How to use a Menu Plan for a stress-free week.

How to use a Menu Plan for a stress-free week.

I never thought I would be the type of person to organise a weekly menu let alone stick to it. However, I’ve found that over the last year, a weekly menu has added to my goal of an efficient and stress-free lifestyle.

In this post I will share with you why I use a weekly menu, how it has helped and ways you can integrate a menu in your life to navigate around daily demands.

I also share a downloadable PDF for you to kick-start your menu making!

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For years, I have watched videos on meal-preparation and how it has helped other people. Being so comfortable with eating out and “eating how I feel”, it wasn’t something I was keen to implement.

Two years ago, my boyfriend Luke, landed a full-time job and one year ago, I started studying full-time. Very quickly, I found it exhausting coming home everyday, trying to figure out what to cook for dinner, knowing I had x amount of time to study afterwards. I would either: throw random things together, buy extra items or go out to eat for convenience. This happened for at least 3 or so months. Maybe longer.

Eventually, I gave in. 

I thought that there had to be an easier way to organise grocery shopping and meals.

It was time for change!

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1. List all your favourite breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner meals.

This helps you flesh out what ingredients, staples and specialty items you will need as you build your menu.

If you live with your partner, a roommate or have children, get them involved in this process too! This simple activity is great for communication and bonding. Ask them what food they like and brainstorm meal ideas. This also ensures less food wastage! What’s not to like?

2. Write out a 7 day plan.

List each day of the week. Now, figure out what day will be grocery day. It should be a day or night you can easily commit to. Another factor to keep in mind, is pay-day. For me, it’s easier to shop on Tuesdays since that’s when I get paid. Make it work for you.

3. Write all ingredients/staples needed.

By now, there would be ingredients that may overlap or repeat. Use that as a staples list! For me, I realised rice, oats, fruits, eggs and pasta sauce were staple items, so I plan the menu around them. Knowing what items are your staples, makes it easier to organise a stress-free week of meals!

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1. Trial and error.

It took me and my boyfriend at least a month, if not two months to work out the kinks of a weekly menu. We realised what ingredients worked, how long they lasted and what we could conveniently cook each night or cook ahead of time to make things easier.

2. Communication

What I found with starting a menu, is that instead of having too many items and no meals to eat, we had just enough food which highly decreased wastage. In order to maintain this, communication was key! If we were low on cheese for sandwiches or laundry detergent, we would make sure to communicate this.

3. Utilise a list!

Besides just telling my boyfriend we were running low on something, I’d make it a priority to write it on a shopping list. Luke always has a notepad on the cabinet bench for easy access. I love using lists for day-to-day organisation!

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Seasonal changes.

As seasons change, your menu will change also. During summer, weekly menus at my house are kept simple. Lots of cooler meals including salad and iced smoothies. Bread is kept in the fridge to keep from getting mouldy in humidity. During winter, or colder weeks, I plan soups and meals that can be served piping hot for comfort and enjoyability.
Keep this in mind throughout the seasons.

Be mindful of your budget.

Budgets are a huge factor in maintaining a menu. I’ve found in previous years, shopping in bulk at Costco or sales at supermarkets is the way to go. If it is a protein, I freeze the rest to use later. Even things like toilet paper can be purchased bulk to save some coins in the long run. Alternative brands are also something to look into. These days, quality doesn’t always come from a well-known brand. Branch out a little, test new things. You might be surprised at how much you save!

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Here is a downloadable Weekly Menu Plan. I’ve also included my own menu as an example.

 

Let me know in the comments if these tips were helpful for you! 

Welcome back to my regular readers and thank you for joining me if you are new! This blog is about mental-health wellness as well as lifestyle topics like fashion, food, decluttering and travel adventures.
You can stay connected for updates, quotes and general life-happenings on my Facebook pageInstagramEbay and Twitter!

It is possible to create change and manifest positivity in your life! x

Psychologists and counsellors: are they helpful?

Psychologists and counsellors: are they helpful?

Today, I want to break the stigma of seeing a mental health professional. Yes, it is more accepted in today’s society but there are still negative thoughts out there. This post is for those people who are afraid to be judged. This post is for those who have earned their degree, honours and masters. This post is for those who are curious as to how a professional can help them. Continue reading “Psychologists and counsellors: are they helpful?”

Boundaries in Relationships

Boundaries in Relationships

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are the ‘space’ between ourselves and the other person. This can be emotional, mental or a physical space. It can also be explained as “the line where I end and someone else begins”, stated by clinical psychologist Ryan Howes. Another way to think of boundaries is imagining state borders throughout the country. We all have an emotional/mental/physical border that keeps us comfortable and safe. These borders indicate to people what is okay and what is not okay.

Have you ever been in a situation where a friend leans in too close to you, and you want to immediately lean away? Your physical boundary has been crossed. Have you ever been part of a conversation and the other person shares too many details? That’s an emotional/mental boundary that is being crossed. Boundaries are applicable to all relationships. Whether it’s between friendships, family members or coworkers.

What’s an unhealthy boundary? Unhealthy boundaries include oversharing, being uncomfortably close to others, feeling extremely incomplete without your partner and being controlled by another. This can be observed in codependent relationships.

What does healthy boundaries look like? Healthy boundaries include keeping private information private, being considerate about your presence and not impeding on another’s personal space, taking responsibility for your own happiness and being open and honest with others.

How are boundaries formed?

Boundaries are formed primarily throughout childhood. If a child’s needs are met, they are able to develop a healthy sense of personal boundaries. However, if a child suddenly has to take care of a parent with an addiction/mental illness, there can be confusion as to what a healthy boundary is. Children who suffer verbal, physical or sexual abuse can also struggle with developing healthy personal boundaries.

Why are boundaries useful?

Healthy boundaries are useful as it helps to sustain our relationships, by giving it structure. We are able to communicate open and honestly, share our feelings and thoughts without impeding on other’s mental health. It helps to establish our own identity. It’s also good for stabilising our mental and emotional states.

If we don’t have boundaries set for ourselves, it may lead people to disrespect our time, our effort or our space. Unhealthy boundaries can even impede on our happiness.
For example, I used to keep my notification sounds on for my emails. Throughout the night, the “pinging” sound of my phone would wake me up. I started waking up annoyed because of the sounds. I’ve disabled the notification settings now. This is what setting a boundary looks like – although it is simple, it is effective and relevant for more serious situations. I respect my sleep and time-out from technology, so I took the necessary step to ensure this is respected.

How can we apply it to our lives?

1. Communicate!
First, communicate! Sometimes we may not be aware of our boundaries until it happens. That’s okay! Just make sure you communicate that with the other person so they know. Encourage them to also do the same with you.

2. Be honest!
This can also fall under communication. Be honest and clear about what is okay and what is not okay. You’re not just protecting yourself but also the other person from resentment, constant fighting or silent treatments.

3. Find support outside of the relationship.
Seek a professional that you trust to work through boundary issues. Sometimes it’s easier to navigate our feelings if there is a professional outside of the relationship, supporting us. Even a trusted friend or family member can help us through this.

4. Learn to say no.
If it is not in your best interest, say no. As humans, we generally have the innate ability to notice when we’re in a toxic relationship. It’s okay to walk away. It is within your ability and right, to say no and walk away. Don’t worry about what other people think!

5. Be aware of your needs.
In my previous post, I spoke about what ‘needs‘ are. If you prefer to be alone sometimes to recharge – don’t sacrifice that time. Prioritise space and distance to look after yourself.

6. Do your best to stay consistent.
Don’t look outward for self-esteem, search within yourself. The key to self-love is setting healthy boundaries. Always remember your own strength.

Remember, you cannot pour from an empty cup. In order to help others, we must first help ourselves. Think of ways you can start to make those positive changes. Is it by communicating with others? Or by writing down boundaries to work on? Maybe you can encourage someone who is struggling with this today. Life is all about learning and growing!

Image by Priscilla Du Preez.

Welcome back to my regular readers and thank you for joining me if you are new! This blog is about mental-health wellness as well as lifestyle topics like fashion, food, decluttering and travel adventures. You can stay connected for updates, quotes and general life-happenings on my Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter!

It is possible to create change and manifest positivity in your life! x

How to study when you’re sick.

How to study when you’re sick.

 

The photo above is my current situation. Although I am typing this post while sitting on a desk, I have been living in my bed. Fighting the tiredness doesn’t make it go away, unfortunately. I’m sure most of you know what it’s like… assignments due, classes to go to, rent to pay and the list goes on! So, how does a student study while sick? I’m about to tell you. Continue reading “How to study when you’re sick.”