It’s an exceptionally overused Cliche, but as it’s now officially a brand new year (well it’s already February but you know what I mean), there’s no better time to be focusing on something we don’t tend to focus on – our personal well-being. Something else is always more important, but it’s time to put ourselves under the microscope and see how we’re getting on. Looking out for number one isn’t rocket science if you keep it simple with these pointers.
When possible, clear your schedule and enjoy a day solely focused on doing absolutely nothing. If you are a workaholic, take a days holiday just to allow yourself to sleep for as long as you want, eat whatever you fancy, and if you must do something, watch whatever trash you like on TV. We all need this time every now and then to let ourselves unwind and take a step back from our hectic day-to-day routines. Sometimes it takes a day of doing nothing to realise just how busy our lives have become – you deserve it more than you realise.
On the other end of the scale, it’s a satisfying feeling to finally plan a day trip or activity that you’ve been eager to sort for a long time. Everyone has had that moment where we say to ourselves “wouldn’t it be great to go and do that”. Now is your chance to take the bull by the horns and open your eyes to these new experiences that you’ve been longing to try. Whether that’s visiting the idyllic new coffee shop down the street or booking an outing with your friends, take the time to actually sit down and action this. Our lives are busy and it’s cruel on ourselves to feel guilty about not being more adventurous, but a step outside of our ordinary lives every now and then is always beneficial and manageable.
There are few things more therapeutic than getting rid of mess. A tidy living space results in a tidy mind, therefore the less disorder around us the better. This can apply for both your home and work. De-cluttering a messy desk or clearing up those clothes littered all over the bedroom floor can boost productivity that naturally leads to happiness (the aim of the game after all.) A tidy environment further allows you to feel more relaxed and calm, which again is a definite plus point. Taking the time for a good thorough clear out is guaranteed to positively impact your life, giving you peace of mind and a sense of control.
Not a magazine or an online gossip site, a real life book with page numbers and chapters. This may sound like a seemingly easy task to complete, but it’s harder than you think – we spend so much of our lives peering intently at a phone screen, working at a computer or sitting in front of the TV for hours (I’m guilty of this myself); It’s like we are programmed into a life of electronics. As great as technology can be, sometimes it’s refreshing to take a step back and return to the basics. Find a book of your choice that you think you will enjoy, no matter what the topic or if you’ve read it before (as long as you like it, that’s all that matters.) Once you have located said book, settle down for a reading session somewhere comfortable and immerse yourself in the story. Never underestimate the stress relieving powers of reading. Bonus point – you won’t have to take screen breaks from this activity (beware of paper cuts though.)
I know, it’s the worst, but we all need to do it – any kind. Not to become the next Victoria’s Secret model, but to keep our hearts healthy and our minds clear. Exercise has been proven to have a massively positive impact on our personal well-being, and is the perfect mood booster. So, plug in to your favourite music and dig out the trainers from the back of your wardrobe to kick the winter blues. Why not ditch the gym and take a jog in the great outdoors? Being able to take in your natural surroundings rather than the four walls of a gym can make the whole activity of exercise much more inspiring and enjoyable.
Before you say it, yes, I am aware from personal experience that this is much easier said than done. However, there comes a point in life when you can only stay in a job you dislike for so long – as most of us are at work for the majority of each day, it’s vital that we at least take some enjoyment from it. Try to put aside time for job hunting, or look into taking that evening educational course you were considering. It is hard when rejections happen, but more rejections result in more experience that we can we learn and develop from (a chocolate binge can also help.) It always appears that everyone apart from you is settled and happy in his or her perfect career, but when the right job does materialise, you’ll have enough knowledge of interviews to fly through it. Keep going and the results will appear.
Yes they can be overprotective and just generally a tad crazy at times (most of the time), but our families are so unexplainably important. They’re an unwavering, unconditional support system, and warrant a visit. Maybe even a bunch of flowers for the ones you really like. Even if it’s just a cup of tea and a quick catch up about what you’ve been up to, seeing family when you can (especially elderly relatives) or even just a phone call should always be a priority on your to do list. Besides, who can refuse tea and copious amounts of biscuits?
This may sound slightly cruel, but cutting contact with people who have an extremely negative impact on your life in some way is one of the most worthwhile things you can do for your own happiness and quality of life. Whether this be a partner, friend or work colleague, you need out. Letting someone stay in your life who makes you feel like you lack self worth or importance (just to name a couple) is destructive, and this will never end well for either of you. Take a step back and realise who you truly value and care for, and dedicate yourself to these individuals. Life is short, and we must not waste precious time on anyone who makes us feel anything less than worthy. Cut the ties and don’t let yourself look back.
Doing what we love
Whatever it may be, it is so important to find time for doing what you love. Whether this is drawing, reading, horse riding, baking cookies, eating a family sized packet of biscuits alone, or watching re-runs of Friends every weekend, do it. Everyone needs to have something that they really love; something which is solely their own personal source of happiness. We must never stop striving to do more of what makes us happy, because without happiness, what do we have left?