SIMPLE THINGS TO MAKE YOU HAPPIER AT HOME
Our homes are an extension of who we are; what we do within the walls of our own places definitely shape our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our overall outlook on life. Scientific studies have shown that we can have an impact on our happiness by adjusting the tiny little habits and routines that constitute our daily lives--steps to a positive change! Here are a few simple things I do on a daily basis (and you can too) in order to feel happier at home.
1. When you wake up every morning, MAKE YOUR BED. I know from my own personal experience, I dislike coming into our bedroom at anytime of day and seeing an untidy bed. Plus, nothing is better than crawling into a nicely, MADE bed every night!! How often do most of you wash your bed linen? I generally do it on a bi-weekly basis because even better than crawling into a made bed, is a freshly WASHED bed--the smell never gets old and makes for a cozier sleep! ;)
2. BRING EVERY ROOM BACK TO "READY"--You are probably asking "what exactly does that mean?" Well, it is a proven fact that clutter causes stress, and can make for a moody household, causing quite the domino effect on everyone involved. It is very easy to change the problem of 'clutter' around your home by simply taking less than 5 minutes to tidy up before leaving that specific room. You do not need to deep clean, just a quick job around the area will do! I do this especially in the evening after watching television and heading to bed for the night--it's nice to come into a clean living area the next day. Examples include picking up any drink glasses, fixing/fluffing pillows, folding blankets, etc.
You can also make a game out of it with your family members--possibly setting a timer for 7 minutes before dinner each evening and everyone has to clean up certain areas.
3. NEVER LEAVE DISHES IN THE KITCHEN--this is a MUST in my home! Dishes are done immediately following dinner--if not during (obviously just the ones that aid in cooking). Nothing makes me cringe more than seeing dirty dishes lying around or filling up the sink! If you dread doing the dishes, try to get into the mood as much as possible--play your favourite music, get the family involved, etc. Even if you cannot do them directly following a meal if you are on your way out, just fill up your sink with water and dish soap and place the dishes in--at least they're soaking in there and hidden from counter tops.
4. MAKE YOUR HOME A GALLERY OF POSITIVE MEMORIES--this may be made possible by dedicating a wall in your hallway to images of close family or a few sentiments on a table from a beautiful trip. I have recently created a photo collage going up our main staircase in the house. These items surpass the enjoyment that is felt from material objects for one reason--they have MEMORIES attached to them. With that being said, take a walk around your home once a month or so and stop to reminisce about that day or event and smile. Memories are what life is all about and helps to forget the everyday stresses that enter our lives.
5. TAKE THE TIME TO CALL AT LEAST ONE FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER A DAY--with technology being so advanced and generations resorting to texting or social media to interact, it is still very important to never forget what a simple phone call can do. Not only can it help your mood, but you can bring a smile to someone else's as well. It is that personal interaction that is so special, and hearing a loved one's voice can turn us around. In other words, we humans are social beings and studies show that even when we don't feel like it, even if we are naturally introverted, socializing with our loved ones makes us feel better.
6. One of the most important steps is to TAKE TIME FOR YOURSELF *EVERYDAY*-- we are so wrapped up in our work lives, our children's lives, doing errands, etc, but we have to realize the importance of taking even just 20-30 minutes each day to unwind and do what makes US the most happy and content; whether it being taking a warm bubble bath, a nap, reading a book or catching up on your favourite television show--take a deep breath, enjoy it and remember that there is always time for everything else to get finished.
7. DO SMALL FAVOURS FOR OTHERS LIVING IN YOUR HOME & EXPECT NOTHING IN RETURN--Mow the lawn for your husband, but don't expect him to massage you in return. Make the bed for your wife, but don't try to get bonus points for it. Take the trash out for your son, just because. The ability to cultivate strong, healthy relationships is one of the biggest contributors to health and happiness in a home, but when you start to keep score, the benefit is lost. Human nature is simple in that 'if you do good, you feel good.'
8. EVERY MORNING, SET AN INTENT FOR THAT DAY--by doing this, at the end of the day, you will feel like you accomplished something! However, this should never be something on your 'to-do' list. These daily intents can be as simple as "buy my co-worker a coffee," "say thank you to my loved ones today" or "spend 10 extra minutes helping my daughter learn to read." Something small, but can go a long way!
9. SAVE EXTRA MONEY TO USE FOR EXPERIENCES AT HOME--Save money for a new grill for parties or a new DVD or board game for family movie night — something that will encourage you to have people over and entertain or spend more time with family. Plan a summer barbeque, or winter potluck, invite your closest friends, kick back and relax. (And don't forget to print out the pictures to remember the good times.)
10. MAKE DINNER-TIME THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE DAY--sit at the table, not on the couch to eat, television off and just enjoy each others company. If this isn't possible every night because of your lifestyle, try to do it at least once a week. For example, we start off by each person saying one thing they are thankful for (even the little ones can contribute with simple answers), talk about your day and joke around--afterall, family are the most important people in your life to share memories with! If you have younger children, this time of the day will soon become a favourite for them!