On a typical Saturday you might find me washing piles of clothes, cooking up delicious meals that have been carefully planned and shopped for or picking up a discarded pair of socks or a crumpled shirt.
I will also be smoothing out the bedsheets and plumping up cushions, and generally busying around before perhaps heading out to do a spot of gardening or visiting a friend or relative.
All of this whilst the husband is out mountain biking and my daughter is enjoying a day out in town with her boyfriend. I could quite easily fill every single hour of every day with such activities, sound familiar? One day, some years back, I realised that I always came second on the list of priorities (sometimes, often, I didn’t even appear on said list). I’ve always packed my spare time with learning, reading, developing etc. etc. and the past 3 years have been no different; studying, working, and building up the new face of my business in amongst everything else. More recently I found myself writing daily mini blogs on Instagram, whilst carefully selecting just the right picture, to promote my live well ethos. Then I suddenly thought, when I’m on my deathbed am I going to be thinking, I wish I’d have written more mini blogs or washed more clothes or made sure there was never dust behind the fridge. No. I’d be wishing I’d spent more time joyfully indulging in life. So I decided to practice what I know to be the right thing to do, and I’m going to share a few of those with you.
I want you to think about those wonderful times when you were out to dinner with a girlfriend, getting lost in the wonders of nature on a long walk with the warm sun on your face and the smell of bluebells in the wood, dancing until the balls of your feet have gone numb or belly laughing until you think your jaw will lock in an open guffaw, doesn’t it feel wonderful? So here’s my challenge to you, don’t wait for fun to come along, seek it out. Make it happen. Make the time. Here are 5 things you could do that are absolutely free and I guarantee you’ll feel better for it.
- Laugh. Whether it’s watching your favorite sitcom, stand up comedian or movie, hooking up with a friend and reminiscing over silly times together or, as a last resort, fake it. The brain doesn’t know the difference between a real laugh and a fake laugh, so the feel good chemicals will be released anyway, your brain will produce more positive thoughts and your mind and body will be left feeling more relaxed.
- Dance. Ok I know this won’t come naturally to everyone, but here’s the great part, you don’t have to be Kylie Minogue or Beyonce, just move. You’re brain will trigger the release of endorphins (giving you a natural high), you’ll be getting lots of exercise and let’s face it, you’re probably going to laugh again, especially if you’re looking in a mirror whilst dancing.
- Sing. The voice is our oldest musical instrument. As well as being great fun, here’s the side benefits. You’ll be taking in more air and getting oxygen into the body for better circulation. Singing releases endorphins which helps lift our mood and has been proven to help people with anxiety and depression. In groups, it gives us a sense of community and connection. Guess what, you’ll probably laugh at some point too.
- Listen to your favorite tune. How long is it since you listened to music? Classical, 80’s, 60’s, jazz, funk, whatever your choice. When did you last put on your Grease album and imitate Olivia Newton John in ‘you’re the one that I want’?, okay, just me then?
Listening to music raises your dopamine levels, another one of our natural feel good chemicals. It can also bring back wonderful memories and leave a warm fuzzy feeling to boot. If you’re doing your Grease impressions, you’re probably going to get another giggle out of it too.
- Me treat time. Do you love a home spa when nobody else is around? Maybe a hot chocolate and a good book? Digging out your box of buttons (we all have one) and remembering which item of clothing they came from or which shop you bought them from. Looking through an old photo album. Drawing or painting. Maybe sitting in the sun and just watching the world go by. What do you enjoy doing? Share it, we might try it too 🙂
So whatever it is that brings you joy, happiness, laughter, lightness, and lifts your spirits. Do it. Do it all. Do it now.
– 360 Flourish uses a simple set of principles to form a method that helps you work at a deeper level to regain balance, health and happiness. View our method or contact Alison to enquire about the ‘Live Well’ holistic programme at firstname.lastname@example.org
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