- Touch it Once. This is straight from my grandmother. I asked her one time how her house is always so clean – laundry done, dishes put away, no clutter…ever. She told me, “Touch it once.” I adapted this a couple of years ago and typically only takes an extra five minutes, ten max. Put clean dishes away when they are done washing, and put dirty dishes in the dishwasher instead of in the sink. Throw trash in the trash. Take dirty laundry straight to the laundry room. When clothes are clean, fold and put away (Eh hem, the ugly truth: Clean, unfolded laundry is my nemesis and I regularly flip the bird to huge piles of clothes as I ignore them and walk away). We all have our things, right?
- Light the good candles. Don’t wait for company or for the perfect moment. Just light your good candles and be reminded even a regular Wednesday night at home is special. I die over this Volcano Jar candle: Capri Blue CB705VOL White 19 Ounce Volcano Jar Candle*. It was given to me as a gift once and I’ve purchased it several times since. It burns in our home every. single. night.
- Use a pretty coffee mug. This habit sounds small but it is a simple way to bring joy to the day. If you don’t have a favorite mug, splurge on one. I have a favorite at home and at the office. Ditch the paper mug and pour your drive-through latte into something pretty. If you’re staying at the coffee shop, ask for the glass mug. Obviously, this is my favorite one to use at home because, you know, alpacas: Pretty Alpaca Mug by Pithitude – One Single 11oz. Pink Coffee Cup*
- Enjoy your meals – but like, actually. There’s a bonus here if you’ve grown and/or prepared the meal yourself. Put down your phone and forget productivity for a few minutes. Eat with a friend. Appreciate the flavors. If you’re eating out, choose a local business for extra “feel good” points. I repeat, put down your phone.
- Say no. If you ask pretty much anyone how they are, you’ll probably get a somewhat scripted response of “Good, busy.” Hey people, GOOD does not equal BUSY. This has probably been the most life-changing habit for me, personally. Say no, don’t over schedule yourself and DON’T you dare feel badly about it. Your sanity will thank you.
- Get up early and eat breakfast. Give your self an extra 30 min to an hour in the morning. Eat breakfast, drink a warm drink and have a little quiet time before your day starts be it meditation, reading, exercise or whatever your zen thing is. Leave the lights down except for maybe a lamp and don’t even thinking about checking your email. Life. Changing. For real.
- Go to bed on time. The Netflix binge…we’ve all been there. One more show, one more, one more until its after midnight and the alarm clock is set to go off in 5 hours. FML. Make yourself go to bed when you’re tired.
- Buy or cut fresh flowers. This is a great a way to bring nature and beauty indoors. If you’re feeling creative, buy the bouquets wrapped in paper or flowers by the stem and create your own display.
- Grow your own berries, herbs & veggies. Whether you have a small apartment balcony or acres to plant, you CAN grow veggies! It’s so easy. Not only are they healthier because they are fresh, but I have found we waste less and enjoy more when it is something we have tended to. Cherry tomatoes, jalepeno peppers, basil, cilantro, oregano, strawberries and micro greens are all ideas for what you can grow in just about any space.
- Learn to knit. Create something cozy while spending time with a friend – old or new.
- Pet the dog (or cat). They are a part of our lives, but we are their WHOLE lives. Take an extra minute to give them some love. Pets are scientifically proven to increase the production of endorphins, oxytocin and dopamine, aka our feel good neuro-chemicals.
- Leave work on time. Another game changer. And when you do leave work on time, truly leave. Set a time for yourself that you will stop checking email on your phone. It will be there tomorrow.
- Unplug to recharge. Put the phone and tablets on their charger…in the other room. I set a personal time of 8PM when all social media, email and web searching comes to a halt. This is the time I truly begin to recharge. The timing will be different for everyone, especially if you have kids or a busy evening routine, but setting a cutoff time really helps. Even if it is just an hour before bed.
- Go for a Walk. Get some fresh air, enjoy nature, spend time with the kids and pets.
- Make your bed when you get up. We’ve all heard it – The state of your bed is the state of your head. Who wants a messy head? Not me. No way. I’m making that shit.
- Take care of your gut. I am a firm believer that gut health is the foundation for overall health. Avoid antibiotics, eat organic, fresh non-processed foods as much as you can and if you’re up for a challenge, kick the cold beverages to replace with warm or room temperature drinks. Living with Celiac Disease for the past 10 years has made me acutely aware my own gut health outside of just eliminating gluten. This is the foundation for overall health and will help you fight illness, headaches, reduce allergies and even think more clearly. If you’re not pooping every day, we need to talk.
*I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for my to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Affiliate links are included in this post.