As we approach the final few months of the year, it’s common to feel as though life is taking its toll: physically, mentally and emotionally. You may crave a complete refresh and reset to regain mental clarity and set your well-being back on the right path. If you’re struggling to muster the motivation, especially when it’s extremely fickle, you can be left feeling stuck.
So how do you move forward? The key is to make small, manageable adjustments in your day-to-day life that accumulate to an overall positive effect. You don’t need to rely on fleeting motivation; you can regain a sense of control without feeling as though a huge task lies before you.
We give you 7 tips that can make a difference to your health and wellbeing.
- Connection is key
Leading a busy lifestyle and juggling multiple responsibilities can absorb so much of our energy. Humans thrive from connecting and making connections with others, and doing so can do wonders for improving your mood. Call a friend or family member you’ve been thinking of, greet people you pass on your walk, even smiling at strangers can help you feel more connected. Relying less on social media for connection and more on real-life interaction helps us feel more grounded, present and fulfilled.
- Tick off the small tasks
Almost everyone is guilty of procrastinating at some stage, putting off both large and small tasks. However, allowing these to build up can quickly lead to you feeling overwhelmed. Write down a list of tasks on your to-do list that will take under five minutes to complete. Perhaps you’ve been meaning to tidy up one of your drawers, send an email you’ve been avoiding, or clean that dusty shelf. Whenever you have a moment in the day where you’re feeling unproductive or you know you’re wasting time, refer to your list and tick a task off. Before long you will feel much more organised and accomplished without much effort needed at all!
- Soak up sunlight each morning
Sunlight signals to our body that it’s time to start the day, stimulating a range of physiological reactions such as raising your body temperature and producing cortisol. Setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier to just sit outside and enjoy a slow start to the day, or taking your breakfast outside can help you feel more energised for the day and help optimise your body clock.
- Practice gratitude
Writing down the good things that happened throughout your day can transform your perspective and have a huge impact on your mood. No matter how the events of the day panned out, if you take the time to search for the positive moments and silver linings, you’ll usually find them. Noting what you’re grateful for in your life works in the same way: a loving family, supportive friends, a fulfilling job. Taking time to focus on and appreciate your personal positive moments at the end of each day can help cleanse your mind of negativity and shift your mind-set.
- Make small changes in your routine each day
Many people find comfort in a routine, including slight variations each day can help you avoid boredom and a feeling “stuck”. Perhaps you could drive a different route to work, get your morning coffee from a different cafe, or eat your lunch outside. Breaking the norm can help refresh your routine without making huge changes.
- Plan your meals
When we’re busy and unorganised, our diet is often one of the first things that slip by the wayside. However, this is when your body is in the most need of nourishment. Rather than relying on processed snacks or takeaway meals, plan out your meals for the week and do your grocery shopping accordingly to commit yourself to eat healthy, nutritious foods.
- Do something for the sole purpose of enjoyment
Do you find yourself doing things just because you ‘have to’, or over-justifying anything you do for yourself? When was the last time you did something just because it makes you feel good? Pleasure is justification enough. Our enjoyment is often at the bottom of our list of priorities, which is wellness mistake number one! Although everyone has commitments to fulfil each day, remember that nothing is more important than your health. This includes your mental health. Taking care of your mental health and wellbeing first and foremost will boost your mood and productivity throughout the day.
You’re in control of your life, however, sometimes it can feel the other way around. The tips above are some simple ways to break the cycle and work towards feeling refreshed and content with your day-to-day life.