Take time to relax. Take time for you in big ways and small. You can schedule it if you need to. Chill at home and read. Take a candlelit bath and drink wine. Our lives are hectic and over scheduled day in and day out so it is important to make sure you have some time to get away from it all. Whatever you love to do that gives you energy, do that.
Go outside. Whatever the season, make sure you get some fresh air. In the spring, you can have picnics, go to vineyards, and play with flowers. In the summer, you can take hikes, go kayaking, and hang out at the pool. In the fall, you can have bonfires, hang out on patios and go to harvest festivals. In the winter, you can go ice skating, have snowball fights and sled in the snow. Natural light gets us away from the blue light of our computer and cell phone screens. Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have positive health benefits like reduced stress, less inflammation, lower anxiety, increased energy and better focus.
Do things for other people. Perform random acts of kindness, give presents to people for no reason, donate to charity. Buy someone flowers. Do all of these things without any expectation of getting anything in return. It feels good to get outside of yourself and focus on the needs of other people. Helping other people makes you happier regardless of if the gesture is recognized or acknowledged by the other party.
Take some trips. Go on a day trip to a waterfall. Pick a city nearby and go for a long weekend. Buy plane tickets during a fare sale. Save up to fly some place international. This is one of my favorite things to do so you can see new places and get out of your everyday routine. The anticipation of the trip builds up the excitement with each step of the planning process.
Power hour. This is a concept that I learned from Gretchen Rubin. It is the idea of taking an hour or so to do all the random things you normally put off. This can include replacing burnt out lightbulbs, laundry, dishes, decluttering, organize your closet, get rid of unused items, etc. I have spent many hours reorganizing our apartment and de-cluttering random things that haven’t been touched in a while. My mind feels clearer when my space is not chaotic.
Meditation and gratitude. Sit and relieve tension. There are apps or Youtube videos you can use to guide you in your meditation. Just a few minutes ago can go a long way. Another great practice is writing down things for which you are thankful. It could be a couple things each day or larger lists every month.
Conscientiously spend your money. Make a savings account. Pay down your dept. Budget your monthly paychecks. Stop spending money on dumb things. Invest in your future. My latest practice has been to write down in a notebook every little thing that we spend money on throughout the month. At the end of the month, we can look at our spending habits to see where we can adjust in the next month. This picture below is me sitting on a dream porch as a symbol of future goals for which I need to save. Being responsible with money now will help me in my future.
Eat good food. This can be at home or at restaurants. Find recipes that look interesting and make them. Brunch is one of my favorite meals so I make that a priority on weekends. For cooking at home, I use Pinterest as a great resource to find new ideas. My fiancé is really into food instagram accounts and getting ideas from those. He tries to make me pizza in every form possible. Food is necessary for life so it may as well be enjoyable!
Pump up the endorphins. Be active and do fun things. Any type of activity you like. We spend a lot of time sitting so it is good for us to walk and move around. It doesn’t matter how much time or the level of intensity as long as you make doing things a priority in your life.
Go on adventures. Go outside of your comfort zone to do fun things. Try taking a class. Meet new people beyond your normal social circles. Expose yourself to new activities. Fly to Boston for a wine cruise. Try Classpass and see what kind of workouts you enjoy. Go to new restaurants in your city. Look for free events to attend. There are so many things to do to expand your horizons.
You have the chance to make 2019 amazing. The possibilities are endless. Cheers to a fantastic year.