Continuing with our new year theme, I have put together a list of simple day to day tips for a happy lifestyle. This list does not include food or money or travel. We all know that a big pot of gold at the end of the rainbow would push us up the ‘happy scale’ (don’t give me that ‘money doesn’t buy you happiness’ line!) as would a nice piece of chocolate cake and a beach holiday. These tips simply involve little things we could all do to get the most out of our days .
LIGHTEN YOUR LOAD
Do you really need to carry the entire kitchen sink in your bag? Orthopedists and physiotherapists say that they’re seeing more people come in for elbow, shoulder and neck pain due to the latest trend of carrying giant bags. Instead of dragging around toiletries / books / computers etc, why not keep certain essentials at work? And if you are just out shopping do you really need your Ipad? Isn’t your mobile enough?
LISTEN TO CLASSICAL MUSIC
Studies have shown that listening to classical music can have a positive affect on the activity of up-regulated genes involved in dopamine secretion and transport, synaptic function, learning and memory. So swapping Zorba for a bit of Beethoven in the morning might just set you up for the day!
GET UP EARLIER
Some of you may have read my post on the 5am Challenge and believe me, it really works! Those extra minutes (or extra hours) make all the difference to my day – I get some chores done, get to catch up on emails – all things that I might not get time for in the evening when all the other birds are tweeting in my ear. Why not try it and see if you can get more out of your day.
REVAMP YOUR WARDROBE
You don’t have to spend money to revamp your wardrobe. Breathe new life into old clothes by mixing, matching and accessorizing. Having a regular clear out can be very therapeutic and can also make you a few bob if you sell barely worn items on eBay. Read my post New Year, New Wardrobe for more tips on how to be wardrobe savvy and declutter in style.
This might seem like a strange one, but doing something good for the environment can make all the difference to your daily lifestyle. Making a conscious effort to sort rubbish properly and re-use items that you might previously have just thrown away can help to save the pennies AND the planet. I feel much better knowing that I’m doing my very best to avoid clogging up the sea with plastic bags etc. After all, every little helps!
It may seem easier to just throw your stuff into a pile at the end of the day but you are only making more work for yourself later on. Washing dishes at the end of the day is a much better prospect than facing a sink load of dirty dishes in the morning before you rush off to work / school etc. (Obviously you could just smash them instead!). Putting things away, folding up clothes, tidying up paperwork as you go along keeps your living and working environment in order which in turn keeps your mind in order. It’s such a simple rule to follow but so many people leave it all until Sunday which is just depressing! Of course there will be days when you just can’t be bothered, but if you’ve already bothered the day before, then you don’t need to bother again! Bovered?!
If, like me, you aren’t one for the gym, then doing some simple stretches everyday can do you the world of good. Even if you are not a fan of yoga or pilates, a few stretches in the morning can leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised.
DRINK MORE WATER
Put down the ouzo and grab yourself a glass of water. Water makes up two-thirds of the body and acts as a solvent, carrier of nutrients, temperature regulator and body detoxifier. Keeping yourself hydrated can have a profound influence on vitality and energy levels, including mental alertness. So get gulping!
KEEP A DIARY
No, I don’t mean the ‘Dear Diary’ type – just a small pocket diary to keep yourself organised when you are on the go. A lot of us use the calendars on our phones to stay abreast of appointments but why not take a break from the screen and keep up to date the old fashioned way. Don’t forget an Organised Mind = an Organised Life.
DON’T BE LAST MINUTE
Getting up earlier and getting organised will help you plan for the week ahead. Don’t leave everything until the last minute. If you have a work bag and a weekend bag, sort your work bag Friday night or Saturday morning (Saturday night you might be partying 😉 ) so that it is ready for Monday morning – that way you won’t get all depressed late Sunday night frantically getting everything ready for work when you could be all snug and relaxing. The same applies for any other activity.
WORK FREE WEEKENDS
If the house is tidy, the majority of chores are done (thanks to your early morning starts) and your work doesn’t require you to work on weekends then make a NO WORK WEEKENDS rule. It’s so important to have some downtime either to yourself or to spend with friends and family. Ignore social media, close the laptop and put your phone on silent…or have a few hours at least where this applies!
And don’t forget the chocolate cake.
So what happy tips will you be living by?