It doesn’t take a lot of effort to turn your day—or life—around.
We often think of personal development as a ritual that wouldn’t be complete without 101 self-help essays, face masks, and copious amounts of journaling. However, these activities touted by the wellness industry may not reap the most benefits for your own journey to success. If you’re currently feeling stuck in a rut—be it your career, friendships, or relationship with yourself—it’ll usually take more than a Sunday vinyasa yoga class to cultivate self-growth. After all, this is a lifelong journey on which everyone at some point will embark. So fret not: LeadYouth has compiled several habits that anyone can implement in their lives without going the extra mile.
#1: Disconnect—literally and figuratively.
If you find yourself mindlessly “doomscrolling” through your Instagram feed for what feels like the hundredth time today (and yes, I’m guilty as well), maybe it’s time to reset. Put your phone, laptop, or other device away in a secure place for a few hours. At first it may feel uncomfortable being without a personal gadget, but the effects of screens on productivity do more harm than good. Instead, try going for a walk, decluttering you
r desk area, or just sitting with your own thoughts for a while.
Much of the time, we turn to our devices for a distraction from the other tasks or things going on in our lives. Or perhaps we may simply be bored out of our minds. However, this coping mechanism is a double-edged sword—consuming too much social media or news-related content can be detrimental to our health. Set boundaries and reinforce them by rewarding yourself for a certain amount of downtime.
#2: Reframe your mindset around bad days.
Have you ever found yourself slogging through a pretty rough day? It’s safe to say we’ve all been there, whether it was sleeping through the alarm or wearing mismatching socks or forgetting the one thing you had to bring to school. But it’s important to remember that the perspective in which you characterize your day can be controlled. Although it might seem frustrating to be stuck on a loading page or a long line, turn these annoyances into lighthearted inconveniences. Try rewiring your mind with some of the following sentences:
“At least I’m not…[insert worst-case scenario here]”
“This thickens the plot development!”
“I guess I’m just that lucky.”
Always keep in mind that it’s only a bad day, week, or month—not a bad life. Oftentimes, our minds trick us into believing that our bad luck will continue or even worsen from here, which is not the case. Instead, show yourself and others compassion for trying to improve the situation. If in doubt, laugh about it—a little bit of self-deprecation or sarcasm can work wonders for your mood.
#3: Ask what you can do for others.
Although the notion of helping others in regards to self-help might sound contradictory, it never hurts to help out your neighbors or community. When you lend a hand, you’re more likely to feel positive about your actions—and therefore, yourself. Some examples of tiny acts of service towards others can be found below:
Walking someone’s dog
Collecting someone’s mail
Chatting with the sick, disabled, or elderly
Leaving a generous tip for small businesses
Donating to local charities or shelters
Watering someone’s plants
Offering to mow the lawn
Setting up a stand for free water/ice on hot days
Small actions can go a long way in improving your surroundings and your own wellbeing. Not only will your neighbors be likely to help you out in the future, but you’ll also gain a sense of fulfillment that can’t be replicated elsewhere. That’s a feeling no money can buy!
#4: Surround yourself with nature.
Humans were born to roam free, so it’s no secret that the great outdoors makes you feel rejuvenated. Just a simple neighborhood stroll can boost your levels of happiness, satisfaction, and even creativity. It doesn’t have to be long, either—take five minutes out of your busy schedule to get your blood flowing, and you’ll thank yourself later.
If you’re unable to walk outside, try incorporating intentional movement indoors instead. You can try meditation, yoga, or even an impromptu jam-out to music in your room. The possibilities are endless!
#5: Tap into your creative juices.
After fine-tuning your mindset and environment, it’s natural for inspiration to strike. No matter how you enjoy expressing yourself, creativity is a great outlet for your feelings or thoughts. In fact, IBM reports that “CEOs say creativity is the #1 factor for future success.” This is because you aren’t defined by any guidelines or parameters when you create—you just do it. So the next time you’re feeling down, channel those thoughts into a poem, improvise a song, or whip out that dusty easel. Note that innovation might not be the cure-all for your woes, but it can certainly help you understand them better.
Contrary to popular belief, self-development or self-care rituals don’t need to be complicated in order to be successful. In fact, for the tips above, all you need is your body, mind, and a little bit of imagination! In a world where confusing or contradictory wellness routines reign supreme, it can be difficult to clear your mind. Luckily, there’s no need to rush—the peaks and valleys of self-growth await you.