Wednesday, 3 February 2016

30 little things to keep you smiling

Although my blog is called "Eat Like You Love Yourself", I've always had an interest which I've tried to share in physical fitness.  I was talking to a recruiter recently who said how many recruiters now focus on mental resilience when recruiting.  I think this is a sad indication of our times that work takes so much out of us.  Personally I would always (and do) a job I love over a job which just pays.  If you love your work, you don't have to recover from it so much but even then there are stresses and strains in the workplace and at home.

I remember one person, who shall remain nameless who would come in every morning and swipe her card as "in".  The swipe machine was near where I sat and every day she would come in, swipe her card and sigh with as her shoulders drooped.  I always tried to make her smile as it upset me so much that this was her life.  how horrible, you could almost see the "I hate this" thought bubble.  I hope she's now in a place where she's enjoying what she does more.  Life is too short to hate what you do.

So much advice on being good to yourself is about what you shouldn't do.  Negatives don't work for me so I thought I'd put together a list that I (and others) can refer to on nice things you can do to help your body and mind.

1.  Eat a lovely meal.  Well was I going to say anything else?  It doesn't have to be desperately healthy if you don't want it to be but take some time making something which looks and tastes delicious, just for you, lay the table, sit and eat it and enjoy every mouthful.

2.  Have a lovely bubble bath.  Really nice bubbles, candles, the works.

3.  Do some exercise.  If you're too tired, even 10 minutes of yoga or pilates is still worth it.  It's not going to change your body in any drastic way but it will help stretch and wind down and any activity is better than no activity.  Just try to fit in something more intense if you can from time to time (but don't beat yourself up about it.)  The thing is once you get over the "hump" of getting yourself to exercise, you actually get a bit addicted to the great sleep and calming effect it brings.

4. Meditation.  I'm late to this and have tried again and again to get into mindfulness but failed.  However, I found a Youtube feed with short guided meditations (3-4 minutes) which I find is something I can easily fit in.

5. Try to eat your 5 a day.  I know the jury is out on if 5 is enough but my view is that as most of us don't even achieve 5, it's got to be better than nothing.  I wouldn't be all that worried about what you eat your 5 a day with, just try to fit them in that's all.

6. Another one I'm late for (well yes and no), adult colouring in.  I've recently ordered myself a book but I loved colouring in with my son when he was going through a stage of enjoying this.  It was something we could do alongside each other and both enjoy.  Now I'm kind of admitting I do like this and that's ok!

7. Delve into a book.  When our lives are busy and stressed, it is easy to be absorbed in the details of it.  When I go on holiday, I will read a book a day and that's one of the things I love about the break.  Bring a bit of holiday to your daily life!

8. Immerse yourself in a good TV series.  I'm not meaning switch off in front of Corrie but have that one series you save up and watch on a special night, just you, sofa blanket, cup of tea and Deutschland 83 is what I'm talking about (catch up on All-4, or try classic or modern box sets like House of Cards, Mad Men, Sopranos etc.)

9. Dejunk a bit.  Dejunking can turn into a massive "task" and millstone around your neck, however, just a bit of dejunking, like getting rid of old pants to the bin, sending books you've read and won't read again to the charity shop or thrift store is pretty cathartic. Next time you get a charity bag through your door, check it's genuine and the actual items go to the charity (not £100 a month as many donate), then fill it.  Done and out of your hair.

10. Give some money to charity.  This might sound like an odd thing but really thinking about "what can I spare" then choosing a charity which really means something to you is quite a lovely thing.

11. (In summer) get a large blanket or rug and have a picnic in the garden.  Even in autumn and spring, sitting outside with a blanket around me is lovely.  I remember the first day I moved into my house sitting on my patio as the sunset with a drink and a nibble.  Getting fresh air is a lovely thing.

12. Put on a favourite album or song in your car on the way to work.  Isn't it amazing when an uplifting song comes on the radio just before a tough day?  It changes your whole mood.  Someone saw me once in my car singing along to "Pencil full of lead" by Paolo Nutini.  Although it must have made an amusing sight, nothing was going to bring me down that day!

13. Go for a walk, whatever the weather. There is no bad weather, only inappropriate clothing!  Wrap up if it's cold, put on waterproofs if it's wet and get out there.  Then if the weather is less than lovely, come back in and drink cocoa by a warm fire.  I remember going for a long walk in Yorkshire in February.  The weather was beautifully sunny as we set out, cold but clear.  By the time we were 3/4 of the way through, the skies had darkened and snow was driving into our faces with the ferocity of bullets.  We returned to the nearby town, cold and a bit miserable and had a beef pie with all the trimmings and gravy in front of a warm fire in a local pub.  In no time we were smiling.  This might not have been Michelin starred food but at that moment, it tasted like it.

14. Sing along with the radio, as loud as you like!  See number 12 :-)

15. Make someone's day.  I was in a cafe the other day waiting for a train.  The cafe doesn't accept cards as payment because I live in a small town and it's not quite that advanced yet amazingly.  A lady came in expecting to be able to use a card and was just short on change.  I made up the shortfall for her.  It was only a small amount of cash, it made her day and it made me smile too.  Even something as simple as letting someone else go first at the supermarket if they only have a couple of items could help make their day and yours too.

16. Watch a film you've watched again and again and still love. 

17. Visit an art gallery.  If you're into art and I'm no expert, seeing something in real life is a really different experience.  Sometimes the scale isn't what you expected, or the colours and sometimes it really takes your breath away and transports you somewhere else.

18. Listen to "Everybody's Free to Wear Sunscreen" by Baz Luhrman.  If you've never heard it before, stick with it.  Trust me on this (and the sunscreen).

19. Change a habit.  If you always sit at the same seat of a dining table or the same seat in a meeting room, change seats.  Change is good.

20. Let go of toxic people.  If a friend is no longer a friend, perhaps it's time to take a break or walk away.  Mute them on social media if you like.  It doesn't have to be cruel or dramatic but you don't have to have people in your life who bring you down either.  If you have that friend, you know that one who drains you who takes you for granted.  Just make some space for you.

21. Try out a different type of exercise.  If you're a HIIT junkie, try strength.  If you do a lot of weights, try yoga. It might be something you find you enjoy, it might not but variety is good and there are loads of free YouTube videos so you can try something without committing.

22. Spend a bit of time on your appearance, just now and then.  Especially if you're a parent.  Put on some make up if that's your thing, spend time in front of the mirror for a bit.  It's not vanity, it's making yourself feel great.  Check yourself out in the mirror before you leave the house!

23. Plan a holiday.  Book the time off, look at the internet, get ideas, get excited!

24. At the end of the day, actively think about 3 things which went well.  Really remember them and congratulate yourself.  They might be small or big.  Doesn't matter, just really remember the good stuff.

25. Meet up with a friend.  Natter and have a lovely warm drink.

26. Take your lunch break at work.  Stop desk dining and have a proper break.

27. Make yourself a special breakfast.  Start the day with a smile.

28. Write poetry.  I won't share any of this here but when I feel stressed or like the world is tough or there are feelings I just need to get out, this calms me so much.  If you're not feeling creative, why not read a poem?

29. Do something you really enjoy.  What did you like doing when you were younger?  What are you really good at?  Why not pick it up again? 

30. Ask for help.  When things are tough it can be easy to forget "please can you help me?"  Very few people when asked for help say no, most people just won't have noticed it's needed and a pretty large number will say "yes" and suddenly that "to do" list doesn't look quite so bad.

Right, I'm off to have that bubble bath...

I've linked this up to the healthy, happy, green and natural party hop.

Live It Up at the Healthy, Happy, Green and Natural Party Blog Hop #93


  1. Balance is key to a rich, fulfilling, happy healthy life. I totally agree that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Thank you for sharing these wonderful tips for things that will keep you smiling at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party! I'm Pinning and sharing!

    1. Thank you... We all need a reminder sometimes. x


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