One Week Happiness Challenge: 7 Ways to Be Kinder to Yourself
Feeling stressed, anxious or living in fear of failure?
There’s medicine for that. It’s called self-kindness, and it’s totally underrated.
Being kind to yourself has numerous benefits for your well-being. From an increase in happiness, optimism, greater life satisfaction, enriched relationships, self-confidence, wisdom, curiosity, and emotional intelligence, there’s no reason not to practice self-kindness.
But it’s not as easy as it sounds.
If you’re up to the weekly challenge, here are 7 small changes for a happy, healthy week and beyond.
Sunday: Prioritise Sleep
Snoozeville is officially the best place to be on a Sunday night, and every other night.
Essentially, all aspects of our life benefit from a good night’s sleep – mood, energy, work performance, fitness, relationships, appetite control, concentration and more.
A healthy sleep routine is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.
Unfortunately, the chaotic 21st-century lifestyle is interfering with natural sleep patterns.
Here are some sleepy tips to set yourself up for a good night’s sleep, and an even better day after.
• Turn off blue lights (phones, tablets, TV screens, and computers) one hour before bed. Exposure to blue light can trigger chaos with your natural sleep cycle. An easy way to give up screens is by reading a book, playing cards or listening to music.
• Soak in a hot bath with lavender essential oil. Lavender is known for its calming and stress-reducing health benefits while a hot bath will help relax muscles and soothe the mind.
• Add foods high in the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin to the dinner menu. Some of these foods include; turkey, fatty fish, sweet potato, cottage cheese, almonds, milk, and bananas.
• Ditch the alcohol. Some argue a nightcap helps to relax and unwind, however alcohol interferes with your sleep cycle once you’re asleep.
• Instead, drink a hot milk or caffeine-free tea before bed.
Monday: Eat Well
“Diet starts Monday.”
If this sounds all too familiar, ditch unpractical diets and false hopes.
Instead, eat a balanced diet for a healthy brain, body, and mind.
It’s no secret eating an excess of processed foods won’t do any favours for your body, or brain.
On the other hand, restricting calories can cause fatigue, nutrient deficiencies, lower your immunity and may even reduce fertility.
They key is to listen to your body, fill up on plenty of fruit and vegetables alongside moderate servings of wholemeal carbohydrates, dairy, protein, and healthy fats.
Basically, go back to basics and eat like your grandparents.
P.s: this includes home-baked (and guilt-free) goodies!
Tuesday: Make Time for Yourself
When was the last time you did something purely for yourself?
Don’t feel guilty about setting aside ‘me time.’ It’s very important for your mental health to carve out some time daily to do something that brings you joy.
It could be a 20-minute jam session on the guitar, a 10-minute swim in the ocean or simply 2 minutes alone drinking a cup of tea in the backyard.
Mid-week slump? Get up and move.
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress, increase blood flow to the brain, improve your love life, create a sense of accomplishment and basically feel happier all from one work out.
It’s all thanks to the release of feel-good endorphins.
Oh, and you’ll tone up to look good and feel even better.
It’s time to up your active-wear game.
Thursday: Treat Yourself
Don’t wait till the weekend to treat yourself.
Sure, you might be saving for a financial goal or working out for a fitness goal. (If so, go you!) However, it’s the little pleasures that get you through the daily grind.
Surprising yourself with a special mid-week treat will make you feel good, plus give you an extra dose of determination to continue chasing your goals the following day.
Schedule in a massage, catch up with a friend over lunch or simply do nothing at all and relax.
Friday: Ditch Social Media
Do you really need to see everyone’s TGIF posts?
Going on a 24-hour social media detox just once a week will do wonders for your self-confidence and overall happiness.
Numerous studies have shown the heavy use of social media brings negative impacts to our well-being.
Try getting your morning news from a newspaper. Swap lunchtime scrolling for engaging conversations with your colleges and instead of burying your face into your screen on the commute home from work, take some time out to simply enjoy your surroundings.
Saturday: Spend Time Outdoors
The weekend is the perfect time to unplug and spend time with nature.
The great outdoors comes with great health benefits—all you have to do is walk out the front door.
You’ll walk into better mental health, reduced stress and anxiety, increased self-esteem, better mood, increased concentration, enhanced creativity and more.
Not only do we need air, food, and resources to survive, nature is essential for our well-being. Basically, we need nature.