Basic shit

Daljit (my SO) and I were chatting yesterday about how whenever we feel like we are in a rut, it's almost always because we stopped taking care of "basic shit". 

Basic shit includes - 

  1. Sleeping well 
  2. Time in the morning to relax, meditate, plan, and get ready for the day
  3. Walking outside and/or exercising  
  4. Taking a lunch break and breaks during work
  5. Winding down from work and doing other things we enjoy 
  6. Taking some alone time to think reflect, read, write
  7. Drinking enough water and eating healthy
  8. Doing the chores to keep our homes and lives in order 
  9. Keeping phone, social media, and TV time low 
  10. Relaxing and self-care nighttime rituals like tea, board games, reading, journaling 
  11. Using weekends well to do fun stuff, wind down, and do chores
  12. Connecting regularly with close friends and family
  13. Focusing on what you have, balance, and what's in control. Not overdoing, overcommitting, being obsessed, greedy, jealous, fearful, judgemental, or worried
  14. Having something exciting to look forward to
Just basic shit. Being happy is not rocket science (at least for most of us who have a reasonably comfortable life). I joke that Buddha spent years meditating on how to end suffering, explored and articulated many theories, and the crux of it is to stay in the "middle path" - do the basic shit and don't overdo. So simple, yet true. 

But despite knowing this intellectually, we all tend to slip on this basic shit. For us, it usually happens when there's a disruption like a vacation, COVID/remote work, busy time at work, or some unplanned emergency or issue. Sometimes it's just a slow decline with no particular cause.

I'm trying a few things that help - 
  • Recognizing regularly that basic shit is important 
  • Having a daily checklist of basic shit. Not only is it a good intentional reminder, but checking off things makes us feel good too. 
  • Being conscious of disruptions and being even more intentional about basic shit during those times.  
  • Restarting on basic shit when we are in a rut. Being okay with paying or signing up for special classes, trainers, events, EAs to get over the hump. 
  • Flagging when we see each other slipping.