It’s been a busy start to the year already. What with setting up the blog and starting a new vein in my career, self-employed, there’s been a lot going on. But there are some strategies that have been keeping me sane, that I thought would be worth sharing so you can organise your life too.
I think it’s important to realise how fast and repetitive life can sometimes be. Without variety and mindful actions, it’s easy to slip into autopilot. So having a day dedicated to doing things consciously will not only help you organise your life, but it will also help you take a more thoughtful, calm mindset into the rest of your days.
Today, we’re talking about what I’ve always called a GYST day, a term I believe was coined by YouTuber Kalyn Nicholson (her content is super motivational and down to earth and she’s a massive inspiration of mine, make sure to check her out). What do I mean GYST? Well…
What does GYST stand for?
Simply, ‘get your sh*t together’. A GYST day is one day (you could also adapt this to a morning or afternoon, of course) that you spend doing things to help you feel recharged, refreshed and ready for the upcoming days and weeks.
How to plan a GYST day
All week, I have a note open in my phone where I’ll note down anything that I need to do, that I know I won’t get to whilst surrounded by the chaos of work and daily routines. Then on a Sunday (my GYST day of choice) I’ll pull out that list and work through it, in addition to some regular habits, like meal prepping and (my very unimpressive) skincare routine.
You might be thinking – really? You spend your Sundays, the cosiest and most restful day of the week, GYST-ing? Yeah. 1) Because I tend to allocate Saturday as my lazy day. And 2) because I find some place of peace whilst I’m doing GYST-y things and doing them mindfully and consciously. Pattering round the house cleaning or cooking has always been a great alternative meditation for me. So, my GYST days are relaxing to me.
But enough about me, how can you organise your life by starting a GYST routine?
1. Get moody and establish your mindset
Step number one is to get into the right headspace. If you bring the whirlwind of thoughts and attitudes in from the week, you’ll rush through this process like any other to-do list item and that is directly opposite of our intention here. GYST days are there to organise your life, but more importantly, they’re about getting things done mindfully.
Start with a clean sheet
Whether this involves some journaling, having a friend over for a chat, going for a walk or just taking five minutes to jot down a quick list of things that are on your mind, you need a clear headspace. You’ll be most present and accepting of a reset once you have your thoughts in order and out in the world.
Lean into how you feel
I feel like I go through my weekdays a lot more disciplined. I try to bring conscious intention to everything I’m doing, but I stick to my to-do lists and routines. On the weekend, however, I try to let any restrictions go and move as I feel. I focus on listening to how I’m feeling and shape that (loosely) around what I need to get done.
Make your space moody
Ah, I love this part. I’m a big lover of creating aesthetics. And yes, it sounds funny and a little materialistic, but lighting a candle, wearing a cute hoodie and finding just the right playlist makes everything feel good to me. Even if I have boring paperwork to do, being surrounded by these little niceties will help me stay more motivated with what I need to get done.
So, my basic outline for a moody Sunday (that’s about to make me sound hella basic):
- Coffee (personal order: decaf, lots of oat milk and the biggest mug possible)
- A good playlist (and headphones so the beats can follow you whichever room you’re in)
- Comfy clothes (it’s Sunday, afterall)
- A vague to-do list (like we said, keep it short and tick it off in whichever order feels best to you)
- A spare notes page for any thoughts or inspirations that may pop up
- Solidarity (it might suit you better to have people around, or you might not have a choice! But I’d recommend at least trialling it undisturbed and with your own thoughts)
But these are just suggestions. Find what works for you and makes you feel your cosiest.
2. Next, let’s talk about your body
Take some time to listen
How is your body feeling? How does your skin seem? Our bodies are constantly communicating with us and a lot of the time they go unheard. Try listening to what your body needs.
If you’re feeling a little tired, take today slow, give your body foods that will give it long-term energy and make sure to get an early night. If your skin’s feeling dry, take some time for a skin-care routine, do a face mask and make sure you drink enough water. Today’s your day to recuperate, listen and set yourself up for a good week ahead.
My personal highlight: food
Food plays a big part in my reset days. I do all my meal prepping on a Sunday, so I know I’m going into the week knowing there’s one less thing on my plate (pun intended). I can’t recommend this as a way to help organise your life enough.
Plus, I love cooking, so being able to give it my full attention is a blessing. Even just planning out your meals can give you a head-start on your week. Decision fatigue can be a subtle weight on our shoulders, so eliminating as many decisions from your days as possible will help you navigate the week feeling lighter.
I try to keep my Sunday meals fairly healthy (Friday and Saturday tend to be my more carefree days) and light, in-keeping with the day’s theme. But I make sure they’re recipes I’m really excited about trying, or old comforting favourites. Good food is fuel for a good day, right?
Take care of yourself
Personal care is usually one of the first things I throw on the backburner when I have a lot to do. So on a Sunday, I put a little extra effort into taking care of my body. Now, it’s nothing special. I don’t have an elaborate beauty routine so for me, it’s as simple as – face mask, shave, have a bath (catch up on reading and find yourself two hours later, pruned in a tub of cold water), exfoliate, moisturise, maybe paint my nails if I’m feeling a lil’ spicy. And that to me is enough. It’s fun and it feels good – sorted.
3. Take a look at your environment
Clean your space
No, I’m not your mother, but trust me, waking up to a clean space on a Monday morning will help you feel calmer and more ready for the week. Like I said, I’m really in tune with my environment, so keeping my space clean is key to me having an productive week, especially as someone who works at home most of the time.
I’m usually quite a tidy person anyway, so on a Sunday, I like to get to the jobs that get pushed off during the week: properly wiping down my surfaces, watering my plants, dusting my shelves, de-hairing (ew) my hairbrush. Little jobs that make everyday jobs easier.
Change something up
Refreshing your space can make a huge difference to your energy levels, at least I find. I end up feeling stale if my environment gets repetitive. When we get used to seeing the same things everyday, it means our brains have to work less. We know where everything is, so we don’t really have to look for it or think about it.
For that reason, I move my stuff around a lot. I wouldn’t recommend doing this every week, but changing a couple of things will give your brain something new to compute, so you’ll feel more awake whilst doing your daily tasks. And you’ll likely enjoy and appreciate the space more too!
4. Get organised
Now’s time to tick off those pesky ‘I’ve been meaning to…’s. This is where we really get to organise your life.
The fun stuff
Take some you-time! Have a bath, read your book, catch up on a TV show, get in that workout you’ve been planning. You’ll start your week stronger after you’ve given yourself the time to enjoy yourself.
The not so fun stuff
Much like I mentioned with cleaning, throughout the week, I tend to build a to-do list of ‘Sunday stuff’, this will include random things that need to get done – even though they’re not particularly thrilling. Redying my hair, doing some banking, updating my budget. The less-fun adult stuff we all have to do. But, it can be fun! Blast some tunes and do these tasks in around the fun stuff to break them up.
Plan, plan, plan
After a day like this, I normally feel pretty refreshed. But, instead of getting too cozy in my relaxed state and squandering it when the reality of Monday morning slaps me in the face, I like to take a small patch of time out of my evening to plan ahead for the next week. This usually involves organising my to-do lists, filling out my bullet journal, scheduling my workouts and getting anything else in order that I’ll need. That way I can sleep easy Sunday night and wake up excited about what Monday has to offer.
Hopefully this will help you organise your life a little more and enjoy it whilst you do.
Happy GYST-ing! Love, Ella-Rose x