If a genie offered you three wishes, what would you wish for? Lots of money, fame..superpowers maybe?! Actually, in this situation, all you’d really need is one wish granting- and that wish is ‘happiness’. Think about it, if you’re happy, truly happy then what else do you need in life? Thankfully, you don’t need a genie to grant you this wish because more of your happiness than you realise is well within your control. There are simple things you can aim to do at least once a week that can help you to feel happier in life. Here are ten examples!
We all know the importance of exercise- it’s as good for the mind as it is for the body. If you struggle sticking to a routine because you’re happy with your size and shape already then put the focus onto your mental health. Exercise regulates hormones which can improve mood, hunger levels and sleep. It gives a boost of endorphins and can also protect you from all kinds of illnesses and diseases over the course of your life. If you want to be happier, it’s so worth including exercise within your week. It doesn’t all have to be going for the burn, low impact activities like walking, swimming and yoga can all be incorporated. A mixture of different activities will keep you interested and use your body in different ways, so figure out what sort of exercise classes, groups, sports and gym equipment you like best.
2. Get some fresh air
We are known as the ‘indoor generation.’ So much of what we do is now indoors, even the jobs most of us do are solely indoors unlike back in our grandparents and even parents day. While being indoors most of the time can seem great as we’re comfortable and sheltered from the elements, it’s not actually great for our health. Not only can it make you feel cooped up, but indoor air can be full of toxins, irritants and pollutants. Stepping outside and enjoying some fresh air is so good for you, ideally, spend a little time in nature. If you can, head to your local park, beach, woods or gardens when you have some free time and enjoy the sights and sounds. Otherwise, you could sit out in your garden watching the birds and taking in the sunset after work. Try to schedule time into your week where you’re spending time out of doors, whether it’s a picnic in the park or a walk with the family, it will brighten your mood and you could combine it with exercise too to kill two birds with one stone.
As adults we’re great at postponing our joy. We have lots of things that get done each day because we have to do them, not because we want to or derive any pleasure from them. We go to work, pay bills, clean the house and run errands- in fact it’s these kinds of tasks that take up most of our time. How often do you do something purely for the fun of it? Things that are not necessarily productive, that are just enjoyable? It could be anything from baking a cake to playing European slots on your phone. It could be painting a picture, watching a movie or reading a book. Have a think about what sort of things you enjoy for downtime, and give yourself the time and space to indulge in them at least once a week. A great way to kill time when you’re at a loose end as well as elevate your mood.
4. Pamper yourself
Chances are weekdays are all about a quick shower in the morning before work, or in the evening before collapsing into bed. But once a week at least, make the effort to run a nice hot bath. Apply some hair mask and face masks, paint your nails, apply moisturiser and you could steam your face. These little treats for your skin and hair can help to keep them in good condition, it doesn’t take long and is nice for your wellbeing. Light a candle, pop on some music and use all of your nicest products. Lots of us get bought these kinds of things for birthdays and Christmases, so dig them out and put them to good use.
5. Save some money
Small savings goals can make a real difference, so do your best to save at least something each week. Even if it’s just the change in your pockets, throw it into a jar. The few dollars left in your bank before you’re paid again? Transfer into a savings account. You’ll feel accomplished and over the course of the year these little amounts can add up to a lot.
6. Talk to a friend
Our loved ones are what give our lives value. You might have a gorgeous house, a fantastic car and a great job but it all means very little if you’re lonely. Unfortunately, commitments like our jobs and other things we have to get done each week can mean we spend less time with our loved ones than we’d like. Make an effort to spend valuable time with someone you care about at least once a week. It could be a whole day in their company, or just a coffee date depending on your schedules. Failing that, a proper chat on the phone. We’re all connected on social media, but a like of their latest photo or a comment on their status isn’t the same thing. Put the effort into socialising properly if you’re able to. Feeling closer to the ones you care about makes you feel more secure in life, having that support network is something all of us need. Whether you’re going through a hard time and need advice, or have got some good news and want to celebrate, it’s the people you care about that you’re going to want to be with. So make an effort to maintain these connections.
7. Make to-do lists
Being organised is so important, we all lead busy lives and have places to be and things to do. Spending a little time making to-do lists for the week and planning your days ensures everything runs much more smoothly. You know exactly where you need to be, you can buy anything you need to buy and schedule your time so that you’re not rushing or panicking at the last minute. This simple act can bring control and order to your world and your life, and helps you to feel as though you have everything handled. You can go into each week feeling confident and prepared which is a fantastic way to live.
Meditation is easy and accessible, all you need is a quiet room and a comfy bed or chair. Close your eyes, relax and breathe deeply, alternatively you could follow along to a short guided meditation on your phone or Amazon echo (just ask Alexa to play a meditation). It’s a short period of time just for you, it helps you to clear your mind and even lowers blood pressure. A great place to meditate is lying in a hot bubble bath, just be careful that you don’t fall asleep.
9. Eat a delicious meal
Being sensible with your food choices is a smart way to live- hopefully you’re filling up on plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. There doesn’t need to be anything boring about eating this way, with the right combinations of herbs and spices, the right cooking techniques and recipe ideas can ensure that your healthy meals are always a treat for the senses. However, once a week it’s worth spoiling yourself and having that one thing that you really fancy. Maybe it’s a few slices of pizza on a Saturday night, or perhaps it’s a slice of chocolate cake. Maybe it’s a nice meal at a restaurant or you could spend some time researching meals and make yourself something really special. Eating healthily most of the time means you are able to enjoy occasional treats like this without it ruining your progress. It makes your healthy journey much more do-able as you really don’t have to completely give up everything you love. And since you’re not eating everything you want all the time, when you do indulge in your favourite meal once a week you’ll really enjoy it and appreciate every bite.
10. Do a good deed
Helping others is beneficial for them but is also good for you as well. Doing something nice, no matter how small is really rewarding and helps you to put good vibes out into the world. Give some spare change to a homeless person or buy them a coffee, give your friend a lift to the airport if they’re struggling arranging transport, or pick up some groceries for your elderly neighbour. Aim to do something nice for someone once a week, and see how happy it makes you!