How are we all doing on our New Year’s Resolutions? Honestly? I’m doing marginal on mine — at best. Given the fact that only 8 percent of people achieve the New Year’s resolutions they set each time the ball drops (according to Forbes), my guilt is also marginal.
The American Psychological Association suggests setting small, attainable goals throughout the year instead of a singular, overwhelming one on the first of January. Resolving to change my habits, big or small, is really an attempt for an emotional rescue (losing weight = more self confidence, blogging more = sense of accomplishment, etc.). Perhaps just setting habits that give your brain a break from over-stimulation, worry, and stress from life’s curve balls is the best way to rescue yourself.
With that in mind, here are five small ways to improve your peace of mind in 2015, one step at a time.
Get More Sleep
According to Business Insider, 40 percent of Americans say they don’t get enough sleep. With our busy schedules and fast-paced lifestyles, that comes as no surprise. But just because a consistent lack of sleep is the norm doesn’t mean it should remain that way. Sleeping habits impact our everyday lives, which affects our jobs, home lives, relationships, overall attitudes, and even essential bodily functions such as cell repair. There are as many detriments to not getting enough sleep as there are benefits to a good night’s rest.
The best way to get more sleep is to establish a bedtime routine—yes, kind of like what you might have had when you were 8 years old. Pick a concrete bedtime and stick to it. If you need to be up by seven in the morning, try aiming for eleven as your turn-in time. Most people need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, so there’s room to adjust and choose what works best for you. Get into a routine that you practice each night, beginning 30 minutes or so before your designated bedtime. Turn off all electronics, brush your teeth, floss, put on your pjs, wash your face—whatever it is that will let your body know it’s time to wind down and prepare for some shut-eye (= peace of mind). Though it may seem like a time-consuming process, you’ll thank yourself when you wake up well-rested the next morning.
Besides being a source of entertainment, reading provides a variety of benefits both to your physical and mental health. A good book can expand your vocabulary and knowledge, improve your memory and offer mental stimulation, and act as a source of stress relief. The benefits even extend to Alzheimer’s and dementia prevention as we age, as outlined in an article from Live Science.
#Over40 ladies may want to improve their love lives (= feeling loved and sexy). Books can help! Reading erotic romance can expand your horizons and encourage exploration in the bedroom. In this regard, Adam and Eve recommends here that you read the steamiest passages (giggle, giggle) aloud to your partner as a method of foreplay or as a source of inspiration for your own romp in the hay. This perk of reading more proves books clearly goes well beyond improving your brain function 🙂
Hangovers are hell on earth. There’s just no other way to put it. Relieving a hangover = feeling less stupid.
While there’s no proven way to cure a hangover (other than by not drinking in the first place), there are some things you can do lessen their atrocity. The old stand-by is of course to drink plenty of water. Water before you start knocking them back, water between each cocktail, water at the end of the night… Basically water should be your new best friend.
Water infused with electrolytes, like SmartWater, is even better if you can make it happen. Another tip for hangover prevention is to upgrade your alcohol. According to this post, the cleaner the alcohol, the less “junk” there is for your body to metabolize. If there ever was a reason to spring for the good stuff, this is it.
Send Some Snail Mail
Emails, text messages, and social media are all convenient technologies that keep us connected to our loved ones and the outside world. But there’s nothing like receiving a handwritten letter in the mail. It shows that the sender (you! = feel like a good friend) put a little extra time, effort, and care into connecting with the recipient.
Even if it’s just a quick card or short note, chances are getting the mail made that person a little happier that day. And there’s nothing like sitting down to write a letter to someone special, either. The process is cathartic and calming, and it conjures up images of old-timey traditions. Even if it’s to someone you talk to every day, the gesture will be appreciated. You’ll probably start getting some snail mail yourself as a result.
Build a Nest Egg
Having emergency savings stowed away for if, or when, the need arises can be a great way to unload some of your financial stress (= prepared like a girl scout). Life is full of surprises—root canals, dead car batteries, a broken A/C unit—and it’s nice to be able to dip into your bank account to handle these unexpected expenses without worrying if the leak in your roof will mean meals of ramen noodles for the next five years of your life.
This doesn’t mean you have to start saving thousands immediately. Putting away just $5 a day is enough to begin building your nest egg (per this article). Contribute more as you can and before you know it, you’ll have a good amount saved up for a rainy day.
Creating your signature style works better when your mind, body and spirit are in alignment. If you’re ready to take that next step in your personal style, contact me.Thea Wood Austin’s Signature Stylist 512.217.9869 “Because You’re Going Places’