“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” – Oprah Winfrey
2018 is well on its way and life, as we know it, has well and truly gotten back to normal. Hectic schedules… juggling career and family… a never-ending quest to find a balance between a successful profession and raising a happy family. This, I know can be quite daunting sometimes but honestly, I would never change anything even if I could! What I do want to alter, however, is the habit of always putting myself at the bottom of my list of priorities! So this year, I am putting my needs on the ‘must-do’ list and going that extra mile to take better care of my wellbeing and celebrate my life.
While exercising and eating well provide great results like helping my body and the mind to manage most issues including stress and anxiety, what I discovered was that there are also other fun ways to improve my mental health.
A night out in town – At least once a month, meet up with friends to catch up on each other’s lives and well, just let loose. This is a great way to end a hectic week and start a relaxing weekend. I usually plan it with my friends on a Friday night. I put on my best outfit, wear my sky-high heels and spray some of my favourite Yardley perfume for the occasion. It really gets me in the mood for a fun night ahead with my girlfriends.
Take time to laugh – Sometimes, we take life far too seriously, don’t we? Being grown up with responsibilities can do that! But it is true that laughter can de-stress us in ways nothing else can. Try seeing a funny movie, going for a stand-up comedy show or even playing games like Charades with your family and friends. The time spent laughing and kidding around will really put you in a good mood for sure.
Take a walk on the beach by yourself – Imagine a clear blue sky, seagulls dancing in the wind and your feet sinking into the cool, soft sand as the waves lap gently to shore. The best part? Your favourite playlist keeps you company as you enjoy the solitude of your own thoughts and breathe in the fresh air. What an amazing way to de-stress right? I try to do this at least once a week. If you don’t live near the ocean, you can always take a walk at the park nearby.
Discover or rediscover a passion – When we were kids, we all dreamt of doing something exciting… maybe becoming a rock star, a fashion model or a famous painter. While life has taken a different turn now and it may not seem possible to do all these things, but what’s stopping you from doing something that excites you today? Take the time to consider your passions. For instance, if you like music, take music lessons like learning to play an instrument. You could even take up salsa dancing, which is guaranteed to get your heart pumping. If you used to paint as a kid, try taking it up again! Without a doubt, doing what you enjoy and love will do great things for your overall sense of wellbeing.
Do what makes you happy first thing – Doesn’t it feel like you’re going through your days on autopilot, sometimes? This can get tedious and depressing. Try starting your day off on a positive note by doing something enjoyable every morning. I started swimming really early in the a.m. and fixed weekly dates with Pilates. It has completely shifted my outlook and lifted my mood. On the plus side, it’s a great way to get in some daily exercise.
Surround yourself with positive scents and sounds – During my research into things to improve my personal wellbeing, I was really surprised to find out that our surroundings can affect our mood and state of mind. I’ve incorporated some changes, which have really helped. Try creating a positive feeling at your home with lemon, peppermint or other essential oils you love. The scents will instantly uplift your mood. Listening to different kinds of music regularly also helps Even wind chimes helps soothe one’s mind.
Get inspired daily – Inspiration is everywhere. It just depends on where you’re looking. You could get into the habit of reading a daily motivational quote or listening to an uplifting audiobook, while you drive or travel to work. Even reading magazines with exciting ideas, is a great way to get your creative juices running.
Sometimes being stuck in a rut can become a habit. So get out of it by doing things that make you smile and relax. While the things mentioned above are helpful, you can also opt for simpler things to do – Take a day off from work and go explore a town or city nearby or just stay home and pamper yourself with a spa-like beauty regime. Take a different route to work to change up the scenery or wear something that is totally “not you. You could even take your camera and go on a photography journey through your neighbourhood. What’s important to remember is that that are always things to do as long as you’re willing.
So don’t stay stagnant… move. Your happy place awaits you!