The Simple Things in Life
| “I hope these simple things are what I forever love about life, for then I will be happy no matter where I find myself.”
― R. YS Perez,
Are the simple things really what makes us the most happy in life?
We think there's a lot to be said for it, and have gathered some simple ideas to help you make positive changes in a relatively easy and often inexpensive way.
Do More of What Makes You Feel Good
Could you spare 10-20 minutes to think of some simple things that have given you a feel-good factor in the past, no matter how big or small? We would suggest writing your thoughts down as you think of them.
Maybe you stopped doing them for no real reason, or even forgot about them. Make plans to start doing them again, and also add in any new things you would like to do.
Some suggestions and ideas from us…
Read more books - reading is a great way to relax and can help you forget about daily stresses and worries whilst reducing the time you spend in front of screens.
Watch a movie or TV series that makes you feel happy.
Dig out old music albums or playlists that lift your mood ~ let yourself go a little bit!
Go out for a coffee or a meal - spontaneously or planned, with or without friends. It's all too easy to get stuck in a “work, sleep, repeat” type of routine and breaking the routine with a change of place can help boost your mood.
Re-start that hobby you used to enjoy in the past, or start a new one. Also consider joining a group related to your hobby, such as an art class, a sports club, a yoga class, a book club, a gardening group, a history society, etc (some are also online).
Run a relaxing bath with candles or aromatherapy oils
Take a day trip! Examples might be a sporting event, art gallery, a seaside visit, the shopping centre, or a visit to friends and family you've not seen for a while.
Do Less of What Makes You Feel Bad
To truly benefit from doing more of what makes us feel good, we should also consider doing less of the things that make us feel bad. This one can be a little harder at first, but we think it's well worth considering.
Obviously, some things that make us feel bad just have to be done, but you may be surprised at other things that you could stop or reduce.
Learn to say 'no' in some situations, especially if you are regularly doing something to please others that you aren't enjoying. Always doing things to please others can lead to physical and/or mental burnout and can make you less effective in the time and energy you can give to both yourself and others generally.
Don't let tensions, disagreements or bad feelings with someone go on too long. Make the first move to try and talk it through with an aim of resolving things, even if the initial stages may bring about a stressful moment.
Try not to over-analyse a decision or thing you've done in the past that you might now regret or question. We all do this to some degree, but the key is accepting your initial actions were made for the right reasons at the time - there's really no need to feel bad or guilty now.
Try your best to switch off once you've gone to bed. Quality sleep is so important. Your mind will be in a much better state to resolve any worries, decisions or things to be done once you're up and running in the morning.
Do Something Kind for Others
Many studies have shown how doing even the smallest or seemingly insignificant thing for someone else can actually make us feel a lot better in ourselves.
Often called ‘random acts of kindness’, these are some of our favourites…
Tell someone (maybe a stranger!) they're doing a great job or give them a compliment.
Tell a loved one how much you appreciate something they do or something you admire about them - if you find saying it to them difficult, leave a note or card.
Send a card or letter to a distant friend or family member to catch up with them and send good wishes.
Cheer someone up who's been going through a bad time by making or buying them a small gift.
Check in on a vulnerable neighbour to see if they're OK, or invite them for coffee - perhaps take them a slice of cake you’ve baked, flowers picked from your garden, or a book you know they might like. Offering to pick up some shopping for them, even if they decline, is a nice way to show kindness.
Back to Nature
There's now so much evidence about the benefits of being outdoors and getting in and around nature. It can help a lot with stress, mental health and basic fitness levels.
Although Winter brings dark mornings and evenings, not to mention colder days, we're confident you'll see a difference if you can spend as little as 15 or 20 minutes outdoors each day. Whether that's walking the kids to school, a short walk from your house before work, taking a longer or different route to the shops, heading to your local park, or simply sitting in your garden, being outdoors can help.
Can you 'keep it simple'?
We know some of the above might seem challenging initially, but hope you can see that taking simple steps can set you on a path to lift your mood, boost your confidence and support others without being too overwhelming.
We’d love to hear about your related ideas and suggestions that have helped you on your own journey!