10 Easy Things You Can Do to Improve Your Life
Photo source: @syddarlingg
Just because you're stuck in a rut, doesn't mean you have to stay that way. And contrary to popular belief, you don't have to make drastic changes in order to notice an improvement in the quality of your life. Stress will always be a part of our day-to-day lives, but it can also take a toll on our mental health over time. So, instead of tearing through best-selling self-help books or creating elaborate schemes on how to make next year the best year ever, start by practicing these 10 easy habits that can improve your life.
DECLUTTER YOUR SPACE.
Purging and decluttering a space you spend the majority of your time in has countless aesthetic, emotional, and mental benefits. Dedicate one morning this weekend to sorting through your clothes, books, shoes, or papers to determine what you want to keep. Keeping only the items that bring joy and ease to your life will make your closet, desk, or home so much more inviting and warm.
LOOK PEOPLE IN THE EYE WHEN YOU SPEAK.
Maintaining eye contact is easy when you’re listening, but try doing it when you speak as well. Direct eye contact builds confidence and fosters a connection between two people in conversation. It also makes you appear more trustworthy, self-aware, and self-assured.
TRY A NEW ACTIVITY.
Sometimes you feel most energized when you test the limits of your comfort zone. Maybe you’ve wanted to visit the cool coffee shop down the street, learn to play the piano, plan a trip out of the country, or try a new workout class for the first time—whatever piques your interest, go for it.
We are sure you’re so sick of hearing that you should try meditating. But mindfulness is a lot more realistic to achieve than the kind of meditation you hear about because it doesn’t require years of practice and a yoga mat. And, it only takes 30 minutes (or less!) sitting right at your desk.
- Start with one long breath in, and with this breath say to yourself, “I am arriving into the present moment.”
- Follow this breath in with a breath out. Notice what it’s like to be in this present moment.
- Repeat this deep breathing exercise two more times. Don’t rush, you’re not in a hurry, and remember, you’re doing all this correctly—there is no wrong way to meditate!
MAKE YOUR LUNCH (AND DINNER)
Making your meals every day not only guarantees you have control over your health, but it’s also cheaper and a great way to learn a new skill or experiment with your cooking abilities.
CHECK YOUR BANK STATEMENT EVERY TWO WEEKS AND CHOOSE ONE THING YOU CAN CUT OUT.
Can you deactivate that auto-subscription service? Can you eliminate your monthly pedicure? Can you cut your happy hour bill in half? Do your best to find one thing, however small or seemingly insignificant it may be, and get rid of it. Chances are you won’t notice the loss, but even if you do, the extra money you’ll be saving will offset the pain of sacrificing coffee.
CONNECT WITH AN OLD FRIEND OR NEW CO-WORKER
If it’s been a while since you’ve seen or talked to someone, reach out and let them know you’re thinking about them. Maybe even try it the old-fashioned way—sending a physical letter!
KEEP A GRATITUDE JOURNAL.
The best way to pull yourself out of a funk is to actively focus on the good in your life. If you have a few minutes on the train in the a.m., pull out a get a gratitude journal or the Notes app on your phone and jot down three things you’re grateful for, big or small. It doesn’t have to be extensive: a bullet-point list will do. Taking the time to thoughtfully consider what you’re thankful for puts your life in perspective—and allows you to focus on what you’re lucky to have, instead of what you don’t have.
MAKE YOUR BED WHEN YOU WAKE UP.
It takes less than two minutes (if it takes longer, get rid of your throw pillows) and starts your day on a productive note. Plus, crawling into a freshly made bed at night yields a sounder sleep than plopping on top of your wrinkled, tangled sheets.
DRINK A TALL GLASS OF WATER WHEN YOU WAKE UP.
Hydrate. Whether it’s cold, hot, with lemon, with honey, drinking a big glass of water first thing in the morning invigorates you, jumpstarts your metabolism, helps your body flush out toxins, and makes it easier to continue drinking water throughout the day.
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