It’s a Wednesday. Which means for most, it’s the middle of the work week. Meaning, we still have two days left of work, we still have two more days of gym routines and we still have two more days of food prep. Two more days of schedules, meetings and planned activities before the freedom of the weekend hits. And we’re all looking forward to the weekend…
But how can we enjoy the right now? In minimalism, (the idea of limiting stuff, in order to increase happiness) one of the main goals is to enjoy the present. Really live for the moment, rather than living for the weekend.
I’ve come to realize that it’s really the little things that will make you happy, if you let them. It’s also the really little things that will upset you, if you let them. So it’s time to start enjoying the little things, and then the really big things will follow. No disappointment, no resentment, no wishing for the end (end of the workweek, end of the school year, end of an internship…). See below for my ten self care tips!
- Wake up a teensy bit earlier than you would normally. This one is literally the hardest thing for me – I love my extra 20 minutes of sleep! But by waking up a tiny bit earlier, you’re in less of a rush, you have more time to yourself, and you start the day off better.
- Similar to step 1, make an actual breakfast. I’ve been on the smoothie train for the last three days and it’s actually been great! Rather than starve myself until lunch cause I didn’t have time to make anything or didn’t want to spend money on a takeaway, I can sit at my desk and drink my super-healthy smoothie. On the days where I do manage to complete step 1, I’ll make avocado toast with a poached egg on top! Taking the time for yourself in the morning and making sure you get to eat is such a positive experience. It might sound weird, but really appreciate your breakfast. You woke up and there was food ready for you. Yes it might have taken some preparation, but you still have food. This kind of appreciation should transcend into the rest of your day.
- Do something for someone else. I know this is a self-care article but by doing things for other people, you open yourself up to good karma and you feel good that you did something for someone else. It can be something little – start the coffee machine for your roommate, wash your dishes before you leave the house (this one’s a personal one, can’t you tell!!!) or take out the trash before anyone has a chance to mention that it needs to be taken out. The words of appreciation you’ll get from doing these little things will also help fuel your day and make you appreciate the things they do too!
- Give yourself treats. I don’t mean this literally, although a sweet treat might be your thing! I find that if I focus on the good things that I get to enjoy, I enjoy them that much more. I.e. coming home and turning on Netflix with a glass of wine (my favourite kind of treat…), going for a nice long hike rather than a sweat at the gym, doing a calming yoga routine to help put you to sleep…These little things that make life awesome should be a huge part of your day. That being said, work needs to get done, but allow yourself to have these treats.
- Speaking of work, how can we enjoy this aspect of our lives more? My tip is to think about why you’re doing it. For me, I love my job and am so lucky to have it but there’s things about it that can sometimes be mundane or boring. During those times, I think about the bigger picture. These little tasks that I don’t particularly enjoy, add to my job as a whole, and without them, nothing could happen. So I focus on doing them to the best of my ability while thinking about how lucky I am to be working here. IF you’re not in the same position and you don’t feel particularly passionate about your job, focus on the good within the job. Working at a grocery store? Relish the random conversations you have with customers, appreciate your co-workers for their work ethic, and really take in the feedback from your boss. You’re providing a service for people, while getting yourself to where you want to be later in life.
- Spend some time alone. This tip has been huge for me this summer. If you never spend time alone or the idea of it freaks you out, trust me, you will learn to appreciate it, and sometimes even crave it! Spending time alone allows you to re-set your mind and body. So if you’re feeling grouchy, rather than chew out your roommates, go to your room and sit for a bit. You can really think about how you feel, why you might be feeling that way, and then choose to get over it or address it. This mental process takes time and consideration and is hard to do when sitting in a crowded room. Also if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed with choices or decisions that need to be made, being alone really helps tell you what you want to do, without the opinions of others affecting your choices.
- Contrary to the above point, I find that sometimes the inner monologue is too much, and I need to be with other people to distract myself. To really be in the present, leave your phone somewhere, shut your laptop and just be with the people you’re with. Enjoy their company, ask them questions, take an interest in their lives. By being more engaged with people, you’re more in the moment and able to appreciate them.
- Practice yoga or meditation. The benefits of meditative practice are huge. I literally just set up my laptop in my room, pull out my yoga mat and follow along to whatever yoga video I’ve picked out for the day. I also spend a few minutes each day meditating and have already seen improvements to my mental health. I don’t care what anyone says, you can meditate anywhere, anytime. If you are at school and feel like you need a mental break, go to the bathroom and meditate. If you’re at work, take a walk outside and meditate. Meditating is the definition of being present, and will help you appreciate your life so much more. The first time I tried meditating, I was on a plane, and I haven’t looked back since.
- Stay positive. Be grateful for what you have. Really focus on the good in your life, especially when you’re feeling down. If you can read this, you’re one of the luckiest people in the world. Take that in every. single. day. We’re all allowed to feel blue sometimes, but don’t let it get the best of you.
- Be genuine. Say exactly what you mean. When you’re not fine, don’t say you’re fine. When someone has upset you – let them know. Try and be the most genuine person you know. That way, when self-doubt rolls around (and it will, it always finds us), you’ll know you did everything right. Being honest lets you live peacefully in the moment, you’re not caught up in what you wish you would have said; you said it already. This self-care tip not only benefits you as a person, but it allows you to spread positivity and integrity to the people around you.
Thanks for reading!