You can blame my romantic nature, but I spend a lot of time in my head, dreaming and thinking about holidays in far-off lands, of what-ifs and could-have-beens; I know I'm not the only one guilty of this. Sometimes I get so caught up in worrying about whether or not I am living the dream, or past wrong-doings and guilt-trips that I forget that I am very lucky to have as much as I do.
So I came up with a list of daily rituals - things that I can execute immediately and will lift my mood. I'm not talking about doing sun salutations or ten hail mary's, here (though if those things help you, go for it) I'm just talking about small little things that take a bit of extra time or effort, a bit of concentration, or a bit of a kick up the arse, that make me feel like I've got my life in order, and make me focus on the here and now and appreciate everything that little bit more.
P E A C E
- TAKE TIME to eat your breakfast, have a coffee, have some time in the morning. This is one I really need to work on myself, I'm guilty of spending every last second until I really have to get up, hitting the snooze button on my phone and then skipping breakfast until I get to work, and running out the door bleary eyed. When I've taken the time to sit and have my yoghurt and coffee whilst skimming the morning news, I feel so much more awake and ready for the day.
- FOCUS on the small things. My friend takes a picture a day that makes her happy, and I think this is one of the most lovely little things you can do to remind yourself of the people around you that are important, and the joy that they can bring.
- STRAIGHTEN your bed. I know it's sounds like a trivial thing but getting into a made bed makes me feel so much better in the evenings. This applies to kitchens, living rooms, bathrooms, wherever you know you'll appreciate coming home to a clean space. Pick up your junk, throw away your rubbish, straighten the cushions.
- TIDY your workspace. I work at my desk, where I also do my makeup too, so by the end of the week, I can barely work there. I've been trying to make the effort to put all my lotions and potions away, as soon as I've used them.
- MASSAGE your cleanser, serum, or moisturiser into your face, when applying. I have a cleansing balm that smells like aromatherapy oils, and just taking the extra five minutes to massage it into my face with some basic facial massage techniques always gets me ready for bed, makes my eyes heavy, and ready for bed.
P R E S E N C E
- LEAVE the phone alone in bed. I'm really trying to work on this one, because I'm so guilty for scrolling through twitter, instagram, my emails, in bed before I fall asleep. The light doesn't help, and it doesn't make me associate my bed with sleep. The nights where I leave it on the other side of the room, I get a noticeably better quality of sleep, so I really must do it more.
- BREATHE in some fresh air, and some sunlight on your skin. I can't stress how much better I feel if I get some fresh air in the day. It might be a five minute stroll outside the office at lunchtime, or it might be a brisk walk around the block after work, or even parking on the far side of the carpark at the shops, but taking the time to get some fresh air always makes me feel a bit happier.
- LISTEN to other people, and don't just wait for your turn to speak. Self-explanatory, really, but I see it in other people and it irks me.
- NOTE your surroundings, and take pleasure in them. I was stuck in traffic on the way to work the other day, and delighted in watching a buzzard lazily circle above a field. The smallest thing, but it gave me a little bit of happiness in one small go.
- SWITCH OFF your phone, laptop, anything that might distract you, and do something you really enjoy for thirty minutes +. Maybe it's just watching a movie, reading a book, knitting, going for a walk, but taking the time, distraction free, to really immerse yourself in that thing, makes me remember why I enjoy it. My favourite thing to do is to just go for a walk and leave my phone at home.