The other day a friend of mine posted this link to an article on apartment therapy (one of my fave online spots for design inspiration). The article is called “10 Simple Things to Make You Happier at Home“. A lot of these things are pretty simple, but I kind of fell in love with them. Go check out the article, but here is a little recap:
“Our homes are an extension of who we are: what we do within the walls of our abodes shapes our mood, affects our productivity, and influences our 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 — we are, in fact, in control of our outlook on life.
It’s amazing how a few tweaks to our daily habits can become a catalyst for meaningful, positive change. Here are a few simple things you can do every day to feel happier at home.”
image from here
#1 Make your bed. This is something DIY Dan and I are not very good at. We’re probably batting about 50%. I totally love snuggling into a bed that’s been made up, so I really have no excuse.
#2 Bring every room back to “ready”. This one is all about taking those 5 minutes to quickly put things away and tidy each room up on a daily basis so it doesn’t get out of control. I’m pretty good at this, since I tend to go a little nutty if there is “chaos” in the house. I find it really does only take a few minutes (it’s a tidy, not a clean), and makes such a difference to my peace of mind.
#3 Display sentimental items around your home. I definitely try and do this. Hanging favourite family photos, displaying souvenirs from our travels, or other sentimental goodies can definitely bring a little smile to my face.
#4 Start a one-line a day gratitude journal. I have never been a very good journal-keeper. I have tried on travels and have pretty much failed. I think part of the problem is that I would rather be reading or doing something else and journalling becomes a bit of a task. A one-liner journal though would probably be pretty easy. I think I’ll give this one a go.
#5 If you can’t get out of it, get into it. The example the Apartment Therapy articles gives is doing dishes – if you can’t get out of them, enjoy it (hot water, sudsy bubbles, etc). Not sure if I’ll ever really love doing the dishes, but I see what they’re getting at. If you’re going to have to do it, find some way not to detest it. Hmmm anyone have any bright ideas about how to enjoy cleaning toilets?
#6 Before you get up each morning, set an intent for the day. This is a nice idea. I usually wake up in a fog, stomp over to the bathroom (Dan calls me “stompy”) and don’t actually start to have any kind of coherent thoughts until I am showered and having breakfast. The Dalai Lama says “”Every day, think as you wake up: today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it.” Not sure my thoughts will be quite so enlightened, but I think I will try to have a little moment in the morning to set out a positive intention for the day.
#7 Do small favours for your housemates, expecting nothing in return. I think this is a really good tip. It’s easy to “keep score”, but it pretty much always leads to some feeling of resentment. I find that if you start intentionally trying to do nice things, then the other person (your husband, housemate, sibling, whoever!) will want to reciprocate. It’s pretty simple – just be kind and do thoughtful things.
#8 Call at least one friend or family member a day. With emails, texting, facebook, and other forms of messaging, it’s pretty easy to forget to actually talk to our loved ones. The article says, “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.” I definitely need to get better at this one. I usually have too many things on the go, and by the time I’ve got things checked off the to-do list, it’s late and all I want to do is collapse into bed. And the kicker is that when I hang up the phone from a good gab with a friend or family member, I always feel great and think “I need to make sure to call them more often”.
#9 Spend money on things that cultivate experiences at home. Having the opportunity to invite people over and have fun at home not only means that you’ll save money by not going out too often, but also makes your home a joyful place to be. We invested in a new BBQ last summer and have a bunch of board games, making it easy to host games nights or easy dinners at our pad.
#10 Spend a few minutes each day connecting with something greater than yourself. You don’t need to be a religious person to just step back for a second and think about this big wide world and connect with something bigger than yourself. I find it helps to put things into perspective and to be grateful, even when I’m having a not-so-hot kind of day.
It’s nice to be reminded of this stuff every once in a while, don’t you think?
What about you guys? Any of these resonate with you? Are you a journal-keeper? Good at calling friends and family? Have any other tips that help you have a happy home?