You wake up each morning and prepare yourself for the day ahead. Most of us go to a job we may or may not like, come home for dinner, hit the gym, spend our weeknights relaxing. The weekend comes and goes in an instant, and the weeks are repeated. With the mundanity of one’s repetitive lifestyle, how do we begin to find meaning in anything we do? Do you ever just stop to literally smell the roses? Do you ever stop to feel gratitude? Sometimes only life-altering events really make us stop what we are doing… but why? Our lives don’t have to be filled with conformity and repetitiveness – they can be filled with appreciation and meaning. It’s a hard task to tackle, but with a little grounding and effort, your life can be more fulfilling. Where does one begin?
Attach a happy memory to a physical object. Whenever traveling, I try to purchase a small trinket or decorative item that I can bring back with me for my future home. I have collected so many over the years, that I have to put some away in storage! I currently keep a few pieces on my bedroom furniture – each of them reminding me of my travels or a city I loved. Now, whenever I buy something new, even here in Milwaukee, I try to have a story attached to it. It can give you a small bit a joy every time you pass the decoration or use the coffee mug. It’s a great way to begin realizing these little things can mean so much more!
Try short meditation practices. Meditation is hands down the best way to become self-aware, have gratitude and keep a “right here, right now” attitude. Learning just 3-minute practices (for beginners) is a perfect way to start your day, and allows you to remember these practices every time you’re feeling stressed. Being self-aware and grateful are two of my main goals in life. Although it can be difficult, meditation has an enormous amount of benefits for the mind, body and soul. Read about how to get started with meditation here!
Pray. I’m not one who is super religious, but I respect any and everybody’s religion. I was raised in the Lutheran church, and although I don’t really have a religion, I do enjoy praying. It gives my mind a release and allows me to collect my thoughts and send me good vibes to those in needs. It also helps with remembering those we’ve lost and brings us into deep thought.
Say daily mantras. Mantras are amazing – they are meant to be said/repeated when you wake up, or during meditation. They really add a fresh start to my day and make me feel rejuvenated with positivity. Some examples of mantras:
- I am thankful for what I have, even though it’s not perfect
- I am here, I am now, I am safe
- I will remember that the only shoes I wear are my own
- Let go of what you can’t control
Wake up early. Let’s get one thing straight. I love my bed and I love sleeping. But the days I wake up early, get my workout in, finish my freelance work, and still have free time, that is when I feel the most gratitude. Spending each day on the right foot is something that helps me keep a positive attitude and cherish the time I have left over for me.
Get off your phone. This one is especially difficult for me, but as I grow older, I know that likes and followers don’t really matter. Social media is just another addiction that makes you lose sight of what’s important. It turns you into an obsessive blob with nothing to offer. It makes you think that randoms on the internet really care about you, when in reality, everyone’s in it for the same reason. I know social media helps some people and get make you money, but I think being attached to your phone at all times really weakens your person-to-person contact in the long-run.
Schedule weekly/monthly updates with your close friends. For those friendships you want to last, reach out to those people on a weekly, biweekly, monthly basis. Some friendships need more nurturing than others. Catch up and see what’s going on in their lives. Sometimes we get so caught up in ourselves that we forget to be selfless and see how another person is doing. Friendships can easily fade with time, but it’s vital to keep those relationships you want to last, lasting.
Taking time for your own well-being is essential. You can’t help other people if you’re not in a good place. Take the time, find new ways to appreciate everyday tasks, and live a bright and healthy future!