There’s a misconception that putting ourselves first is selfish,but if we don’t look after ourselves we’ve no hope of being much use to anyone else. If we abandon ourselves we become resentful, angry, jealous and depressed. Or at least, I do! We’d never treat someone we love like this, so why the hell do we do it to ourselves?
I function better in the world when I feel well and organised, which means I’m a better partner, employee, friend and family member. I suspect most of us are the same, so its in everyone’s interests that we make sure we’re as good as we can be.
There are certain things I try to do every day to make sure I’m at my best. Now, I’m only human, plus life is life and sometimes other things get in the way. So if I can at least manage to do each thing five days per week, that’s good enough. They’re mostly all habits now though, so its fair to say that some days I manage them all, and every day I manage at least half of them. They all make me feel better about myself and about life, and even if I accomplish nothing else in a day, I know I’ve done these, and that’s enough.
Make my bed
Always my first task of the day. I blogged about why I always make my bed here
Ideally for 20 minutes every morning, but if not I’ll fit in 5, 10 or 20 minutes elsewhere in the day. I can’t stress how much this helps me. Meditation isn’t for everyone, but I recommend everyone gives it a go, just to see. I love it in the morning because it sets me up for the day. It calms my mind and body, it makes me more focused and creative, and more aware of the world around me. It increases my patience levels and I’m less inclined to forget stuff. If I skip a morning, I can feel it; I won’t neccesarily have a ‘bad’ day but I feel a bit off-centre.
Many people lounge around in pyjamas all day at weekends (or even on weekdays, if they’re lucky enough to work from home!). Nothing wrong with this, but I can’t do it. I absolutely can’t. I can’t even eat breakfast in my pyjamas. I get up, exercise, meditate, then get dressed before I do anything else. Even if I’m ill/hungover, I’ll try my damndest to get dressed at some point, even if its not until 7pm in the evening. The day doesn’t feel right if I’m not dressed. I feel more productive and more ready for action, as it were.
Drink a glass of lemon and turmeric with hot water
A blog post, free writing, the bones of a story, a section of my novel. I’m at my best as a writer if I write every day. If I don’t, before I know it, I’m not writing at all, and then I suffer. If I write every day I stay in the habit, plus I improve. Although I love writing, I still have to force myself to do it sometimes.
Do the dishes
I don’t have a dishwasher because its not worth the while, and I don’t mind doing them by hand. I love coming down to a clear, clean kitchen in the morning, and I’m always disappointed with myself if I skipped the dishes the night before. So now I do them straight after dinner, before I’m sidetracked with anything else. Not only that, I have a minimalist kitchen so I only have one or two of each item, and its a hassle if I’m trying to make something and the item I need is languishing by the sink.
Track what I spend
I wrote about how I live a thrifty, debt-free lifestyle here
, and tracking what I spend is an important part of this lifestyle. I gather receipts daily and check my internet banking, then I enter the items onto my spreadsheet. Keeping track of spending means I stay in control of my finances, rather than the other way around. It means I live within my means and I know instantly whether I can afford something.
I’m not a naturally active, sporty person, but now I’ve found what works, I fit it in every day. Most mornings I do an exercise or yoga DVD, and very occasionally I’ll go for a run (haven’t done that this year, so I’m wondering if maybe I’m bored of that now…). I also try to go for a walk every evening. As long as I do some sort of physical exercise, I feel healthier, happier, motivated and creative.
Check tomorrow’s meal plan
I absolutely have to meal plan, because deciding on meals as I go along stresses me out no end. I love knowing I don’t have to think about what to have for breakfast, lunch or dinner because its all pre-planned. Perhaps not spontaneous but there’s plenty other opportunities to be spontaneous in life, and this helps my days go smoothly. I check the following day’s plan when I get home from work though, incase I need to buy anything or if there’s something I need to defrost/cook/prepare. And then I relax in the knowledge of knowing that tomorrow’s meal’s are taken care of.
Every night as soon as I get into bed, I write a list of 10 things that I’m grateful for that day. I had to do this as part of my mindfulness class, but I’ve made it a regular habit as its changed my outlook on life. When I know I have to find 10 things to be grateful for each day, I’m more inclined to notice and appreciate small things. Its also a nice positive note to end my day on, as well as a reminder, if I think I’ve had a bad day, that good things still happened.
What do you try to do every day for your own wellbeing?