Let's talk about your quality of life. Are you happy with it? I mean, 100%, truthfully, wouldn't-change-a-thing happy with your daily life?
If you answered yes- congrats to you, my friend! Read no further, for you have achieved your idea of your absolute best and happiest life!
If you're hesitant, or you answered no- fear not. You're among millions of people who feel the same. Read on.
What do I mean by your "Quality" of Life?
"When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too." - Paulo Coehlo
First off, let me clarify what I mean in asking about your quality of life. In some cases, this could be taken quite literally and physically. We're alive, in good health (hopefully), and in a position where we're able to read this blog post on some sort of electronic device. We should be grateful for all of these things. However, this post isn't meant to refer to our physical health and bodies as much as our mental health and wellness. In this particular instance, I'm referring to a good quality of life meaning we wake up happy, we're happy throughout our day, we're fulfilled, feel successful and motivated to achieve more.
For a lot of us, a mundane lifestyle could result in losing energy and excitement for the future. We tend to fall into negative patterns and habits that drag us down throughout our day, whether we even realize it or not. And while life sometimes throws curve balls at us and leads us down paths we never intended to take, our overall quality of life and the ability to change it always falls into our own laps.
"Do something today that your future self will thank you for."
It's been a long-term goal of mine to start developing good habits and replace bad ones. Negative thinking, procrastinating, self doubting, unhealthy eating- these are all habits that I've faced at one point or another in life and am aiming to rid myself of completely. Along this process, I've discovered that improving your life isn't about dropping everything and making a giant change in one day. Rather, it's a collection of little daily tasks and mindfully developing habits that reinforce a more positive life.
You don't need to dedicate a huge chunk of your free time to self-improvement, either. As a matter of fact, most of the little tasks that improve the quality of my days are ones that I would already be doing, just done a little more mindfully. Take these tips for what they are, try one or maybe all of them, work them into your daily schedule however they fit. After a week, see what sticks, what doesn't, and what serves you the best!
1. Practice Meditation- The time I set aside each morning for my meditation practice has been an absolute game changer for myself and the quality of my daily life. Learning to sit with my breath- and let go of any thoughts that arise- sets the mood for the rest of my day to follow. I can go into it with a relaxed and open mind.
If you're new to meditation- remember that it is a practice. It doesn't come naturally or easily for anybody to be able to release our thoughts as they come up. So, be kind to yourself and have patience. Keep practicing, even if it's for 5 minutes each day.
2. Set an intention- What would you like to bring more of to your day? To your life? This could be a specific goal you're working towards, or just simply use the phrase "I am..." "I am peace, I am happy, I am able.." Whatever your mantra may be, say it to yourself three times, say it in the present tense as if it's already true, and come back to it throughout your day.
3. Create a realistic to-do list- Thanks to a podcast my boyfriend shared with me, I've recently discovered the magic of devising a to-do list. The goal is to "win" the day by completing the things on your list as early as possible. The sense of accomplishment after setting a goal and reaching it is energizing and a motivator for more!
(Note- the first few days I tried this, it didn't resonate with me because I was setting the bar too high for myself. For example, don't put 20 things on your to-do list if you also have to go to work that afternoon. Start with 3 things, making the most important ones first. You want to ensure your success, here. Rome wasn't built in a day!)
4. Stop to breathe- This one's important, and luckily, easy! We all get overwhelmed. Make sure you're stopping along the way to simply take a deep breath. If necessary, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder.
5. Practice self-love- In the midst of chaos (good or bad), make time for yourself. Whether this means practicing yoga on your lunch break, going for a morning run, cooking a delicious dinner, or even just taking a nap, be kind to yourself. Give your body the movement, rest and nourishment it deserves.
6. Make healthy decisions- Stemming also from self-love, be mindful of what you put into your body. Limit the fast food intake, and instead make it a habit to invest in healthy snacks at the grocery store. Try picking one night a week to actually cook dinner for yourself, and then two, and then three! This could eventually become quite therapeutic, as well.
Find balance here- Keep making those healthy decisions, drink the green drinks, but also welcome some soul food into your diet! I define soul food as that thing you want, but don't necessarily NEED. Like, "being bad" on your cheat day. The donuts you indulge in for dessert. That's the soul food. You can't live on strictly soul food, but you can find a happy balance here. And balance is important not only in your diet, but all aspects of your life - physical activity & restorative relaxation, your social life & alone-time, etc. Life is all about balance.
7. Get outside- Even if it's just to take that deep breath we talked about earlier. Nature is so good for the soul. There's inspiration swirling around the wind, plus vitamin D from the sunshine will totally boost your mood! Try to get outside (at least for a couple minutes) every day.
Remember, the journey to our happiest lives won't happen overnight. And finding our happiest, most balanced lives doesn't require a total life change. Whether you take my advice on these daily tasks or not, find what works for you each day, what makes you inspired and uplifted. Stay committed to doing those things every day and after a while, notice the difference in the general quality of your life!
Sending all love,
Kimber is a fellow soul searcher, yoga instructor, and proud dog mama. She invites you along her own journey to wellness and hopes to inspire people to be the healthiest & happiest version of themselves every day!