This is a revised excerpt from my book.
There are certain things that I do every day which collectively make me feel fulfilled. Here is how a typical day in my life looks like. I wake up at 4:30 in the morning to the sound of my phone’s alarm, looking forward to start getting things done. The first thing I do is drink almost 20 ounces of water. Then I use the washroom, gently splash my face with warm water, and briefly stare at myself in the mirror. This short process helps me feel awake, alive, and ready for the day. My first actual activity is working out. It is an essential component of my life that contributes significantly to my fulfillment. I see it as an enjoyable but also mundane part of life, as opposed to a hobby, a project, a job, or a chore. The type of exercise I do is usually bodyweight based or dumbbell based. I also have days reserved for improving my cardio, as well as active rest days set aside for focusing on stability, flexibility, mobility, durability, and recovery. My fitness goal is not bodybuilding, strength development, or aesthetics based (though there are certainly hints of vanity involved to say the least); it is instead self-enjoyment and longevity focused. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that I enjoy the workouts that I do, minimize the risks of injuries, and work to maintain my long-term health. After my morning workout, I take a shower, clean my face with facewash, moisturize my skin, and brush my teeth. I then proceed to cook breakfast, usually consisting of eggs (I like variety and changing up the style: scrambled, hardboiled, omelet, poached, sunny side up, and over easy) and vegetables. I like to have yogurt and various nuts too. Occasionally, crepes are also incorporated. Along with my breakfast, I take vitamin D and vitamin B12 supplements. Since I enjoy having beverages with meals (and also with many other activities), I always make a protein shake for breakfast. This usually contains protein powder, frozen and fresh fruits, whole grain oat flakes, milk, Greek yogurt, and water. Sometimes, if I am feeling it, I would also brew coffee with a Bialetti Moka Express, put together a cup of London fog, or make some yerba mate. Once my breakfast and its accompanying beverages are made, I enjoy my meal as I watch the sunrise. If the timing is off or the sky is too cloudy, I still enjoy a view of the outside while I eat. When I finish eating, I would clean up, wash the dishes, brush my teeth, get dressed for the day, and start working on things. I have many interests and personal projects, including learning languages, playing guitar, reading, writing, and playing sports. Since May of 2021, I have been doing this weekly podcast so I regularly work on editing episodes, brainstorming future topics, planning and scheduling, creating thumbnails, managing this website, writing blog posts, and other related tasks. While in university, there is also a colossal amount of work. Since I am doing an honours specialization in biochemistry and cell biology and also a major in Italian language and culture, my workload ends up being quite hefty to say the least, and my schoolwork ends up being ridiculously diverse. This work block in the morning is usually used for reading, watching online lessons, doing research projects, or studying. If there are morning classes scheduled, there should still be at least one and a half hours, which I would instead use to review and preview course materials. During these work blocks, I would utilize the Pomodoro Technique and take a 5 minute break every 25 minutes. I would also make sure that I have water or sparkling water available at my workstation. At 10:30 a.m., I would take the time to cook lunch, which is far more diverse in terms of both ingredients and cuisine compared to my breakfast. As I have mentioned previously, it is within the compass of my enjoyment to have a beverage alongside my meals, so I would naturally either grab a can of sparkling water, pour half a glass of wine, or make a cocktail for lunch. Then I would sit down and enjoy the meal without hurrying. If there is a scheduling conflict with school or other commitments, my lunch time would be slightly adjusted to accommodate. Another activity that greatly contributes to my fulfillment is going for walks. The period after lunch is great for strolls, as it keeps me energized but also relaxed; thus, I frequently use that time for going on walks, even if it is for only 20 minutes. To note, I apply sunscreen 20 to 30 minutes before I go out. In the afternoon, I have another work block, in which I focus more on writing, completing assignments, doing group projects, and working on anything that requires me to be more active. Once again, I would have beverages available, and I would take breaks on regular intervals. However, this chunk of time is occasionally taken up by classes or other plans. At 4:30 p.m., I start cooking dinner, which involves the same level of diversity as lunch. Once cooking is complete, I enjoy the meal with some kind of a beverage. If it is necessary, I would adjust when I cook and eat dinner, like I would for lunch. The overall time set aside for cooking and eating, on the other hand, is never compromised when I am living by myself. Rushing my meals and eating poorly decrease the quality of my life significantly, and thus I actively avoid them. After having dinner, I would normally go for another short walk. When I return home, I would have an hour or two for hobbies like reading, playing guitar, playing basketball, watching youtube/shows/sports, and learning languages. This block of time is also often used for studying and finishing up assignments. Around 8 p.m., I would wash dishes if they were not cleaned already. Then I would either take a shower or a bath, clean my face with facewash, moisturize my skin, and brush my teeth. Twice a week, I would also exfoliate my face. Once I have cleaned up the dishes and myself, I would head to bed. Before sleeping, I tend to enjoy reading for a little bit, and I definitely enjoy doing some stretching. Finally, I would try to sleep, feeling fulfilled and accepting the possibility that I may never wake up again. By 10 p.m. at the latest, I should be asleep, ensuring that I would be getting enough shut-eye to wake up with sufficient energy.
During unusual periods, such as vacations, certain elements of my typical day-to-day life would remain, whiles others would change. The most significant change that would occur is in my sleep schedule. This is largely due to changes in my eating schedule. When I travel, I try to adapt to the eating schedule and the gastronomic culture of the locals. Additionally, I make comprises on the time of meals to be considerate to the people I am travelling with. When I visit my parents and stay at their house, I would eat lunch and dinner much later, as I want to dine with them despite their work schedule as restaurant owners. To note, I still ensure that I set time aside to eat my meals without rushing in all cases. My sleep schedule during unusual periods could also be affected by the plans I make or the plans I think I might make. There are definitely situations where I prefer to be flexible for hanging out with friends, meeting new people, seeing shows, watching live sports events, or exploring the city, all of which could take place in the evening and even into the night. There could also be smaller changes. For example, my workouts are often shortened or replaced with extra sessions of various sports. The hobby or personal project that I would work on would also change depending on the scenario. I tend to spend more time writing when I am not occupied by schoolwork. I would focus on learning languages more when I am travelling, as well as when I am preparing for a trip. Moreover, I also find myself reading a lot more on trips. When I would frequently play sports with the same group of people, like when I am back in the same area as my friends from high school, I would work more on improving my skills and game sense/IQ in those sports. The key elements and underlying principles such as eating without rushing, being active, working on hobbies, and just living intentionally and fully would not change during unusual periods; only the details would alter.