The key to making sure we can reach our goals is building downtime and self-care into our days. I feel very strongly that engaging in activities that rejuvenate our minds, relax our bodies, and allow us to process our emotions are essential to being our best selves. Building that downtime into our days can be tricky, especially when we have many obligations, but it is possible!

While downtime is incredibly important to me, sharing knowledge on the oil and natural gas industry is important to Look Beyond. They challenged the team here at G20 HQ to learn and understand how these things that we use on a daily basis improve and simplify our lives and contribute to our daily self-care practices.

The oil and natural gas industry does get a bad rap yet there are many items we use on a day-to-day basis that are products of that industry. Beyond oil and natural gas, anything that is made from plastic, rubber, or has synthetic fibers like polyester are derived from petroleum, which is produced by the industry. After careful inspection, I found that these items and materials play a huge role in the simplifying our lives.

Here are three ways to multi-task so you can find more downtime in your week:

1. Make chores automatic so you can… get a workout in.
Since I work at home, I do like to keep the space tidy but I don’t like to spend hours cleaning. I like to knock chores out of the way as quickly as possible. One thing I always do is run the dishwasher and the laundry at the same time.

I can’t lie to you, I really dislike doing the dishes. It’s one chore that I procrastinate on and truly dread doing. Because there’s only two of us, the dishes don’t pile up that quickly, especially because we use a slow cooker for prepping most of our meals. Loading up the dishwasher (plastic and rubber!) takes only a few minutes as does putting a load in the washing machine. One quick sweep of the kitchen floor and I’m out of there.

This gives me time to fit in a quick workout! Since I sit for long periods, I love to take breaks throughout the day to prevent stiff muscles. Because I’m not spending loads of time cleaning, it’s easy to fit these breaks in throughout the week. Plus, a break from work and a clean house does wonders for my mental health. My shoes contain rubber elements and synthetic fibers, another nod to the oil and natural gas industry.

What you can do:
Identify your most time-consuming chores and brainstorm ways to streamline your systems. For example, if vacuuming and sweeping is a a time-suck, consider investing in a robo-vacuum to do it for you.

2. Use a slow cooker so you can… have quality time with your partner.
Speaking of meal prep, I’m a huge fan of slow cooker meals. They’ve really been a lifesaver for us because they make dinner quick and easy. I don’t mind cooking, but I really don’t want to spend more than 30 minutes a night making dinner. I’d rather have time to read, work on projects, and spend time with my husband.

Using my slow-cooker, again made of products derived from the oil and natural gas industry, I save so much time everyday and am able to spend that time on things that help me reach my goals.

What you can do:
Create a meal plan that uses a slow cooker. Cooking two pounds of chicken is enough to make 4-6 nights worth of meals. It can be done in just a few hours!

3. Create a cozy environment so you can… relax.
Since we don’t have a fireplace in our apartment, one of my favorite things to do in the winter months is to use my Amazon Fire Stick and search for “fireplace.” I recently found an eight hour long film that’s just a crackling fireplace.

I think it’s so incredibly important to carve out time in your day to just have moments for yourself. Because the dishes and laundry are taken care of, I can bundle up in cozy blankets by my “fire” and curl up with a good book for the evening. These electronic wonders are, you guessed it, made from petroleum-derived products.

What you can do:
Consider what “cozy” means to you and create an environment to reflect that. If your style is minimalistic, designate a “clean” corner of your space that reflects that. A positive space is a positive mind.

If you want to create even more downtime in your day, Look Beyond has a few time-saving hacks to try as well. Looking beyond what we know about the oil and natural gas industry, we can see how those products make our everyday lives easier and help us relax.

What’s something you used today that comes from the oil and natural gas industry?