My Mondays typically go a little something like this: I spend all day behind a computer, taking phone calls while on Pinterest planning my perfect wedding. By the time it’s 4:30, I’m already looking forward to being home. Walking through the door, I pull out my computer, lay on my bed, and start rewatching Breaking Bad for the third time. Before I know it, it’s 11:30 and I am a teary-eyed mess. Somehow pizza came into the picture and I contemplate my life while chewing a stale crust.
Life is crazy. We all need a break. But that break doesn’t always mean draining hours from our lives on Chipotle documentaries or binge-watching an entire series in an evening (although sometimes that is completely necessary). Some other things that you can take a moment of pause with…
1. Take a long, hot bubble bath. This is a cure for a LOT of things.
2. Spend the extra money to get your favorite drink at a coffee shop. Go ahead and be that person who gets three different add-ins AND whipped cream on top.
3. Find some ways that you can save money here and there. Downsize to a smaller cable plan or reduce the amount of times you order take out. Start saving that money towards something you really want, like…
4. Plan a vacation that you want to take in the next year. Sometimes all that we need in life is a change of pace. Start looking into a getaway, be it 50 or 500 miles away, and start saving up those sick days.
5. Take a stay-cation. Whether you live in a small town or a huge city, there’s always something new and interesting just a few miles out. Go someplace nearby that you’ve never been before, and check it out. Pretend you’re a tourist in your own home and you’ll see things you never did before.
6. Write a handwritten note to somebody. It could be grandma, your best friend from 7th grade, a new pen pal you found on the Internet. Get some stationery, brush up on those penmanship skills, and know that you’ll be making someone’s day when they open their mailbox.
7. Buy something on impulse. Make sure it’s within reason, but go online or walk through the mall and TREAT YO SELF.
8. Visit an animal shelter. Because nothing calms nerves better than a warm bundle of fur. Hey, maybe you’ll even find a pal to take home!
9. Go to bed half an hour earlier. Studies show that none of us are getting as much sleep as we need, which is a big factor in how stressed we are. Put your phone down an hour before you get to bed and you will thank yourself in the morning.
10. Wake up half an hour earlier. So often in the morning we are so rushed that we forget the Most Important Thing. And by that, I mean BREAKFAST. Seriously, the amount of people that skip breakfast is alarming. No wonder you’re crabby all day! Get up and make something quick and delicious, and I guarantee you will be in a 200% better mood.
11. Do one thing that you’ve been putting off, but you know needs doing. Maybe it’s making amends with someone, finally quitting that job you hate, or confiding in a friend. We all put off things that our lives would be so much better had we just buckled down and done it!
12. Unplug for the morning/afternoon/evening. Most of us would go into panic mode if we had to be unconnected for an entire day, but give yourself a few hours where you are sans phone, computer, tablet. Just be a person who is enjoying the world without having to tell everybody or be told what everybody is doing in return.
13. Learn a new skill. Always wanted to learn how to juggle? That’s why they invented YouTube. If we aren’t learning, we aren’t living.
14. Write down a list of things you want to accomplish in the next five years, and start thinking about the things you need to do today to start accomplishing them.
15. Write down a list of things that you have accomplished in the past five years, and take a moment to celebrate how far you’ve come.
16. Go to a farmer’s market. Visit all the booths and talk with farmers. They just seem to exude a natural and laid back demeanor. Plus you will more than likely come home with some fresh foods which your body will thank you for.
17. Make a complex and impressive meal this week. If you’ve never cooked before, then start small, but take a trip to the grocery, find a recipe, and make something delicious from scratch. You’ll feel like a champion at life.
18. Bring out your inner kid again. Go play in the park, get some Popsicles and eat them with juice streaming down your face. We all long for the times when life was simpler, so why not?
19. Spend some time with kids. Volunteer at an after-school program or offer to watch your friend’s kids for an evening. Having a conversation with a small human is a great way to bring new perspective on life.
20. Spend some time alone. We live in a society that looks down upon doing things without a possé of people that we only really want to take a picture with to prove we have friends. Go to a restaurant or see a movie by yourself. It takes so much of the social pressure off and you’ll have some time to sit and think.
21. Make a new friend. Strike up a conversation with the person bagging your groceries, take a few minutes to talk to the old man who’s always sitting on the bench by where you work, get outside your comfort zone and say hello!
22. Organize something. Whether it’s your desktop, your closet, or even just your hectic schedule, there’s always a great feeling when things are now as they should be.
23. Take care of someone else. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, pick up the tab at lunch, buy someone’s groceries while you’re out. These little acts of kindness are few and far between, but doing them makes both of you the better for it.
24. Meditate. It doesn’t have to be fancy or anything. Just find a place by yourself, sit or lay down, and just give yourself some time to be. It’s amazing the things that surface when we give ourselves a moment to just be still.
25. Take a walk. Exercise and fresh air are always a cure for stress and tension.
26. Laugh! A person who can laugh at themselves and their situation will be that much better for it. Even if you can’t laugh about it now, think about the day when this will all be behind you.
27. Write. It doesn’t have to be a TC blog post or a novel, but get creative and write about one of your favorite memories, or how you’re feeling. Putting a pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!) is always cathartic.
28. Count your blessings. It’s easy to focus on all the things that are going wrong in our lives, but take a second to focus on the right things. Take a second to write them down and stick it on your mirror. Remind yourself that there is always something to be thankful for.
29. Declutter. Remove people, habits, and commitments from your life that do nothing but bring you stress or hurt. All they are doing is preventing you from being who you really want to be.
30. Take a moment to accept yourself. I often struggle with being this bigger and better person who can do more things in less time. Sometimes we need to realize that we are all works in progress and that in and of itself is a beautiful thing.