Certain areas of my life needed a little attention, ok maybe a lot of attention! So I started making a few simple changes to my daily and weekly routines and my life has changed so much. It really doesn't take much.
So here are my 15 things I changed or added to my daily routine:
1. You Time
Make sure you carve some time out for yourself every week.
Being a Mum of 3 it can be tricky to find some time but generally Sunday mornings are my "me time". I (sometimes!) go to the gym, then come home and ride my horse.
Carving out a morning to ACTUALLY do something I love without having to watch a 2 yr old has helped my mental health so much. Sure, sometimes people don’t understand when I say no to plans coz I’m going for a ride but hey, it's my time. If I don't spend some time for myself, I'll get run into the ground and resentful of other people.
2. Start Your Day Relaxed
Just recently I started getting up earlier to hit the gym. I didn’t realise but this actually relaxes me when I get home because I’ve already ticked a major thing off my list for the day before anyone else is even out of bed! I then have time to have brekkie and a coffee before getting the kids ready for school. I used to eat breakfast after school drop-off, or not at all. I realised it was making me so cranky and tired. Yes, it means I have to get out of bed earlier, but it gives me something to look forward to... eating calmly and feeling awesome!
3. Take Time to Journal
Journaling really helps me articulate my thoughts. If your problems don’t seem better after 30 minutes of journaling, they will at least be easier to process.
You don't have to write pages and pages – everyone has a different thing that works. Whether it's a sentence that helps you sum up the day or get something off your chest and gets you thinking, quick bullet journalling or five pages of train-of-thought writing, find something that suits you.
4. The Power of Fresh Flowers
I’d love to say I had fresh flowers in my house all the time - I don’t - but when I do they always brighten up the house and the fragrance is so fresh.
I go into our garden and pick flowers for my home in Spring or Summer and occasionally buy some fresh flowers from the supermarket - yes, they’re cheap and pretty, so if you don’t have a garden or can’t afford fresh flowers all the time, even just buying a $10 supermarket bunch every month can be a nice treat to look forward to.
5. Love Yourself
I used to be very insecure and extremely critical of myself. I have since - thanks to my husband - decided that I needed to love myself wholly and unconditionally because my love is more important than anyone else’s.
If I couldn’t love myself, how could I love anyone else? And I didn’t want my self-negativity rubbing off on my kids. I’d leave positive quotes around the house to remind myself and by doing this it's made my life so much more positive.
6. Get Ready The Night Before
I lay out my gym or riding clothes the night before - it's a small but time-saving task. It takes the guesswork out of getting dressed or finding something in the dark without waking anyone us, so I have more time to eat breakfast (or sleep five minutes longer!).
I also pack my gym bag with my protein shake and drink bottle or grab a coffee for me and carrot treat for my horse post-ride!
7. Just Cry
I tend to bottle things up and then burst one random day so I just told myself that whenever I feel the urge to cry, I should just let it all go. It helps me relieve a lot of stress. And it’s surprising how good I feel afterwards!
8. Get Outside and Go For a Walk
I get outside in the fresh air as often as I can. I walk whilst listening to music or podcasts or I go for a run. I’ve found that the fresh air on my face helps keep me sane, helps me sleep, and I just feel so free, almost like I have no responsibilities!
Try walking to work, or if you don't want to walk all the way to work, try getting off the bus/train a couple stops early and walk the rest of the way. Just find little ways to get a few extra steps in.
9. Set Reminders in Your Phone
I have one every morning and night to take my vitamins, and use them a lot for other things as needed. Since you're on your phone so much, you're going to notice it, and the notification icon will stay on your screen until you check it as done.
10. Find at Least 3 Things Daily That You’re Grateful For
I keep a journal and include a daily list of things I'm grateful for that day. Kind people, fresh air in my lungs, something funny, my kids, good food – the list gets huge after a week and is a great reminder of how wonderful life is!
11. Stop and Take A Look Around You
Every now and then stop and take a look around you. Simply looking up at the sky and clouds, or at other little things like colours, leaves, flowers etc., can make a big difference in keeping me grounded, and grateful.
I’m lucky enough to live in the country but if you work in a city, near a park, why not spend your lunch breaks there with a book or some good music?
I’ve only just started daily meditation but I’ve noticed a massive difference already. It wasn’t ever something I thought I’d do but I felt I need to try it after feeling a bit stressed and anxious after a couple of not so great events in my life. I started with YouTube and I found one that fit my lifestyle and time constraints. It has transformed my perspective on life.
Meditation doesn't just mean sitting down and thinking about nothing. If you can't sit still, try practicing mindfulness routines while taking a walk or even around your house.
13. Stretch Daily
I spend 5 to 10 minutes every day stretching. Either right after my gym workout or ride or after brekkie, I lay down on the floor and do some deep stretching before I start my work day. I immediately feel more awake and fresh, and I still feel great by the end of the day. I’m no longer stiff and sore.
14. Leave Kind Notes for Strangers
So I’ve only just discovered and started doing this but every time I park my car somewhere I take a sticky note and write something positive and inspiring on it. I then place the note on a car next to me. Knowing that I'm spreading love and encouragement to others helps me feel more positive. You never know who needs a little reminder of how amazing they are.
15. Have a Relaxing Bath
Every week I treat myself to a phone-free, kid-free bath - ok not always kid-free! Sometimes I take my book, grab a drink, and always have loads of bubbles. No matter what, I treat it as me time. It's great for giving myself a chance to re-energise my mind.
Would love to hear your thoughts on these and any other things you do on a daily or weekly basis to improve your life :)