Whether it’s a brisk walk, swim, or a yoga class followed by your preferred cup of coffee made by your favourite barista, a morning ritual can help you spring out of bed in the morning and start the day on the right foot. Be sure to stop and make time for a nutritious breakfast to kick-start your metabolism and keep those exercise-fuelled endorphins buzzing about.
Make time for family
Family are often the first people to be cut out of our busy schedules, but not making time for our loved ones can also plant an anxious seed of unnecessary guilt in our lives. Whether it’s an allocated weekly or fortnightly meal together, or a habitual phone call on a Saturday morning – taking the time to connect with your family will leave you feeling fulfilled, with research proving time and time again that those who are happiest spend time with their nearest and dearest.
Studies have shown that meditation and/or prayer can have a positive impact on our hearts and our minds. Finding time need not be a chore – all you need is a five minute break from the office to clear your mind, take a walk, and recite some positive mantras that work for you.
Spending time with friends – be it over a meal, at the pub, or on a sport’s team – is a well-known formula for happiness. Often, when we’re feeling tired or down, the last thing we feel like doing is going out with our mates, but if we force ourselves to do so, we often return home feeling much better. Good friends have a way of pulling us up, so choose your inner circle wisely and make time for them.
Lifelong learning helps keep the brain active and emotions positive. You could learn to play a musical instrument or to speak a new language; even trying out a new recipe qualifies. Be curious about the world around you, and encourage others to share what they know.
While enhancing our lives and simplifying communication, technology also has a downside, with studies showing that it is getting in the way of intimacy in relationships, and adding to our social ‘anxiety’. Allocate a portion of your day to a ‘switch off’, where you disconnect from all devices, including your phone and television. Instead, use the time to connect with your loved ones, pick up a book or go for a walk.