin checks her social media once in the morning and once at night. It used to irritate me when someones doesn’t reply to my texts immediately, until I started getting busy and i realized that more life equals less phone. People who are actually going and interacting with humans in real life don’t feel the need to reach out via whatsapp or instagram. Only reaching out to people via whatsapp rather than irl is something i’ve been doing more of lately. Even my blogs have become a means of communication. A friend of mine once asked me “How have you been?” and i simply replied “Read my blogs and you’ll find out”. My blogs are not supposed to be a diary. They are meant as a tool to motivate and inspire. So i definitely need to go out more and interact with people face to face rather than through texts.
  • Getting hung up on the past:
  • Depressing myself by remembering past events and reliving them over and over again is not a hobby of mine, but it is something i do often. I’d like to blame it on depression, but I don’t know why this happens to me. I’d be chilling and having a good time and suddenly I remember something that bothers me in the present (an unresolved problem that i am unable to change or fix) and before i know it, i’m in a blackhole of bad memories from 4 years ago that are not even related to my current issue but are somehow connected and i feel all the negative feelings of that event again and i feel so hopeless and miserable and i can even imagine a future argument i’m going to have about this event that happened 4 years ago (i’m not kidding, this literally happened to me yesterday).
  • Trying to control everything:
  • I try to control how my day goes and what i do when and it’s not because i’m a control freak. I mean, when i do housework, i do it my way and if my son wants to help, he must do it my way too, and i like to play board games by the rules and i don’t like it when my son is acting silly while we play monopoly, but that is normal, right? Right? The reason why I am so meticulous about the details is because i am unable to control anything in my life. The whole course of my life is beyond my control. Does that make any sense? Well, if you know, you know.
  • Overthinking everything:
  • When he said x, did he mean y? When she looked to the right,was she lying? When they asked me this question, were they asking because they care or were they just prying into my life? Stooooopppp. I swear I run my brain into overdrive from overthinking every word and gesture. Most of my blog posts are written at night while i’m in bed trying to sleep (like right now) because my brain goes a mile a minute and the only way to quiet the noise is to write things down and try to organize my thoughts and determine which ones are rational and which belong in the trash. Obviously, if i do this less, i may end up with less blog posts but more sleep, so maybe i’ll write a blog about the benefits of sleep if i ever experience having enough sleep.

There are other things i am working on like self loathing, impulsiveness, being too serious, complaining too much and others, but i won’t elaborate because 10 is long enough of a list already.

What is/are something/s you are working on?

Scutwork

I am a very inconsistent person and I think you can tell from my blogs. Sometimes I write every day, sometimes I write once every two days and at times every 3 days and in cases when i’m sick, once a week. It really affect my stats because the more consistently i write, the more my views increase. Anyway, writing blogs for me is not just about the stats. Of course, I get happy when I see that my stats are increasing but I also know when I’m pushing myself too hard and this week, the reason why I haven’t been writing is because I’ve been busy i’ve been going out more. Monday I went walking and i wrote a blog about it and that was it.

Tuesday I spent the day with my best friend and then there’s Wednesday and Thursday. The situation in Lebanon was a bit quiet for a while, or at least I thought it was quiet, and then things just exploded and things are getting really violent with the protests, so yesterday and today my son didn’t have school and I have a migraine to prove it.

I wanted to write something meaningful and wise. I’ve been reading a lot and I’ve been getting a lot of wisdom from my readings and the book that I’m currently reading is actually about the Civil War in Lebanon and the 2006 war in Lebanon and it’s about realising what’s important and living in the moment and appreciating your loved ones.

I stress so much about things like “I’m so behind on housework” and these things are very important actually because a clean home and a tidy environment create a clean and tidy mental space.

I wrote this long to do list today because I did not write a to do list yesterday and I felt so lost and out of balance and I just cried and so today I overwhelmed myself and I put 23 things on my list actually and then postponed three of them until tomorrow and so I have 20 things on my list and I’ve done 14 and and it’s 7:30 p.m. and the thing is; I had to keep on stopping because I had to spend time with my son which is something actually really important, more important than housework. It’s just, this dilemma that I have when I do housework while my son is at home: I had to give him screen time in order to be able to do housework and that makes me feel guilty and then when I am spending time with him and playing with him, which I just spent 90 minutes of quality time with him and yet my to-do list is nagging at me at the back of my head so i feel guilty for not being fully present with him and that’s just how I’ve been today.

I just told my son that I can’t colour with him because i have a migraine, which is true but also because I have a lot of things to do and I can’t just rest because my son is still awake (we both woke up 9am today so good luck to me to get him in bed before 10pm).

My son was actually coloring in front of me during the writing and editing of this blog post. He even gave me 3 stickers just now. Does that mean i’m still a good mom?

So the reason why I haven’t written in 3 days is because my mind has been all over the place and I haven’t had much time to just sit and write and I’m getting migraines everyday even though I went out three times this week but my head feels very heavy.

I don’t know how to explain but do you ever feel like you’re just going by your days doing scutwork and nothing is meaningful and nothing matters because it can all go away any minute? That’s how I have been feeling so i apologise for not writing and hopefully soon I will write a blog post about co-sleeping (parents know what I’m talking about). I’m going to talk about my experience with co-sleeping and sleep training within 2 days hopefully so stay tuned.

I need to take a Time Management Course

How to manage your time effectively

Dear Working Moms: I don’t know how you do it! I am a stay at home mom and I have 1 kid and I have trouble managing my time effectively. Like for the past hour, I’ve been reading blog posts on WordPress and getting distracted by Instagram every 10-minutes when I have a lot of housework to do. My son (at 11am this morning) , on the contrary to his normal clinginess, has been playing independently for the past hour. So i had a chance to get housework done but I was like “this is my only chance to read, he doesn’t have school today so I need to read. Also, I have lots of videos on YouTube that I didn’t watch yet (motivational self improvement stuff) but I have housework to do and some writing work…”

A little glimpse inside my head at 11:30am this morning: “So many things to do and I have the time, it’s just I have trouble prioritising what I need most importantly to be done. I got so much reading to catch up on and there are so many blog posts that I have kept on saved because I haven’t had the time to read them. I know what I’m doing is wrong and I know that I’ve been reading for a while. I need to stop now and do something else. I need to do some housework because housework is my priority right now because when I was sick I was unable to do housework and when I got better I did some of the housework but I still haven’t done the bathrooms in more than 2 weeks so this is what I’m going to do. I feel like I really need to write a blog post right now but I’m going to stop and I will edit the blog post later ok but I know it’s about time management and I will take my socks off even though it’s cold and I’m going to clean the bathrooms. I know it’s the right thing to do. I did not make a to-do list today and this is what happens when I don’t make a to-do list. I feel very unorganised and I don’t know how to prioritise my time because I didn’t write a to-do list. So to-do list or not I’m going right now to post this blog so I could encourage myself to go and clean the bathrooms. I just have this fear that the moment I start cleaning the bathroom, my son’s going to stop playing independently and I’m not going to be able to do it so I’m going to do it right now.”

Fast forward to 2pm, let’s see what happened. I ended up cleaning 2 bathrooms out of 3 (i actually have 4 bathrooms but the 4th is a maid’s bathroom but i don’t have a maid so i clean the bathrooms we use) but the moment i started cleaning the 1st bathroom, my son’s spidey senses detected my movements and stopped playing and just sat in front of the bathroom asking occasionally if he can help with something. While i was cleaning the 2nd bathroom, my son started asking a million questions about my cleaning technique like “why are you using 2 different sponges?” and “why aren’t you cleaning the walls?” and then he started touching everything and i started yelling and then i’d hug him and apologize for yelling and at the end i decided it would be best if i cleaned the 3rd bathroom tomorrow while he is at school because at night i’d be too exhausted to do any housework.

Right now my son is wreaking havoc in the house while i write this, so i have got to go. I tried to give him as much attention as possible, as these past 2 hours were full of tantrums and crying. I don’t know if he is tired or sick or just trying to get my attention but i could really use some time management tips because i got none. I have made so many cleaning schedules but i can’t seem to follow them.

I made a to do list at 12pm and felt better immediately.

Here are some tips on time management that i found on pinterest. I hope it motives you and I to manage our time more effectively. Whether you are struggling with housework, exercising, spending more time with your kids, or all of the above (as in my case) i hope you find this blog post beneficial.

Thank you for reading.

Because i love you

I had a talk with my son tonight as i was putting him to sleep. Normally, i am very edgy by the time it is his bedtime, and i think it makes my 4 year old son feel hurt and unwanted, thus more clingy.

But tonight, tormented with guilt for only spending 5 minutes of one on one time with him yesterday and none today, i offered to read him a story.

I admit, i’m not consistent with bedtime routines for my son, sometimes i bathe him, sometimes i sing a song, or read a story or just leave him on the couch watching tv until he dozes off.

Tonight i bathed him, he brushed his teeth, and i read him 2 new stories. I’ve been downloading pdf stories for him lately, and he enjoys them more than real books. I guess he is not like me in that aspect.

Anyway, after reading him the story,
He told me “i was so happy when you played with the blocks with me today, do you remember?”
I said “that was yesterday. And i only played with you for 5 minutes. Today i didn’t play with you at all“.
Wanting desperately to make him happy, though he seemed content enough cuddling with me, i asked him “why didn’t you want to play uno with me today or yesterday?”

He said “because i don’t like uno, or monopoly or snakes and ladders. I only play them with you because you like them
My heart melted right then, and i said “what do you like to play with me?”

He said “i like to color with you and play with blocks
I said “why didn’t you tell me? I want to know what you like so that i can make you happy
Do you know what he answered? “i already know what you like. You like flowers, butterflies, the color purple, watching youtube videos, and reading

Yep. That pretty much sums it up. I’ve been absorbed in a new novel for the past 2 days that i didn’t notice i wasn’t giving him much attention.
Anyway, i answered “and i know what you like. You like animals and dragons and dinosaurs and the color orange
He said “yes
I asked “do you like to read?
He said “no

Oh well, at least he likes to play educational games, which he did today instead of watching cartoons.
I asked my final question, the one that haunts me day and night “do you think im a good mom?
He said “yes
I said “why?

He said “because inti habibi” (which is arabic for i love you)
I said “and i think you are the best son in the world

He made my day.

All the exhaustion and guilt and exhasperation that comes with parenting.

It’s moments like these that make all my insecurities shrivel in comparison to the swelling of my heart.

Mornings are for productivity

Do you have a morning routine? It is one of my goals to have one. Unfortunately, being consistent is not my strong suit, but i’m working on it.
Here is a list of morning routines that ensure productivity. There are things on this list i always do, things i sometimes do, and things i aim to do. Without further due, here you go:

Top 7 ways to get more productive and less stressed in the morning:

1. Wake up early:

When my son has school, i usually wake up at dawn and stay up. In the rare occasions when i go back to sleep, i’m usually so tired i snooze my alarms or remove them without realizing. Next thing i know, i slept in and i have to hurry to get my sons lunch box ready and to get myself and my son dressed, which creates a lot of fuss and tantrums from the both of us. Meanwhile, when i stay up after dawn, i can get everything ready calmly and wake up my son early enough to arrive at his school early, and usually with little to no tantrums.

2. Coffee:

Usually, the 1st thing i do when i wake up is make coffee ☕ It wakes me up and it is the routine of making the coffee that gets my mind rolling as it realizes i’m up and i need to move faster than a snail. On those rare occassions where i don’t get my coffee in, i’m usually grumpy and slow. You can even see it in my face when i haven’t had my caffeine. I know not everyone is a coffee person, so drink whatever works for you. It could be tea 🍵 or milk 🥛 or water 💦 or orange juice 🥤 but there’ s something about getting liquids into your body as soon as you wake up that gets your gears moving.

3. Make a to do list:

Ok so i know this may not be for everyone, but for me, the days i make a to do list are usually more productive and fulfilling. Planning your day ahead helps you to know what to expect and how to better manage your time. After i drop my son off to school, i know i have 6 hours to get everything on my list done. I leave my afternoons and weekends list-free because they are usually as spontaneous as my son is. You don’t have to write a detailed list of what you’re going to do. You can choose 3 things that you need to accomplish and prioritize your time accordingly.

4. Read:

I’m guilty of sitting on my phone from the moment i wake up. The time i spend on my phone is something i’m trying to cut back on. Some days i spend 2 hours on my phone and other days, like yesterday, i spend 7 hours! It’s usually the days that i’m occupied with a book that i cut down on phone usage. I do read a lot on my phone, but then youtube, instagram and whatsapp distract me.

5. Exercise:

My goal for the past almost 4 years has been to exercise daily. The longest i’ve gone was a 1 month streak and the moment i announced my victory i fell into a setback. Currently, i’m 56% to my goal, meaning on average, i exercise every other day.

6. Podcasts:

This really helps when i’m feeling demotivated and i need to do something physical like exercise or housework. I listen to podcasts about productivity from Pick the brain podcast, and parenting podcasts and others.

7. Breakfast:

A healthy breakfast is very much recommended and something i sometimes do. When i do, though, i either eat eggs 🥚 or oatmeal 🥣 or peanut butter and honey 🍯 but i don’t do so until i’m done with exercise and/or housework.

These are the top tips i have for creating a productive morning routine. I hope they help. What are some things you do to have a productive morning?