How are you today? It might seem like a question you get asked every single day, but do you always answer honestly, or do you simply brush the question off with an “okay thanks”?
Of course, no one wants to constantly divulge their problems to the world, and in some scenarios, giving yourself alone time to work out a healthy way to handle whatever it is that is bugging you and then moving on can be the best practice. However, sometimes a shoulder to lean on, some warm hugs and a good pair of listening ears (and perhaps a hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows thrown in for good measure) is also the perfect path to happiness.
I firmly believe that what you consume you will project back in to the world. That being said, I’ve also had a few “blargh” days that push my positive mantras right back into the sunlit box they sprang from, and then close the lid firmly shut! Yes, the days when only a huge pizza will cure your mood and then the oven breaks. (I can confirm this has indeed happened to me and let me tell you, I do not sport the “hangry” look well at all!) However, broken ovens and pizza failure behind, here are a few tips you can try out for yourself for each season of the year.
When spring finally peers its pretty daffodil covered head around the proverbial corner, our spirits are often instantly lifted. Bye bye cloudy days, hello new flowers and the smell of freshly cut grass! Spring is the perfect opportunity to have good old clear out. The sun that streams into your window sheds light on the dust patches that have gathered whilst you’ve been hibernating, and brings with it the chance to clear out your near to bursting wardrobe! I used to find it so hard to throw anything away, but now I used the 3 year rule! If I haven’t used or worn an item within three years, it’s time to go to another home. With more and more charity donation points and shops in local towns you can feel less guilty about saying farewell to Mr Bear with whom you haven’t played with, or even acknowledged for many moons. He’ll go to a good home, don’t worry!
When the weather is bright, in turn so are our spirits and the “Three good things” practice can come even more easily too. At the end of each day, try to write down three things for which you are grateful for that day. When you write something down it solidifies it in your mind, meaning your brain is much more likely to remember the positive events over the negative. Gradually, you will be able to see the positive in every-day things, or even events that on the face of it aren’t very positive at all. By doing this you teach yourself to tap into the mind-set that everything is happening for us, rather than to us. Therefore, when something goes a little wrong you can begin to see lessons and opportunities that stem from it, rather than disappointment.
Step outside! As a “bloggerholic” I even take my laptop into my garden, just so I can catch as many rays as I can before the season inevitably changes. Being outside can give you so much energy. Instead of snuggling scarves over our faces and burying our heads in coat collars, we are much more open and carefree when our friend “sunny” comes around, dashing fluffy white clouds and bright rays over the sky.
Why not use the warm weather to your advantage? Take your favorite book to the park, or start a new sport. Sometimes, simply closing your eyes and breathing in the smell of your most loved flower, whilst a summer breeze dances around you is the only thing you need to make any day simply perfect.
Autumn can get pretty hectic. You’ve gone back to work, college or school after the summer holidays, and the deadlines start building up once again. One of the best pieces of advice I was once told was to “cherish your mid-point”. When something good happens, like getting great feedback on a project you’ve worked your socks off for, we tend to instantly feel good and valued. However, when something goes slightly skew this thought process reverses and we start to believe are efforts were not good enough.
By finding your mid-point you don’t let your self-worth be defined by achievements. Try not to overly buy in to the “I’m so special” belief system that can come with success, or you’re more likely to believe the opposite when your luck changes. Finding a mid-point lets you value your endeavors unconditionally, and that way you won’t feel so hard done by when things don’t go to plan. However, of course this in NO way means you can’t bust out a victory dance, pop some champagne, or buy yourself a massive bar of chocolate to celebrate success, whatever floats your boat! The trick is to know your self-worth outside of what you achieve academically or in the workplace.
Remember you are a human being! Don’t worry, I don’t suddenly think that you’ve morphed into an alien whilst reading this, (and if you have, please leave me a comment) but the point of this one is to remember you are a human being, and not a human doing. There are a thousand and one deadlines in the run up to the Christmas holidays, and the trick is to prioritise. Defend space in your schedule for doing something you want to do, or quite simply doing nothing at all! Surprisingly, this one can be the most difficult as we often put the needs of others way before our own, but why?
You deserve just the same amount of attention as any “to-do” list, and to avoid becoming a walking talking list ticker, you could try blocking out your diary well in advance with a simple “MT”. Standing for “Me Time”, the MT marker makes you’re less likely to take on more than you can handle. Simply stating that you already have something booked in asserts your organised nature, but also give you that much needed time to recharge and regain control of any situation.
I hope you have found some of these little life hacks helpful. I would love to know of anything you do when you need a pick me up, comment below.