Even though you probably don’t associate resolutions with summertime, why not take a different approach to decisions this year, and make a First Day of Summer Resolution? It has now been six months since the last time you most likely sat down to take stock of your life, and the time is about ripe to do so again.
Whatever you decide to promise yourself you will try to achieve before the year is out, I advise making one of the promises “make your life a better place”. Most people usually have grand ideas – losing weight, leaving cigarettes, taking up a new hobby, and so forth. While all these plans are of course great, why not try to de-clutter your life a bit, like you would a flat, and see where that leaves you in about a year.
Here go five simple things you can start implementing on a daily basis, and which will help you crack a smile just a bit more often.
Disconnect to connect, to be more precise. We are all immersed in technology at this point, and while you are surely not expected to go caveman and start living without a phone or a decent Internet connection, you might wish to start reconnecting in person, instead of liking and retweeting.
Socializing will get your heart pumping, and your brain working. You will no longer be required to stare blankly at a screen, but engage in conversation – an instant boost to all sorts of mental functions.
Make a conscious decision to meet friends or family at least once a week. You can never be too busy to devote at least a few hours per week to re-establishing the fact that humans are in fact a social species.
Move away from the chips and gamepad, and towards the sunshine. Or the rain, for that matter. Take up a yoga class, or start walking on a regular basis. If you are feeling motivated, treat yourself to brand new fitness apparel and join a local fitness class. Whatever it is, simply make time in your schedule to get in at least an hours worth of anything other than sitting a day.
There is no need for me to elaborate about the importance of regular exercise. Even moderate amounts of working out, simply moving, will help you keep scary words like diabetes, heart disease and cancer at bay, or at least know you have done all you can to do so.
You may not believe me, but you are probably not drinking enough water per day. Most of us only take a sip when we are feeling thirsty, but you are well on your way to dehydration by then. Water is the magic substance which will keep your skin soft and your eyes radiant, and will do wonders health-wise as well.
In order to force yourself to stick with this habit, you can get yourself a handy water bottle which will be a constant reminder you need to be hydrating. Or simply carry a glass with you while you move from room to room. Whatever you do, find a way to remind yourself what you need to be doing, until it becomes an everyday activity you no longer even notice.
How crowded is your home? Do you keep a bunch of things you no longer need or use? More importantly, what is the state of your fridge and your pantry? And your bathroom cabinet?
There is a tiny bit of a hoarder in most of us, and we all tend to hold on to things we will most likely forget quite soon. In order to stop these things from dragging you down – do a weekly or monthly bout of cleaning. Do a thorough cleanup in all areas where you store food, and take stock of your bathroom as well, as this is where we tend to pile. Apart from that, you can also start donating the clothes you no longer wear, and all the little odds and ends you feel are dragging you down.
Once you get rid of the stuff, you will start to feel some of the stress melting away, the part of it caused by your overwhelming amount of possessions.
Finally, take the time you need to rest. Most of us get too little sleep on most nights, which is fine in the short term, but can cause a lot of harm in the long run. Sleep deprivation most often leads to anxiety, stress, even depression, mood swings and irritability. A bad mood will not help you get anywhere any faster, so before you start making excuses, remind yourself that your body needs to recharge itself, and make sure you provide it with the time to do so.
I know we were all looking forward to growing up just so we could dictate our own bedtime, but the time has now come to be the adult, and send yourself to bed when you need to.