Oftentimes, our day-to-day routines have become such an ingrained habit in us, that we don't even question where we could start making changes to better our own well-being. We just accept how we feel as a static fact, rather than an aspect of life that is malleable. We have the control, we just need to use it properly!
So this article is all about small, everyday tasks to better your well-being. Emphasis on small, because introducing a few tiny changes every week is the key to making a sustainable change in your habits. Throw too much change in your life, and it will become overwhelming and it will feel impossible.
So start by adding a few of these changes into your days. As soon as it becomes a habit, throw in a new change. And so on! Focus on the most manageable habits you can build, and slowly start adding in the tasks you find more challenging!
Here are the top routine changes that will better your well-being!
1. Pick two micro-goals to achieve each day.
I bet you have goals in your life, but they're probably macro-goals. Graduate high school, then graduate college, then get a job, then start a family... but those goals are huge, extremely difficult to achieve, and they take a lot of time to come to fruition.
But think about it: each of these macro-goals can be broken down into smaller goals. For example, to graduate high school or college, you have to get your homework done every day. That's a smaller goal that helps you achieve your huge goal.
It's beneficial to break down your bigger goal into bite-sized chunks, because achieving your goals will flood your brain with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is an important motivator. Dopamine is responsible for helping us feel pleasure; essentially, it makes us feel good. One of the times we experience dopamine is when we reach our goals.
When we reach a goal, dopamine rewards our achievement by elevating our mood, making us want to reach more goals. Breaking down your large goals into bite-sized, achievable chunks is a dopamine hack that will leave you feeling great and motivated!
2. Focus on chores.
Chores are never fun, honestly. Sometimes, turning on the right playlist can help, but we'd all rather be doing something else. But getting our chores done helps us in the long run. For example, did you know having a clean space is beneficial for your mental health?
Similarly, meal-prepping healthy meals can help us feel better physically, emotionally, and it saves us money, which reduces our stress. Although meal-prepping is never fun, your future self will be so appreciative that you took the time to set yourself up for success, even when you didn't want to.
Even though we all hate chores, they help us better our well-being. It's a way of taking care of yourself that doesn't seem fun in the moment, but afterward, you're thankful you did it.
Reflecting back on the previous point of the importance of micro-goals, make sure that you make your chores digestible and achievable. For example, I know a lot of people that can meal prep all their meals for the week in one day. Personally, I don't like doing that much at once! I meal prep half of my meals on Saturday, and half on Sunday.
I also have a friend that preps her protein for the entire week, and then cooks the rice or pasta on the day of. Just find a way that works for you, and don't be afraid to get creative in breaking up the chores. Same with cleaning: you don't have to clean everything on Sunday. Just have a couple of cleaning goals each day!
3. Find a way to relax.
We all are stressed, there's no point in denying it! We live in such a fast-paced world, it's easy to become overwhelmed. That's why we all need to know what activities make us feel relaxed, and we need to incorporate it into our well-being routine every day.
For me, I enjoy bubble baths, music, and talking to friends on the phone that I know light me up inside. I know what relaxes me, and I make it a priority to incorporate these activities into my daily routine.
What relaxes you might be different than what works for me, but the whole point is that it doesn't matter what relaxes you, just that you carve out some time to do it.
Maybe you can try stretching at night, taking walks with a family member, going to the spa, getting into nature, or yoga classes. When you find the activities that relax you the most, write it down. Keep a list of what makes you feel the calmest, so that when you are so overwhelmed and stressed to the point you can't even think, you can look at your list and pick an activity to calm yourself.
Most importantly, remember that you don't have to be on the go all the time. Take time solely for yourself. After doing so, when you do get back to your to-do list, you will feel more capable, in control, and productive.
4. Incorporate movement into your day.
I don't mean work out viciously every single day. Sometimes, our bodies aren't meant to handle intense exercise. That's why I said movement! Even if you just put on a playlist in your house and dance around while you clean, you will experience the mood-boosting effects of endorphins.
Exercise is a very effective way to relieve stress, but make sure the exercise itself isn't causing you stress. If going to the gym and lifting weights seems miserable, then try playing your favorite sport. Maybe you love tennis, or swimming, and those are just as valuable as lifting weights!
No matter how you move, all exercise rewards your body with endorphins. Plus, you will likely feel accomplished after working out, which will help you feel great and motivated to reach more goals.
Mental and physical health are closely intertwined, so don't underestimate the power of movement on your mental well-being!
Remember: Your Motivation is Yourself.
We don't often think about it like this, but we are the most important person in our own lives. It may seem selfish, but it's true. Even when you have a child to take care of, you still have to take care of yourself first.
It's like when you're on an airplane and running out of oxygen. You need to put your mask on first before you can put anyone else's on. You need to be feeling well in order to help anyone else.
You can't fill someone else's cup if yours is empty. If you fill your own cup first, you will be well-equipped to take on the well-being of others, too. But you come first! So take the time out of your day to focus on these small, everyday tasks to better your well-being.