Holiday Season Essentials: 5 Simple, Healthy Habits for Happiness

“Adult

Pursuing happiness by the book can easily become an irksome job. From yoga gurus to well-intentioned parents, everyone seems to add a task on the to-do pile: smile even when you don’t feel like, meditate, be grateful, eat clean, sleep more, stress less. If you already tried to abide those rules the same way you’d nurse a zit the night before a big event - applying five remedies at once and praying that will work- then it’s time for a reboot.

You see, the key to contentment is taking baby steps. So read on to learn some new, easy-to-implement habits that can put the spark back in your life. These little habits will go a long way, especially during the hectic and often stressful times during the holiday season.


“Declutter"

De-Clutter

It’s impossible to become happier when you struggle to find a patch of unoccupied space in your house or office. By getting rid of stuff, you will literally ditch emotional debris: clutter has linked to elevated stress levels and depression. There’s no need to donate half of your belongings to Salvation Army either. Start with something small, like the towering pile of dusty magazines from your coffee table. The next day, tackle the pantry and so on. The more space you create, the more lighthearted you’ll become.

Image Credit: Organizing4U


“Decorate"

Don't Be Afraid to Decorate

Once you've perfected the art of organization, you can slowly start to add some new objects into the mix. Studies have shown that creativity breeds happiness and decorating is among the easiest things you can do to light up your creative energy!

There’s only rule: pick tasteful items that perfectly mirror your personality. That means no tacky, flashy riffraff. Some great ideas: a family photo wall, a dream-board, antique furniture, a stunning paint job! Basically, anything that makes your space sing.

Image Credit: HGTV


“Adult

Create a Pleasurable Routine

Some people like to see their house as a sanctuary, but why wait to get home when you could find pockets of time throughout day and fill them with relaxing activities? The lunch break, the commute to and from work, the minutes spent waiting in line - these are all unexplored opportunities of tapping into your inner zen.

According to psychologists, repetitive simple tasks such as coloring (seriously), reading, drawing or knitting make for effective meditation stand-ins and can help ease stress and even reduce the risk for dementia.

Image Credit: Linda Nylind for The Guardian


“Keep

Keep a Diary

Between people who obsessively log their food intake and drama-prone teenagers, journaling gained an potentially obsessive reputation. In reality, writing is proven to have a therapeutic effect on the brain because it allows us to take a step back and observe rather than remain in the heat of things. Dissecting your life is slightly painful, but highly gratifying; it helps identify obstacles and set new goals, which in return boosts happiness.

Image Credit: CityShor


“Time

Spend Time with Yourself

When was the last time you went by yourself at the movies or God-forbid, on a vacation? Most of us think being alone is depressing and boring without knowing that, in reality, it can be quite the opposite. If scientist are right, solo activities can bring us great joy. The catch though, is to be stop being so darn self-conscious about it. If anything, people will think you’re this independent, cool person who doesn’t rely on others for its happiness.

Image Credit: World of Wanderlust