Want to Transform Your Day in 21min? Do These 5 Things
We’ve talked about ways of transforming your day before, with our ‘Checklist for Deep Self-Care‘ , and ‘9 Things You Need to Do for a Happy Life‘.
The thing is, we know that sometimes having an abstract or long list can feel overwhelming and you end up not knowing where to start. Or maybe you just feel there isn’t enough time in the day. Well, here’s the answer for you.
These 5 things, while seemingly very simple, can lead to significant change, and all in just 21 minutes!
Tidying for Ten
This little habit has become very en-vogue, with books like ‘The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up’ hitting bestseller lists.
We know that it’s really easy for things to start piling up at home. You’re tired and it’s been a long day. The last thing you might feel like doing is the dishes, or folding laundry, or vacuuming that carpet. But rather than approaching EVERYTHING, we want to show you that just setting aside 10 little minutes, at the end of each day, can make a world of difference. Even if you already cleaned earlier. There is always something you can turn your attention to. Declutter, dust, organize…you get the drill.
Can’t get everything done in 10 minutes? That’s okay. Start something, and when the time is up, just stop. Play some music while you do it, or listen to a podcast, or enjoy a few minutes of silence. Whatever works for you. You’ll feel like something was accomplished. That’s always satisfying.
Flossing for One
Okay, so we know you’ll brush your teeth first (hopefully), and so that adds another 2 minutes. But you were going to do that anyway, so it doesn’t count.
Why flossing? Because it’s such a small thing, but it has such a big impact! It’s not just cavities and bad breath flossing helps you avoid, but plaque, gingivitis, tooth loss and decay.
Studies have also shown that dental health is linked to your health overall. What’s more, Periodontal disease causes severe inflammation in the gums, and has been connected to other inflammation-based diseases in the body. While the link between the two is still unclear, what we know is that dental health is extremely important!
It just takes a minute, start tonight and keep those whites extra pearly.
Stretching for Five
Stretching: It pulls all the kinks and residues of the day out of your body. It supports good posture, keeps your joints and muscles limber, and helps protect against injury. It improves your blood flow and general circulation. And it releases endorphins and reduces the stress you’ve built up and stored into physical tension. Basically, it just makes you feel so good. Here’s a 5 minute yoga stretch for relaxation before sleep that you can try right now.
Deep Breathing for 3
We’ve talked about the benefits of this in ‘A Deep Breathing Practice for Daily Life‘, so we’re going to pull out some of the main highlights.
It sounds pretty obvious, but breathing is literally life. And most of us don’t breathe properly. We take shallow breaths, which means we aren’t getting as much oxygen as we could. This tends to get worse when we are stressed.
A deep breathing practice is an incredible way to relax your nervous system, activate your lymphatic system, moderate your blood pressure, and just bring yourself into the present moment. It allows you to check in with your body and emotional state, and let go of tension and worries with each breath.
So after you are done stretching, get into a comfortable sitting posture or lie down, and take this short breathing practice for a spin.
Gratitude for 2
Once you’ve finished your breathing, you can lie down (if you haven’t already) and be ready for bed. But before you fall asleep, spend 2 minutes reflecting on what you’re grateful for that day. Again, you might be thinking: Why? Or: I can’t really think of anything.
Let’s address the first question: Gratitude is a practice of being in the present moment. It’s been proven that intentionally finding things in your day to be grateful for actually creates new brain pathways and increases the production of dopamine and serotonin.
One study, noted in both The New York Times and Harvard Health, showed that the group of participants who kept a weekly list of things they were grateful for showed notably higher life satisfaction than the groups that listed negative or neutral things.
If at first you can’t think of anything (like, it’s been a particularly bad day), try again. Are you grateful for the warm bed? The delicious coffee you had at 4 o’clock? That your friend is recovering well from an illness? That public transit ran on time or the traffic was less terrible than usual? Nothing is too small….
So that’s it!
5 things. 21 minutes.
We recommend doing them in the sequence we have listed, one after the other, in the evening before bed. That way, you will be prepped to go to sleep in a positive, happy, and relaxed space.
Try it every day for the next week and let us know how it works for you!