Wednesday 8 February 2023

12 Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Life

 **Collaborative Post**

AD: Many of us have been in survival mode over the past few years. We’ve just been trying to get through the chaos of the coronavirus pandemic and other issues. Happily, it feels like we’ve turned a corner. This is the first year in a while where we can think about stepping up and improving our lives. 

Of course, the idea of ‘improving our lives’ can sometimes feel overwhelming. It’s a bit much to face the prospect of moving abroad or starting a new career. But you don’t need to make grand gestures to upgrade your life. There are plenty of small and easy-to-enact changes that you can do. In this blog, we’ll look at a number of simple ways to enhance your life — do them all, and you’ll notice that your life improves across the board. 

Morning Stretching

Remember when you were younger, and it felt like you could fall out of a tree and walk away without a mark on your body? That seems like a distant memory when we’re in our thirties and beyond. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t because of anything overly natural. Our bodies become tighter and more rigid because of our lifestyles more than anything. You can feel physically better and wake yourself up by committing to a morning stretching routine. Even ten minutes of stretching can have a big impact!

Upgrade Your Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But you wouldn’t know it, judging by what people tend to consume first thing in the morning. If you’re eating basic cereal and heading out of the door to work, then it’ll be inevitable that you hit a slump before lunchtime. The solution? Invest in the quality of your breakfast, which should be on par with the quality of your dinner (or, if anything, even better). Look up some easy-to-make, healthy, energy-boosting breakfast meals and invest in a good coffee grinder, so you can enjoy top-quality coffee at home. Round it all off with a glass of fresh orange juice and you’ll have had a breakfast that sets you up for a successful day. 

Improve Your Home

Your home isn’t just a place to rest your head each night. It has a big impact on the overall quality of your life. If your home doesn’t currently inspire joy, then now’s the time to make some improvements. You can usually significantly enhance the quality of your property just by making a few changes. For example, by decluttering, upgrading the lighting, and investing in organisation and cleanliness. Also, never underestimate the power of a fresh lick of paint on the walls — it can make the home feel like new. 

Walk In Nature

Spend nearly all of your time in urban areas? You’re not the only one. The majority of us live in cities. Yet, while there are certainly advantages to living in a city, it’s not perfect. For one thing, it disconnects us from the natural world. Did you know that taking a walk in the great outdoors can do wonders to alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety? By committing to spending some time in nature, you can help yourself feel at your best. Plus, the activities that we do in nature — walking, cycling — can also help to push your physical fitness in the right direction, too. A Saturday spent hiking with friends is much better than one spent on the couch, scrolling through Facebook!

Invest in New Bedding

Sleep is important. After all, we all know how grouchy and moody we can be if we’ve spent the night tossing and turning. As such, it’s important to invest in quality bedding. It’s an investment that’s worth making — after all, you’ll use it every day! The best bedding isn’t cheap, but when you multiply the cost by several years of use, then it’s generally highly affordable. Along with your bedding, you can also enhance the quality of your sleep by having a clean and tidy bedroom, engaging in some relaxing activities before hitting the hay (reading, meditating), and blocking out external factors that may wake you up (light, noise). 

Focus on Fitness

Improving your fitness is something that you probably know you should do, but which you’re reluctant to actually do. And that’s fair enough — the idea of spending an hour or so at a gym isn’t exactly the most fun way to spend our time. However, there are a lot of good reasons for doing so. You’ll find that you have more energy, you sleep better, your skin looks better, and your mental health improves. That’s a lot of good that can come from minimal amounts of time and effort. If you really can’t face the idea of going to the gym, then find another activity. A morning run around your neighbourhood will do the trick and is a great way to start the day.

Limit Your Screen Time

There’s a lot of value in technology and the internet. But they’re not everything. Smartphone addiction is on the rise, with more and more people spending long hours staring at their screens. It’s fine if you’re actively researching something or otherwise making good use of your time online, but if you’re just scrolling through social media, then it’s probably worthwhile taking a more conscious approach to your smartphone use. You don’t need to give up your smartphone completely, of course, but you might find that having a cut-off period (such as, each evening after 7 pm) can give you the time and space to pursue other value-adding activities. 

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Cut Out Bad Habits

No one’s perfect. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t strive for it. Or at least, we should strive to reduce or eliminate the habits that hold us back. It’s amazing just how much confidence you can get by overcoming one of your problem points. There’s no shortage of things that might be holding you back. Are you drinking too much alcohol? Smoking too many cigarettes? Spending too much time on the internet or playing video games? Try giving them up for an achievable amount of time (say, a month) and you’ll likely find that your life has improved in ways that you couldn’t expect — and that you’re unwilling to go back to your old life. 

Find a New Hobby

We are what we do. Happiness is a feeling, yes, but it’s also an activity. We’ll feel good if we’re doing things that we love. On a daily basis, many of us just do things that we have to do, such as going to work, cooking meals, tidying the home, and so on. On days like that, it won’t be all that surprising if we’re not enjoying life too much. So why not look at adding some activities that will bring you joy? Your hobby could be starting a vegetable garden, learning a foreign language, undertaking a new physical activity, or anything else, so long as you enjoy it! 

Make New Friends

It seems that, when we’re younger, we’re always making new friends. Indeed, if you look back over your life, you’ll probably find that you wouldn’t be where you are now if you hadn’t made the friends you did. So why not look at making new friends? It can be a little challenging when we’re adults, but it’s not impossible. One simple way is to take a look at what groups are operating in your local area (book clubs, hiking groups, language exchanges) and go along. You might just make a connection that has a significantly positive impact on your life. 

Positive Attitudes 

Life is half what happens to you, and half how you respond to those things. You don’t always get to decide what happens to you. But your response? That’s very much in your hand. A person who is overly negative can’t expect anything great to happen. A person who goes into life with a happy and positive attitude will typically find that good things come their way. There’ll be times when you have no control over your mental state. But more often than not, you’ll find that you can choose to be positive. And once you’ve done that, you’ll set yourself on the path toward a good life, since these things tend to produce positive feedback loops. 

Slowing Down 

Finally, perhaps one of the biggest and easiest ways to improve your life: relax! We live in a culture that says we should always be doing something productive, but let’s remember that we’re all human. We’re not supposed to be doing something all the time. There’s no reason to feel guilty for doing something as simple as sitting in the grass or watching the rain fall. Taking some time for yourself is one of the best gifts you can give yourself, so don’t fight it. You’ll find that it has ripple effects that benefit other areas of your life, such as the ability to put things in perspective, stay calm during tense moments, and all-around enjoy life more.


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