Many of us make our way through life on a default high-strung setting. We slap our alarm clocks to make the shrieking stop, rush to get ready with a slice of toast in our mouths, and feel our blood pressure rising as we sit in grid-lock traffic.
This jacked-up lifestyle leaves us feeling frazzled and burnt out, which has a knock-on effect on every aspect of our lives. While we all want to change this state of being, we might not be sure how to embark upon such a mammoth task.
Instead of throwing in the towel before you even begin, try implementing just one change every day for a week. After a week, you will start to see how these small steps can build up to a happier and healthier life.
Get a good night’s sleep
Let’s get unconventional and start with Sunday to start implementing improvements. This Sunday, it’s all about getting deep, restorative sleep so you can smash the rest of your working week. By getting plenty of sleep, you will not only feel refreshed and ready for the week ahead, but also give yourself more time to do the things you love the next morning. Some ways to ensure better sleep include winding down with some herbal tea, switching off electronic distractions and investing in a dreamy MyDeal mattress or comfortable bamboo mattress toppers.
At the start of your working week, force yourself to confront your own perfectionism. Expecting perfection from yourself will only result in you becoming progressively frustrated when things don’t go to plan during the week. Life coach and founder of VisionScope Coaching, Tammi, elaborates on this with:
“The relentless striving for achievement and high standards is exhausting. It’s also our way of feeling in control. How can we better manage perfectionism? Do a perspective shift. Think of a friend of yours that’s super easy going and think of how they would approach the situation. Eg. How would my non-perfectionist friend think about hosting a dinner party? She would plan a bit and then hope for the best and if it didn’t look like a magazine spread, she wouldn’t notice because she’s enjoying the company.”
Remember how being told to go sit in the corner was a punishment as a child? As an adult, you might find that you miss this time to yourself! Meditation can do this job, giving you the physical and mental space to simply take a breather. According to counsellor, mindset coach and hypnotherapist Eugenie Pepper, “Meditation transforms you into a calm, well-balanced, and peaceful person. It changes your attitude to be more positive, happy and motivated. A study published in the Lancet last year found mindfulness meditation techniques could be as effective as antidepressant meditation at preventing depression. Meditation boosts serotonin in your brain to a healthy ‘depression resistant’ level. Meditation turns off the region of the brain responsible for anxiety and depression.”
We’re all constantly pursuing a healthier lifestyle, but always falling prey to the same vices. An easy way to try to be healthier today is to simply cut out one vice. Do you drink three too many coffees? Or graze on snacks all day even though you’re not hungry? Focus on cutting back just one of your bad dietary habits or increasing a good one (like drinking plenty of water or having enough greens) to make a modest change that will have you feeling better by the end of the day.
Have a micro moment
At the tail end of the week, slow down and take a micro moment. We’ll let health & wellness expert Keira Rumble from Krumbled explain this for us:
“Never underestimate the power of a micro moment, whereby you take a few micro moments out of your day, to smile and focus. Something as small as a smile can cause a chemical reaction in the brain that releases hormones such as serotonin and dopamine. I find enhancing your micro moment and focusing on things like your partner, your children, your pets, your work, your surroundings can help you achieve that greater connection you desire and help reinforce a positive shift in your day. To start with, pop multiple daily reminders in your phone, which will help create this habit of mindfulness.”
How can we stop feeling unfulfilled and like the grass is always greener on the other side? By practicing gratitude! Keep a gratitude journal and write down all the things that make you happy and that you are thankful for. You could do this in the morning to get your day started on the right foot, or in the evening to help you reflect on all the great things that have happened to you that day. When you focus on all the amazing things you’ve got going for you (access to safe drinking water, supportive network of friends, a job that allows you to care for your family, to name just a few) you can erase your sense of dissatisfaction.
Have a meaningful conversation
When we’re wrapped up in texting, snapping and DM’ing, we miss out on that real human connection. Today, try catching up with an old friend for a coffee, invite someone over for a meal, or even call your grandma like you always say you mean to. Having a real conversation where you share what’s been on your mind with a loved one will have you feeling uplifted and whole.
Take care of yourself this week by making these small, actionable changes. Soon, you’ll feel these healthy habits snowball into a rewarding and rich life!