Things You Can Do For A Happier 2019
Nothing I love more than a feeling of a fresh start which is why I love new years so much. First of all it means a brand new diary and you know I love me some cute stationary.
I find this time of year and indeed the Christmas time that proceeds it can be really hard for some. A time of reflection, a time when you can feel at your loneliest. I think there's a lot of expectations of how or who we should be instead of just being. I feel it’s equally a great time to focus on ones mental health and letting good, positive vibes into ones life. Here’s a couple of things I do that bring me happiness and hopefully bring you some happiness too this new year.
1. Limit your screen time
Recently the screen time function on my iPhone to limit and monitor how much time I spend on social media. If you go to Settings its just under do not disturb and through this you can select time limits on certain app's as well as setting a password that you have to put in once you reach this time limit. Or you can just delete the app's themselves off of your phone.
2. Listen to a podcast
I love listening to podcasts, if I'm in a bad mood or have a long journey podcasts keep me calm. My favourite are anything true crime as I find that just so fascinating. In particular I'm really into My Favorite Murder which is a True Crime/Comedy podcast.
I always thought meditation would be cross legged, humming kind of thing but it turns out its all about noticing and breathing and just ensuring your mind and body are still. I swear by the Headspace app they have so many different types of meditation including ones for grief, travelling and sleep
4. Set yourself some boundaries
When I went to therapy last year the biggest thing I learnt was to set myself boundaries as not overwhelm myself and put my mental health first. This Buzzfeed article sums up boundaries you can set better than I ever can. It is not selfish to put yourself first and protect your mental health.
5. Change your surroundings
After Christmas I find that my house just looks a bit bare so what I like to do is have a shuffle round of things. Move where I put my sofa or try and feng shui my bedroom. You can even go to the extreme of looking for a nice place to live if you are in the position to do so. The last few days have been spent having a huge deep clean/throw out of loads of things I just don't need anymore and now I have bags of things to take to the charity shop.
6. Plan your meals every week
I swear by ordering my food shop online as I can plan my meals ahead and it gets delivered to my door. I end up saving money because I'm not wandering round the aisle starving and putting 20 different types of cheese in my trolley. The food is always fresh and you can turn substitutes off so if your item isn't in they don't send you something you dont want. I also got a couple of recipe books for Christmas and I love trying and cooking new things. Particularly love Chrissy Teigen's books, there's a Tuna, Jalepeno and Cheese Casserole dish that I've kind of adapted into my own and I love making Kate LaVie's banana bread recipe.
7. Learn to love your body
Instead of starving yourself on some diet that will last 2 weeks and you will end up hating yourself with every time you "fail" or spending loads on a gym membership that you will use for a month and then forget about and feel guilty for not going. How about instead we learn to love our bodies the way we are. Exercise and work out as fun rather than a punishment and eat well because we want to not because we are starving ourselves. I read a book last by BodyPosiPanda last year that changed my whole perception of my body
8. Read a new book every month
I always thought I didn't like books because I had a short attention span and just couldnt get into fiction books but it turns out I just hadn't found the type of book I like. I now know I love non-fiction books anything that's self-help/psychology/fact based and I'm there.
9. Try Cutting Back on Meat
I'm always trying to make a conscious effort to eat less meat. One of the things that has made me feel happier towards the end of last year was cutting back on meat and also dairy. For ages I tried and then felt guilty for cravings or I had health related issues where I couldn't be too picky on what I ate and I was down on myself for wanting to eat chicken nuggets.
What I found was starting with one meal a day and then trying one day a week and so on. I'm not at vegetarian status just yet but I did go without eating any meat with my Christmas dinner. I found trying new recipes or trying my favourite meals but with veg substituting meat. For instance sweet potato in a curry is so good instead of having chicken. Also invest in some herbs and spices, and season your meal properly, I found it was the meat I missed but just the flavours.
10. Focus on sleeping better
I'm always trying to have a better sleeping pattern so I try things like not having my phone in bed with me or watching tv before bed as the light is proven to keep you awake. I find reading instead helps me sleep so much better. Also I removed the snooze button from my alarm. I used to set an alarm and then have a snooze button go off every 7 minutes and it would take me hours to get in a good mood. Turns out snoozing is so bad for you, various studies have shown that hitting that snooze button really affects the rest of your day. I now rarely let myself snooze but when I do I see a significant difference in my mood