We do it naturally: Plan for that next big vacation. Get excited for a special occasion or holiday. Put all our energy into our next meeting with friends. But what about the everyday? Our routines that carry us through and have the ability to infuse the moments in between the big events with joy. They don’t all have to bring you immense happiness to evoke satisfaction and contentment—the joy of simply being alive and all that it encompasses can be far more impactful, sometimes.
1. Be Present.
Being present is beyond being physically in a space. It’s about your mind and senses feeling engaged with the moment. Instead of texting—call your friend or family member; it’ll allow you to be 100% engaged with the conversation instead of getting it in while doing another task. Prepare dinner from scratch rather than throwing a frozen make-ahead into the microwave. Mixing ingredients together enforces mindfulness and has the added benefit of being healthier for you than what comes from the grocery store freezer section!
2. An Attitude of Gratitude.
Channeling all those good vibes can improve your overall health, from strengthening your immune system to reducing stress levels for better sleep, which reduces irritability and improves your capacity for patience and acceptance; it’s a cyclical effect that keeps on giving! Thank someone for something routine they do for you, compliment a stranger, notice something in nature—all of these things can add up! See our tips for practicing daily gratitude for the benefit of health and wellbeing.
3. Greet your day a little earlier.
Whether it’s 15 minutes or a half-hour, resist hitting snooze and fight the initial grogginess to greet the day with calm and time to savor that morning cup of coffee before your regular routine starts. Stretch, journal, meditate— whatever feels good. This time is your time, and will help immensely with getting you in the right headspace before anyone has a chance to affect your mood.
4. Reconnect with your childhood.
You don’t have to break out the Lego for this one. What we mean is, try to take a simplified, carefree approach to tasks. Have to weed the garden? Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty! Feel the ground; really be present in the task. Approaching tasks and situations with curiosity and openness can be a solid step towards discovering new favourite hobbies, making friends, and enjoying a whole new world.
5. Don’t put off to later what you really want to do now.
Sure, the To Do list is a mile long, but taking ten minutes to sit down with a book—or whatever small activity that brings you joy—provides a mindful rest that brings you into the moment and can even provide clarity for when you move into your next pursuit.
It all sounds simple enough, but can be much more difficult when put into practice. A lifetime of rushing and deadlines and time obsession is hard to shake. A tool that can help with that is meditation. Just five minutes a day can go a long way!
Keep in mind: Just because things don’t always turn out the way we planned, doesn’t mean they don’t have their own benefits. Pause to reflect (there’s that whole “Being Present” thing again!) and you might just discover a wonderful outcome you never even expected.
Slow down, enjoy each part of your day for what it is, rather than always looking ahead to the next thing. Simply living is a joy and a privilege.
Explore all of the Life Enrichment possibilities at Verve Senior Living to help inspire your day.