GOOD HABITS: HOW MAKING THE BED CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE

HOW MAKING THE BED CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE - This Wild Home

I get overwhelmed reading self-help articles that give you a laundry list of tasks. It’s always, 5 Things To Do RIGHT NOW To Be Happy. It sounds simple until you realize those five things are: form 12 different habits, eat better, make sure your house is always clean, make sure you have your dream job, and change your mindset completely in order to be better.” Who is capable of taking on all of those things at once?

Basically, the advice is to change your life. To that I say, “Gee thanks. I didn’t realize that turning my sad life into a happy one would make me feel better. How helpful.”

Of course the goal is to make your life better for yourself. You want good habits, to eat better and to have a better mindset, but they don’t tell you how to make these things happen. They don’t give you simple, tangible tasks that can not only increase your over all happiness. I always wonder why people make it seem like bettering yourself is as simple as being better? It’s time to stop with the, “Here’s a headline that will make your head spin with no actual real content” posts. There’s no one single task that you can do to improve your life, but there are simple steps you can take to begin to change your life.

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So here’s my little scene I’d like to paint for you.. I wake up. My bed is warm, it’s cozy, and I’ve got nothing going on today. Are there things I could be doing? Sure. Is there a life I could be living? I guess. But am I going to do it? Absolutely not.

This was my life for years and years. At least a decade. I was homeschool, so even through my school days I didn’t necessarily have anywhere to go so I just didn’t. I didn’t go where I wasn’t needed, I didn’t do what I didn’t NEED to do. Sometimes I wouldn’t even do what I did need to do. This carried into my first apartment. The mess I thought I’d escape somehow, without any effort because “I’m an adult now” and adults are just magically clean somehow? Seriously. I can be a real disgusting pigsty when I’m not trying. I lived in the middle of my giant mess for years, both literally and figuratively, until I realized I needed to change.

I hate this metaphor, but I was really adrift. Like a seed in the wind with no where to stop, plant, and grow. Even after I got married, I didn’t fully figure it out. Part of it was a defense mechanism. Don’t try and you’ll never fail. If I’m being honest though, I’m just really bad at being definitive about who I am. Really, I in no way knew how to get my life on track already and stop being so blah all the time.

OBVIOUSLY GETTING PREGNANT CHANGED MY LIFE.

That doesn’t mean getting pregnant has to be your life changer, I’m just stubborn enough to need a HUGE wake up call and that wake up call is named, Oliver. As I say in my post about my Mr. Oliver, I realized I needed to be happy. Of all the things I shouldn’t do as a mother, making my child spend his adolescents with a miserable mother was the biggest one. So one day, I washed the sheets (for the first time in some amount of time that I won’t tell you because it’s extremely embarrassing) and I made the bed.

Then, the next day rolled around and I made the bed again. Then again, and again, and again. I didn’t actually decide that making the bed was a good idea. I just did it. Like an instinct. Maybe some nesting was involved, but I did it… and it felt good. The next thing I knew, I was making the bed THEN getting dressed. One morning I even had breakfast. These things may seem so little, but for a person who’s in the funk I was in, it was huge.

So why making your bed?

Why is that the thing that started everything?  What about it made a difference?

WELL, YOU CAN’T SIT IN A MADE BED.

I put effort into making the bed. I made it look nice, it made my room look clean. And here’s the thing, if you’re not going to sit in bed all day, you have to get dressed. So that’s how the making the bed and then getting dressed thing started happening. Then, the whole making the bed and getting dressed thing made me hungry and so on. You get it. It was a snowball effect of productivity. That one simple act of making the bed made so many things start to happen to where now, a whole year later, I am not only writing this post, but I’m sitting on my couch in my clean house after doing yoga and reading a book and the tv is on in the background IN THE LIVING ROOM because I don’t have a TV in my bedroom anymore.

This person that I am now. This person I always wanted to be but never thought I could because getting out of bed is too hard. This is who I am. All because I started making the bed every morning. That tiny little act changed my life. It made my marriage better, aided in turning me into a good mother, and gave me a reason to get out of bed and live. It’s not major, things aren’t perfect, but they are so much better and getting better everyday.

So make your bed. Seriously. You never know where it could take you.

GOOD HABITS: ADD SELF CARE TO YOUR EVERYDAY

HOW TO ADD SELF CARE TO YOUR EVERYDAY - This Wild Home

It’s very easy to stay so focused on staying busy. Putting all our worth into our productivity just to burn ourselves out by the end of everyday. There’s always going to be stuff to do, that’s something we’ll never be able to escape. But this doesn’t mean everything has to happen immediately. It doesn’t mean we have to put everything first while leaving ourselves last.

When I’ve thought about making time for myself, the issue I run into is feeling like, if it’s not a grand gesture, it’s not worth doing. Like I’m waiting for my vacation days and anything less than a trip to the beach doesn’t count as relaxing, so why bother? It seems like little things aren’t going to be enough, so why even try?

So you go through your day wondering when you’ll finally have the time to give yourself that grand relaxing day only to find it doesn’t come around enough. You get burnt out, you get stressed out, and you’re left wondering if this is what life is really about.

I can go ahead and tell you, no. Life is all in the little things. It’s all in how you spent your time, how happy you were in all the moments you had.

So I got to a point where I looked at my day and realized it was full of things I hated. There was not a single moment where I was doing something for myself. Sure, I’d eat some junk food and watch TV, I do love those things, but they’re not really good for me. They don’t clear my mind and give me an authentic energy full of pride and passion. I found that there was not a single part of my day that made me feel happy, alive, and inspired.

So I lowered my expectations of what truly counted as “me time.” I needed more than just the occassional vacation, but I needed it to be small enough to fit into my day. Amongst all of the musts like cooking, cleaning, working, etc.; I realized I could fill up my cup and lift myself up simply by adding those little moments of care through my day.

I took sometime to think about some little things I can do in a busy day to give myself a little moment of care and I’ve found ways to add these things to my everyday. This way, my cup is always full and I’m able to keep myself on track with the things I truly love from life.

ADD A LITTLE SELF CARE TO YOUR EVERYDAY

  • KEEP A JOURNAL | Get your thoughts out of your mind everyday. Whether you write in the morning or not, just make sure you’re doing it. It’s too easy to make your mind a storage facility when it is meant to be so much more than that. Write out all your thoughts, big and small to give your mind room to wander.

  • MAKE HYDRATION FUN | Staying hydrated can really improve your day, but water is boring. When you get hydrated by eating fruit, drinking tea, anything that makes water interesting, you’re getting the benefits from those additives which can only lift you up.

  • UPGRADE YOUR BEAUTY ROUTINE | It’s hard to find products that are not only affordable, but actually work to make us feel like we look good and healthy. If you can, it’s so worth it to find products that really work for you that you can feel good about putting on your skin. Once you get the products, make it a daily self care ritual where you take 5-10 minutes pampering yourself and your skin to make it the healthiest it can be.

  • MAKE BETTER MEALS | Treat yourself to fresh ingredients and tasty recipes. There are so many simple recipes and subscription boxes to meal plans out there. Find something that looks good and works for you and start cooking! Making yourself healthy and good meals will not only improve your health, but it gives you the right kind of energy that can blossom into motivation for anything.

  • LET YOURSELF GO OFF BUDGET SOMETIMES | Trust me when I say, I know how hard this can be. When things are tight it’s hard to feel good about splurging on something for yourself. But this doesn’t always have to mean a giant shopping spree (though, if you’re spendy like me, it can seem like that’ll be the only thing that will really make you feel like you love yourself). Really, it is so easy to treat yourself in little ways. A solo coffee date, something to organize your home, whatever little thing makes you happy. An extra $15 or so every few months is a small price to pay for an extra happy moment in your everyday.

  • ADD ONE THING TO YOUR ROUTINES THAT’S JUST FOR YOU | Routine’s are an important part of the day. They help us to start and end the day without questioning how it’s going to happen. The only problem with routines is, they can be a bit trivial. They are usually filled with a bunch of stuff that you have to do rather than want to do. So add something fun in there. Something that is not feeding the baby or rushing through trying to get dressed while also making breakfast and dealing with the dog and 500 other things to try and just start the day already. Maybe add a moment to breathe with a cup of coffee or enjoy a relaxing walk. Just give yourself a moment of peace within the chaos that is routines.

  • GIVE YOURSELF SOME DOWN TIME | Downtime is crucial. We work hard as humans and there’s a lot of pressure put on us to be productive every second of everyday. I feel so guilty sometimes when I sit down and turn my brain off because it always feels like I should be doing something. The reality is though, if you’re waiting to take downtime when there’s nothing left to do, you’ll never get it. Life consists of having things to do. So just take a break. Sit down and do something horribly unproductive for any amount of time. Make it 30 minutes, an hour, 5 hours, a week if you need it. It doesn’t even have to be the same amount of time everyday, just make sure it happens.

  • TAKE A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA | Social media is a double edged sword. On the one hand, it’s full of amazing people that can motivate you to make your life better, and some of them even help you to figure out how! On the other hand, it’s full of amazing people who have their stuff figured out way more than you do. It’s impossible to not compare sometimes. The phrase, “the grass is always greener” was not created because only a few people envy other’s lives, we all do it sometimes. Yes, I could sit here and say learn how to not compare. Personally, I think that is an uphill battle that does not need to be fought all day everyday. If you catch yourself comparing, give yourself some time everyday that is social media free (that means Pinterest too) and maybe replace it with some moments full of appreciating the life you already have.

So if you’ve been having trouble with busy days and not enough self love, try adding some of these things to your day. It really is all about the little things.

Do you have any acts of self care that get you through the day? Leave them in the comments!