I've put together a list of 5 simple things I can do every day that make me feel better, like I'm doing more than answering emails and checking things off my to-do list. These things are low maintenance and I've attached no rules around them.
I have to remind myself what brings me joy and makes me feel satisfied and complete. I can go days without doing the things that fill me with positive energy. Instead I do things that drain me and don't nurture me in anyway; like scrolling on Facebook.
I chose things that I like to do that are simple and easy to accomplish on a daily basis. As a freelancer who works from home I don't have a regular daily schedule to adhere to that takes me out of my house. There are days that go by where the only people I talk to are my family. I can get wrapped up in a project and get depleted to the point that I have no energy to do anything else. This leads to feelings of depression which I grapple with regularly.
Here are my 5 simple things:
- Write: I write for my work and it can be challenging not to tie it to results. It's hard not to diminish it's value unless it's being read by "millions" and has external approval. I need to detach from the result and remember that the ability to express myself; "write my mind" (see what I did there?) is a gift that keeps on giving. So even if I write a paragraph a day and even if it doesn't get read by anyone if I do it I always feels better.
- Read: After a day of reading content on my phone, or tablet my hand hurts, I feel drained and my eyes are strained. I start to resent my phone like it's an irritating person I can't shake which I'm sure is a very healthy relationship to have with an inanimate object. So even if I read one page in a book, magazine or newspaper my brain feels better and I feel less like my phone's bitch. Yeah, I said it.
- Move: If it's the end of the day and I realize I have spent most of it sitting in front of my computer it's a bad feeling. I have back and hip issues since giving birth to two humans (one was 10 lbs 12 oz thank you very much) so working out like I use to (spinning, kickboxing, running from the law) is no longer in the cards for me. A walk around the block gets my body moving and tricks my brain into thinking I've done a marathon. Shh, don't tell it otherwise.
- Cook: I enjoy the Pinterest. It's removed the mystique around cooking that always kept me from doing it. Pinterest is kind of like "Cooking for dummies." Every step is laid out, there aren't fancy, intimidating cooking terms, the spices needed are actually in our cabinet. I feel so much better when I cook for my family. It's a true sense of accomplishment when I hear, "Mmm, Mommy this is good." My cooking "goal" is 2 or 3 times a week so on the days where we order or maybe have frozen pizza I have no guilt. It's a beautiful thing and tastes delicious.
- Connect: I have a bit of a phone phobia. Since I'm an introvert being home by myself is a happy place. Talking on the phone brings someone into that bubble even if they aren't physically there. When the phone rings and I don't recognize the number I act like there's a murderer on the line ready to reach through the phone and kill me. But I always feel better after I've talked to a friend.
When I do the things on my list I feel like I'm driving my life rather than the other way around. I am more present with my family and I don't have the desire to call it a day by 9p. It's the simple things in life I tell ya. Also, chocolate.
What are 5 things would you put on your list? Please share in the comments below.