Life is short, break your routine - yep, we're sure this something you've heard a million times before. Just another cliche?
We all feel it. Life can be busy and tiring and stressful, and sometimes at the end of a working day, we want nothing more than to flop on the sofa, with a no-nonsense microwave meal and escape into our favourite TV shows.
But at what point does this escape from reality become a little too familiar? Perhaps we just feel safe in our mundane routine.
In a world where human contact is on the decline, and depression cases are on the rise. April Green has complied a list of four ways to help get yourself out of your standard routine, to nurture your wellbeing, and improve your happiness.
1 - Awaken your senses
Listen to Music
According to Science Daily, listening to music can not only affect your mood but it can also change your perception. For example, it is proven that if you are listening to happy music, you will notice more happy faces. Why not even try listening to something a little different, such as piano or acoustic versions of your favourite songs?
Spoil Your Strongest Sense
Our strongest scene is our scene of smell. Place your hooter upon a bottle of Calamine lotion and memories from your days of chicken pox may come flooding back! Smells have also been proven to affect our mood. Popular scents such as lavender helps us to sleep, and peppermint can make us feel happier. Try scented candles and use lavender drops on your pillow for a good night’s sleep. No matter how hectic life gets, ‘you time’ is very important for your mental health and wellbeing. Life can wait, emerge yourself into a bath of eucalyptus oils and relax!
2 - Take care of your body
Look After Yourself
We were not all born to be gym bunnies; however, exercise is extremely important. It is important not only for our physical health, but also our mental health as it produces endorphins which is the chemical in our bodies that makes us feel happy. A simple walk around the block, doing a wall sit whilst brushing your teeth or squatting as you change your bedding is all a step in the right direction to build into your day.
The ‘fuel’ we take into our bodies can have a surprising effect on our moods. Eating too much processed meat, fried food and sweets can all contribute to poor mental health. On the opposite end of the scale, eating nutritious foods such as colourful fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and fermented foods have been linked to boosting brain health and improving our moods. Why not try ditching the high caffeine drinks and try experimenting by making herbal teas and fruit smoothies? Try a new, healthy recipe from that cookbook that has been collecting dust on the kitchen shelf.
3 - Find purpose
Look To Nature
Doing something nice for nature will make you feel purposeful. Instead of buying a cute, fluffy kitten from the pet shop why not visit an animal shelter and give a loving, neglected animal a much-needed home. Adoption to much of a step? Not a problem! Plant a tree, build a hedgehog house or bird box and reap the rewards when nature comes to your garden.
Give Back To The Community
Doing something for people can be as easy as donating money to a local charity. Sometimes however, it can be nice to feel a little more involved. Look into your local area and think about which charities connect with you the most and how you can get involved. How about dedicating 1 hour a week to have a cup of tea with a lonely person? Offer to read to residents of a local old people’s home? Or make up a box of necessities for a local woman’s refuge shelter? These activities can provide you with a sense of purpose, whilst helping those in need, and perhaps even act as a reminder to value those things that you take for granted in your life.
4 - Break the cycle
Try Something New
Visit an opera, join a self-defence class, take a night course! Get out of your comfort zone and routine. Right now, make a list of new things you would like to try by the end of the year and stick it to your fridge.
Start a Bucket List
We are all guilty of letting time slip by. “I will start tomorrow” has become and overused part of our vocabulary. How about starting a bucket list? Or even better, a bucket list photo album so you can look back on all of your achievements with pride. A bucket list does not have to be a list of expensive cruises that you will never afford. It can be as simple as trying a pottery class or stitching a baby blanket for a relative.
Having your bare feet in the grass and connecting to the Earth can work wonders for both your physical and mental health. It makes sense when you think about it, we didn’t wear shoes in the stone age! Why not transform your garden into a blissful retreat? Plant colourful flowers and shrubs. Find some second-hand outdoor furniture and eat dinner outdoors. Buy a hammock and spend your evening gazing at the stars instead of the television. No garden? No problem! Pack a picnic, head for the hills and find some lush greenery to sink your tired feet into.
The Final Word
It is very easy to become wrapped up in the routine of life. Sometimes we are so busy running around after others, be it a demanding boss or a family, that we neglect ourselves. It is important that we find time once in a while to take a step back and consider our own wellbeing and happiness.
For more from April, visit her YouTube here.