Small changes add up to BIG results. Especially when it comes to changing things like stress and/or your mood which is something I’m personally focused on. I’ve played with a handful of elimination experiments ranging from food to relationships to toxins and the like, but have found great clarity in simply cutting out a few habits.
Some of these may apply to you, and some won’t, but I wanted to share them because I truly feel happier, lighter and more zen because of them.
1. No more phone in the morning.
I’ve been sleeping with my phone on airplane mode for a few years now but it wasn’t until recently when I began keeping it on airplane mode until after I finished my morning routine. Airplane mode keeps all your notifications from coming through which means no emails, texts, Instagram live notifications (when will they turn those off?!), et al. This small change made a HUGE difference – I no longer wake up and instantly feel stressed from everything that has piled up (which truthfully I don’t handle until after getting ready anyway). My mornings are mine again and I can have a nice slow start without the stressing. When I’m ready to take on the day and handle my messages, I turn airplane mode off.
2. No watching the news while falling asleep.
For years I’ve watched MSNBC before bed to get caught up on current events but as of late, it heightens my anxiety and has been affecting my sleep. New rule: no news before bed. Instead, I’ve been watching TED talks or nothing at all, opting for reading.
3. No more over-scheduling.
Last fall I vowed to give up over-programming my life because it was simply taking the fun out of things. In fact, a study by the Olin Business School at Washington University in St. Louis found that scheduling leisure time with friends—for movies, drinks, bike rides—can make these otherwise enjoyable activities feel like chores, which is often why we cancel them. I’ve been making fewer plans and leaving more free time for spontaneous plans, which gives me the chance to actually do what I feel like doing in that moment.
4. No more tedious but urgent errands.
Is it just me or do you always run out of things in 3 too? Whether it be toilet paper, paper towels and foil, or shampoo, face wash and soap, it feels like it all happens at once which makes getting to a store an urgent check box on the to-do list. I’m officially done with stressing to pick up tampons or my prescription and instead have set recurring orders on places like Amazon and PillPack.
5. No more light-hoarding.
I would by no means call myself a hoarder. In fact, I don’t have a ton of stuff, BUT I do have a tendency to hold onto things for longer than I should. This stuff definitely weighs me down and I’m trying break this habit. I’ve been going through my house room by room to lighten the load and am shocked by how much of a change it’s made. I didn’t even realize how much the excess bothered me until it was gone. The ultimate purge was getting rid of 65% of my closet.
What about you? What changes have you made in your life to feel less stressed?