By: Maurine Anderson
As humans, we love making plans for things that we can look forward to. We tend to spend our weeks looking forward to Friday, and our years looking forward to summer. It truly does take an added measure of effort, then, to find joy and excitement in the here and now—in everyday life. Why not spend more of your days enjoying the present rather than looking forward to isolated events?
Here are 7 ways to help make your everyday life better.
Set aside time to meditate daily.
“Meditate” can mean whatever you’d like it to mean for you. It can be practicing yoga in a quiet place. It might be lying down with your eyes closed while listening to relaxing music. Or it might be spending time in prayer and scripture study. Setting aside time to meditate daily will allow you to relax, escape the rush of everyday life, and reflect on the bigger picture in life.
Practice time management.
Practicing regular time management can improve your quality of life in a variety of ways. First, it helps eliminate the stress that comes from running late—be it to work, to spending time with a friend, or to an important event. Second, as you gain a firmer grasp on managing your time, you’ll become more attuned to what your abilities are. This will help you to set more realistic expectations for yourself as you write out your daily to-do lists. Third, time management can keep you engaged in wholesome tasks that will ultimately help you become your ideal self. This is why time management is so important for those who are recovering from addiction, as this article outlines.
Get enough sleep.
There’s a popular phrase about sleep that is oft-repeated by those who don’t hold a good night’s rest in high priority: “you can sleep when you’re dead.” The problem with this mindset, however, is that it leads many to believe that they should sacrifice necessary, rejuvenating sleep in order to “get ahead.” Getting ample sleep is important for maintaining a strong mind, staying healthy, and bettering your mood. It can even help reduce symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD, epilepsy, and more. Instead of going through life half awake, do your best to get adequate sleep each night.
Get up early.
On a related and seemingly contrasting note, getting up early on a daily basis can also improve your everyday life significantly. Everyone lives by a different daily schedule, but if you can, try to wake up a little earlier on a daily basis (while getting enough sleep, of course), and spend the extra time you get on you. This will allow you to do a variety of things that will enrich your day but that you often push to the wayside—things like meditating, exercise, and reading for pleasure.
Find your creative outlet.
Even if you don’t consider yourself the creative type, chances are you can find something that fuels your creativity. Maybe for you it’s a fine art like sculpting or painting. Maybe it’s something related to graphic design, photography, or illustration. It could be playing a musical instrument, woodworking, cooking, baking, crafting, or renovating the interior of your home. Even writing in your journal or in blog form can be your creative outlet. Find something that fills that innate human need to create something that didn’t exist before.
Those who say that laughter is the best medicine aren’t too far off the mark; in fact, it can be helpful to view laughter as a daily vitamin, and as a means for coping with stress. Those who use humor to cope with stress are even shown to have better immune systems and reduced risk of heart attack and stroke. Spend time regularly with people who uplift you, who bring out the best in you, and who make you laugh. And when times of stress come into your life, do your best to find humor in the situation—a skill that will surely come with practice.
Never save anything for a special occasion.
Many of us love to save things for special occasions—a favorite outfit for Friday, a decadent meal for a celebratory dinner, or freshly manicured nails for a wedding, for example. And while it’s great to celebrate important milestones in life with added flourish, sometimes saving something for only special occasions means that you deprive yourself of it in your everyday life. Try approaching every day as though it is a special occasion—because every day truly is.
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