Happy new year everyone! Even though it’s 3 months into 2021, I wonder why it still feels like 2020. After reflecting my 2020, I wanted to share with you guys some of the things that has helped me go through uncertainty, as with in the year 2020.
*This post includes affiliated links from Amazon, where I will be earning a small percentage from.
1. Hair brush
One of the items that improved my life in 2020 is my Tangle Angel hair brush. As you have seen from my previous posts, I have had various hair changes this past year, which led to serious hair damage. I’ll be honest, but I have never really brushed my hair consistently, even when I bleached my hair a couple years ago.
I grew up with the idea that brushing hair too much is not good for the hair as it causes damage, in the sense that it pulls the hair out. But this time, I wanted to take better care of my hair since I want to keep my hair bleached, so I researched about various hair care habits. One of the first things that was available everywhere was brushing the hair. It seems that, brushing bleached hair, both when wet and dry is very important since it prevents bleached hair from getting tangled and breaking apart.
I also found that this Tangle Angel brush has been a popular brush in South Korea, known for being the best at detangling (it was recommended by Youtuber Sarang Choi). Of course I have heard of the tangle teezer, but also one of the reasons why I never really brushed my hair was because I did not have a proper brush that I enjoyed using.
Somehow there is a lack of information regarding Asian hair care in the US, and thus I have looked into more of the Korean information, which I trust more. And guess what? After it arrived, I have consistently been brushing my hair everyday (mostly). This brush makes my hair look and feel great, and it makes me want to keep brushing my hair. It’s amazing how important compatibility is in developing a new habit.
Especially during these uncertain times, I now realize how important having a routine is. As everything became online, my activities have all been focused at home, thus making it difficult to set boundaries as to my different activities. Skincare, hair care, and cleaning are the main routines that I am appreciating much more this past year. These make me feel better and greatly improves my well-being. Of course establishing a new routine is very difficult, I’m still having difficulties keeping my skincare, hair care and cleaning routine in check. But in a sense it gives me something to do, and I can definitely tell when something is missing. I am trying out a routine in which I only do academic tasks on the weekdays, and personal ones (including my creative projects) during the weekends.
3. Consistent bedtime / downtime
Sleep is one of the most underrated activity, especially in my life. Unfortunately, sleep has always been the first thing I sacrifice when it comes to school, social, club life and so on. But, this past year, I have been trying my best to maintain a consistent bedtime in which it is within the 12am range and waking up either at 8am or 7:40am. Of course this is such a difficult thing to do, but it highly improves my focus and health in the sense that it is something I put an effort in trying to ensure.
Thankfully, I use the Downtime feature on my iPhone that allows me to control my phone usage after certain hours, although recently I have found a way to go around it, but it does help to a certain extent. I also turn off notifications after hours, which creates an environment for me to naturally get bored and doze off to sleep. But of course, even if this were put in place, when I do get excited at night, it is impossible to bring myself to sleep, so I am trying my best to only do tasks requiring much brain power during the day and trying to watch something light-hearted during the night to help wind down (although of course I get distracted quite often).
4. Life Organization System
My life is very messy. I have a lot of stuff going on, family, social, school, club, blog, other projects and so on. And as I continue to add on more stuff to the list, I end up giving up on one or two things on my plate in order to make room for another.
One of the reasons for my poor life management is because I have never really set up a life organization system before. All I do is keep taking on responsibilities and giving up others and myself in order to maintain those responsibilities. But the reason why it became too much to handle in the first place is because I don’t even know what I signed up for. With the uncertainty going on, I had to really take a break and create some form of a life organization system in which I am separating personal, social, professional, creative life.
I have tried several ways to do this the past year, including bullet journalling. And what I’ve realized is that, I need different spaces for each. I’m now using my iPad Air for creating things such as cover letters and videos, while my laptop for researching and entertainment, and my phone for social activities. Of course there are some overlaps, but enabling this separation of space, allows me to organize better and become a little more productive.
I am also utilizing the Notion app, which gives me a platform to organize all my thoughts, ideas, and projects. Creating this system took quite some time, and of course it is still a work in progress, but it helps me to separate different aspects of my life and to establish those boundaries. It also highly increases productivity, since I make sure that my device does not have non-productive apps installed.
5. “One step at a time” mindset
Last but not least is the mindset of “one step at a time”. This is one that I have a difficult time applying, but has greatly improved my life. For the most part, I have this image of me as my goal, but I always get frustrated because it seems like I am unable to become that person which leads to an “I can’t do it” mindset. Thus, leading me away from the person I want to be.
One of the examples for this is with my hair. I experimented with my hair multiple times, and kept planning what my next hair will be, leading to hoarding multiple hair dyes. This led me to dislike my hair color the moment I dyed it into a new color and kept me away from enjoying the new look that I had achieved. Through 2020, I’m learning to be okay with sticking to one hair color, and I haven’t been bleaching my hair for a while, mainly because I am trying to become a responsible consumer by using up the products I got.
This year has been the year where I really am learning to step away from immediate change into gradual changes with slow but sure steps. Since it’s about the process, not about the end result.
New Year Resolution
Although I usually come up with a new year resolution, I never actually thought about one for this year. I only thought of it some time into the new year. Well, my new year resolution is to reduce overthinking. Basically, thinking less and just doing more. Hopefully this will be something I can maintain throughout the whole year. What are your new year resolutions?