5 Easy Life Swaps You Should Start Today
As your days, weeks, months and years (!) whiz by, it's completely understandable to often feel as though you haven't quite got a handle on things. With increasingly busy lives, we find ourselves shelving real, lasting self-serving commitments for more pressing matters: that lingering project at work takes preference over your evening yoga class, your friend's birthday dinner means you're giving up that solitary bubble-bath you've been lusting over, and well, just about everything seems to trump sleep.
It's time to get to grips with a few things: some aspect of your life aren't within your control but some of them are. In the spirit of taking back some control, here are 5 simple things you can easily find a more fulfilling alternative to. (They'll make your days seem longer and more focused, so when things do get crazy you'll feel a little more prepared to take them on.)
SWAP #1: Netflix Watching → Book Reading
Now, I know this seems completely unachievable (and quite frankly, cruel), but spiraling into the abyss of endless series watching is such a common thing we've even got a term for it: binge-watching. (And when has a 'binge' ever been a good thing?)
Don't get me wrong, some situations are made for Netflix—rainy Sunday mornings, cold Wednesday evenings, and pretty much any time you need to switch off. But just consider the possibility that reading (or any activity that involves a bit more mental stimulation than TV), is just as satisfying and potentially more fulfilling. Pick up that book about inspirational career women, get lost in a fictional tale that will stretch your imagination and improve brain function. You'll be more informed and creative for it.
SWAP #2: Working Overtime → Sleeping
Whatever arguments you may have against this, we have the ultimate enduring comeback: Arianna Huffington, the woman who built a media empire, refuses to choose work over sleep, with good reason.
"It's not a trade-off between success and sleep. Science shows that sleep is a performance-enhancement tool," the mogul told Oprah. If you're thinking, 'I'd love to sleep but I haven't got the time!', the SheEO has got a comeback for that too, suggesting you should carve out just an extra 30 minutes in the quest to revolutionise your own sleep pattern.
"Everybody can find 30 minutes," she points out.
SWAP #3: Worry → Freedom From Anxiety
Don't get us wrong: we loved Marie Kondo's books as much as the next person but there's something liberating in the parody answer, The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck by Sarah Knight. Playfully eschewing things that matter to the majority of people but really don't matter in the long run, this book is like a modern manifesto for those who are ready to start focusing on what they think about their lives, rather than worrying about what other people think looking in. Worrying about what a multitude of people think is pretty stressful and that's why it's a habit that has to go.
Eschewing trends, the thoughts of others and anything that didn't serve her, Knight successfully captured the modern model of living a life without any boundaries, especially considering we are usually the ones who set the for ourselves. Instead of worrying about what others will think, start caring more about what you think—you might find the change in your stress levels drastically reducing.
SWAP #4: Scrolling Through Instagram → 10 Minutes of Mindfulness
That morning routine of scrolling mindlessly through social media has to go—at least Monday to Friday. It only takes a few minutes to reset via yoga or meditation and it can shift your whole daily perspective.
"[Meditation] has made it possible for me to weather certain challenges and storms and public moments that I didn’t ever imagine would be in my life," says meditation devotee Lena Dunham. "It gathers me up for the day and makes me feel organised and happy and capable of facing the challenges of the world, both internal and external.”
Whatever your bliss is, whether it's ten minutes of sipping a smoothie, fifteen minutes rounding the block or five sun salutations, find the space for it: it will make hectic times seem less so.
SWAP #5: Disorganisation → Clear Goal Setting
A good way of getting on top of your hectic schedule is to sit down every morning and write a list of five things you need to achieve that day. Whether it's getting your car washed, buying your mum's birthday present or finally repairing that beloved pair of heels, giving yourself a small, achievable list of tasks, rather than one monster one, gives you a boost in knowing you can tackle life, one step at a time. Any that you don't achieve go onto tomorrow morning's list but remember: no more than five a morning.
Kikki.K Habits Journal: Inspiration ($35)
What changes will you make today? Tell us in the comments below!