Tiny Habits That Can Change The Course Of Your Day
Sometimes, life can feel so overwhelming, and so it’s hard to know where to direct your energy. It can feel as if the growing number of items on your to-do list is neverending. It can seem as if there are never enough hours in the day and that you’ll never accomplish what you set out to do.
When those feelings start to arise, tiny shifts are what can help you feel like you’re keeping yourself afloat. They might seem insignificant at first, but, in truth, they can change the course of your day.
Here are six tiny habits to start with:
- Make your bed. I don’t mean to sound like your mom or whatever adult nagged you to do that as a child — but making your bed will make you feel more productive. It’s starting the day with a clean slate. It’s ensuring that you’re getting into a comfortable bed at the end of the day. It’s making you start the day with one thing accomplished already — no matter how small it may seem.
- Drink a glass of water before you have your coffee. I know coffee is essential. I know it might even feel like your lifeline in the wee hours of the morning. Or whatever morning means for you. But guzzling a bit of water before you have your morning java will leave your whole body feeling better, hydrated, and therefore more refreshed.
- Write things down. It doesn’t have to be written in a pretty planner. It can be a ninety-nine-cent notebook from the dollar store. It can be a stack of index cards or a post-it that you keep on your desk. Whatever your medium, it doesn’t matter- but write that “to-do” list down. When you see things staring at you in black and white, it helps prioritize what needs to get done.
- Move your body. When the overwhelm starts to seep into your bones and your brain and feel like it’s part of your bloodstream, I hope you move your body. I hope you’re able to get outside and stand in the sunshine and feel the heat on your face — but if you’re not able to do that, I hope you walk away from your desk, if only for a moment. I hope you stretch your limbs, and I hope you bend down to touch your toes. Your body is capable of extraordinary things — and so are you.
- Say “no” to happy hour. Or that coffee date. Or eating lunch with others if it’s taking you away from something else you want to do. Or say “yes” if it’s what pleases you. But the thing to remember here is that you are in control of who you spend your social time with — and it’s ok to remove yourself from a situation or engage if you see fit. Release yourself from the guilt that comes with not wanting to seem “antisocial” — you’re not. You’re trying to spend your time efficiently, and there is no guilt to be felt in that.
- Count the things that you’re grateful for today, at this moment. Maybe it’s your coffee. Perhaps it’s the sunshine. Maybe it’s the fact that you have a desk to sit at to do what you love. Perhaps it’s the people you come home to or the home that you own. Maybe it’s gratitude for being able to move your body like you did, for the health that you have, for the health of your loved ones. Maybe it’s something else entirely — but whatever it is, speak it. Say thank you. Remember that to hold such blessings, no matter how small they may seem, is truly a gift.
Previously published on Thought Catalog, here.