Tag Archives: healthy food

How I Self-Care

In my line of work, people talk a lot about self-care to ensure that you do not forget to take care of yourself while being so wrapped up in taking care of others. Now that I have worked at my job for over a month, I have started to notice changes in my self-care routine. My nightly journal entries are often rushed. Sometimes there are long lazy lines my pen made as I started to doze off mid-sentence. If I exercise twice in one week, then it’s considered a good week. I eat unhealthy food late at night. My body struggles to recover from staying up all night for work. I find that I spend most of my days off inside, behind a computer screen. It has been weeks since I have done something for fun with friends. My job is going great, but my self-care is not. 

All of the self-improvement goals I thought were firmly implemented into my life have been thrown off balance by my new employment. There are a little more than three months until I turn 24 and, by then, I want to be on the right track in terms of my mental and physical health, my social life, and my rate of creative output. Hence, I think it is fitting that I update my goals to reflect my self-care goals. I want to be able to work full-time and also really focus on my own well-being.

The following are preliminary ideas I have for a quality self-care routine:

1. Pack healthy food to bring for work. With my current schedule, there are five meals I have to eat at work per week (one lunch, three dinners, and one breakfast). The breakfast is pretty easy to skip or to get away with just eating a piece of fruit, so it’s really those three dinners and one lunch about which I’m concerned.
a. Bring a healthy entree, but also bring healthy snacks in case there isn’t time for a full-            blown meal.
b. Make a salad from the salad bar and eat a vegetable side dish to satisfy your appetite               long enough before you get a break.
c. If the dessert looks like it’ll be really worth it, then eat a few bites or half of it.

2. Make plans with people for your days off. Find the people in your social network who may be free at any time during your free days and make a plan. See a movie. Get coffee. Get lunch. Go bowling. See a play. Something.
a. If no one is free, plan out your day doing something that is productive. Clean your                    room. Go to the bank. Go to the doctor. Complete a task that has been looming over                your head.
b. Additionally, make plans to do something that just makes you feel good. This can be              watching a TV show or lying outside or going for a bike ride. You name it. There are                  ways to be absolutely happy and content that are not dependent upon others.

3. Exercise as often as you can. Something I have discovered about myself is that I feel so good after a workout. It gives my whole day a brand new, shiny outlook. Based on my current schedule, my exercise schedule should be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday before lunch, and then Saturday during my break at work.
a. Sign up for a fitness class on your day off or before 1:30 on weekdays to meet new                   people and peer pressure yourself into the workout.

4. Leave work at work. In other words, be completely present in work while at work, but leave it behind during my days off. Beyond a few sentences on how my day at work was, it should be out of my mind so I can relax.
a. Check work email once a day, but not before bed! This should reduce the frequency                of work-related dreams.

5. Use overnights for creative output. I’ve already started a few experimental writing projects during my two overnights so far. I would love to continue this, as the overnight is a time when I’m not supposed to be doing anything else. I can’t exercise or go outside. It’s the perfect time to sit behind a screen and write something!

6. Use those 66 hours well. Sometimes, it feels like I’m working ALL the time, but it’s not true. I did some quick math and discovered that I have 66 awake hours per week that I can use in whatever way I want!

Braised Celery

Today, I scoured the refrigerator and discovered that there was an unopened bag of celery that was starting to go bad. I wasn’t in the mood for the only go-to way I ever eat celery (with peanut butter and raisins), so I turned to the internet for a recipe. Lo and behold, I discovered Alton Brown’s recipe for braised celery and I immediately got to work! I adapted it a bit to my own tastes, so here it is:

Ingredients:

Celery (as much as you want)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Pinch of salt (to taste)
Pinch of ground pepper (to taste)
0.5 cup vegetable or beef broth

1. Rinse celery first, which is especially important if you buy organic like I do (there were even two tiny spiders in the heart of one of my stalks). I also highly recommend soaking them if you have the time.
2. Cut off the tops and bottoms. Throw away the leafy stalks.
3. Cut the celery into two-inch pieces.
4. Melt butter in a skillet on medium heat.
5. Add celery, salt, and pepper.
6. Cook until the celery softens slightly (this should take about five minutes, but it also depends on the power of your stove).
7. Add broth (I used vegetable broth), reduce heat to low, and cover.
8. Cook until the celery is tender (also about five minutes).
9. Uncover and cook for another five minutes or until most of the liquid is gone.
10. Sprinkle grated Parmesan cheese on top and enjoy!

IMG_9768The verdict: Give this to people who think they don’t like celery. If properly cooked, I promise just about everyone will enjoy this preparation of this low calorie vegetable. I wouldn’t recommend trying to make a meal out of this; one serving is, at most, 70 calories!