They say that “time is money” but the time you spend NOT making money can also priceless. In fact, you could say that the best things in life are free including love, healing, self-care, joy, creativity and time spent with family and pets. Even in this ambitious society, where it seems like only the big things (like getting rich) is all that matters, it is also important to remember that it is the small things in life that count too.
24 Things You Should Start Making Time For Again
Here is a Master List of Little Things That Count (and that you should start making time for in your life again.)
1. Take a deep stretch first thing in the morning.
Most of us leap out of bed with no thought as to how to wake up our bodies with consideration and gentleness and rush to get ready for our day. Both your brain and body benefit greatly from time taken to stay still for a moment, examine how we feel by scanning our physical body with our mind for a minute or two and then treating ourselves gently by limbering up before we do anything else for the day.
2. Have a shot of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
This is a famous longevity tonic that helps to reduce toxicity in your blood and inflammation all over your body. It will also help to gently regulate your bowel movements over time and slim your tummy. Apple cider vinegar also possesses “good bacteria”, which can help to regulate your gut’s biome (lining), which helps to clear brain fog and improve your mood.
3. Read a novel.
We live in a society full of bits and bytes that rarely tell the whole story and keep us in the manic whirl of today’s news. All of the information that comes to us is annotated in some way and we have forgotten how to appreciate the full beauty of a well-written sentence. The literary past-time of actually sitting down, relaxing and reading an entire book is a lost art. It is a great way to use another part of your brain, improve your literacy and also escape from reality for a time.
4. Enjoy Sunday dinners with friends and family.
Today’s society lacks rituals and one of the most wholesome, social and kind things you can do is to cook a wholesome Sunday dinner and invite your favorite people to enjoy it with you. This also gives you and your family a consistent, regular way to touch base with each other, especially if work or school schedules interfere with your ability to catch up with what is going on in each other’s lives.
5. Send out birthday and holiday cards through snail mail.
This is one of the most effective ways of telling someone you love them because it is such a personal way of wishing others well. Sending an email or a post on social media with a happy face emoji on it just doesn’t have the same effect as a card, especially a hand-made one, mailed or delivered to a friend in an envelope.
6. Go for a walk by yourself in a forest.
Taking a walk in the woods helps you to empty your brain of chaotic worries and obsessive thoughts, put you in a meditative state. Spending time in nature is a great way to practice some problem solving as well as oxygenate your brain and body. Taking a walk likes also offers you the alone time needed to straighten out your head and gather inspiration in general.
7. Treat yourself to an afternoon nap.
If you have the schedule for it, there is nothing more restorative than a 20-minute snooze in the middle of the afternoon to help you get rid of that sluggish, mid-afternoon slump. However, don’t sleep more than an hour or you could feel more tired than ever.
8. Work on your personal style.
Many of us get so busy that we have the same haircut and wear the same clothes for years. Just like your computer, you need an update now and then so that you look contemporary, fresh and ready for business or pleasure.
9. Treat yourself to a new perfume or essential oil.
Choosing a signature scent or buying one that reminds us of familiar experiences from the past can revitalize you and take your mind to very sentimental and pleasant places.
10. Try a new recipe.
If you are making the same old things every day for dinner, try switching things up a bit by experimenting with a new recipe. If you are not a great cook you can also go on a culinary adventure by joining a cooking class or simply going out on a date with some friends to try out a new restaurant.
11. Take a long, hot bath in Epsom salts.
Epsom salts contain magnesium, which helps to relax the entire body, soothe away aches and pains and calm your mind. Simply lie there, take deep breaths and relax and let all of your concerns melt away.
12. Do your own mending.
Having clothing items with rips, tears and missing buttons contributes to the chaos in your life. It is very therapeutic and meditative to sit there with a needle and thread and sew on those missing buttons and do that darning. Not only will this give you a sense of accomplishment, but you will find yourself being able to wear these clothes again.
13. Brush and floss your teeth twice a day.
This is one of those non-negotiable small things that you should do every day that seem unimportant, but actually has a huge impact on your health down the line. Gum disease not only leads to tooth loss but it can also lead to other health problems such as heart disease, sinus issues, and lung problems.
14. Keep a gratitude journal.
The concept of keeping a Gratitude Journal was originally made famous by Oprah Winfrey. She advised buying a notebook and writing down five things you are grateful for every morning and then another five things you are grateful for every night. The positive feelings and optimistic attitude this generates inside of you can help bring you good luck and an aura of optimism that brings you good luck in life.
15. Allow yourself to be bored now and then.
Your calendar does not have to be filled with stuff to do every day. In fact, those days when your daily calendar shows a bit of white space are very important because they allow you to step back from what is going on and brainstorm your next path. You are taken out of daily chronic thinking patterns by simply doing nothing and allowing new opportunities and ideas to enter your life.
16. Smile at strangers.
You can spread a lot of goodwill by smiling at strangers, especially if you live in an urban setting where people keep their noses buried in their cell phones. It is a great way to have new insights handed to you and also it comforts those who may be lonely (which is a big problem in this society right now.) Not only will connecting to others make you feel more connected to the world in general but simply interacting with others is good for the soul.
17. Go out dancing.
Get your girlfriends or your mate, find a great club or bring some music home and dance the night away. Not only does dancing increase feelings of well-being and productivity, but it can also help strengthen both your spirit and your body.
18. Play with a pet.
Playing with a dog or cat for at least twenty minutes can quickly boost your well-being. Snuggling with a pet is even more therapeutic and both of you will enjoy the quality time you are spending together. Pets are especially important for single people to own, as they can replace the affection and emotional attachment that one would normally get from a partner.
19. Go fly a kite.
Flying a kite on a windy day is a metaphor for the human spirit flying free with no cares or worries. It is a great activity for people who are a bit worried because focusing on keeping the kite in the air takes all of your attention. It is also an activity that requires you to use good judgment and also all of your muscles as you work with the wind to keep the kite in the air.
20. Get some sunshine.
Exposing yourself to the sun’s rays has become a bit taboo lately as UVA and UVB rays are both known to cause cancer. However, there is no harm in spending ten minutes a day in the sunshine after 3 pm or before 11 pm, with your glasses off so that the sunshine can reach your pineal gland and help it produce feel-good hormones that make you feel happy. Don’t wear sunscreen because the sun’s rays also penetrate the dermis, helping the body to create vitamin D, which helps us to feel energetic and well.
21.Say I love you to your partner.
One of the most positive things you can do for your relationship is to say I love you to your partner at least twice a day. Preferably you can do it in person, but doing it by text is effective as well. If you can, pair these words with a big kiss or hug. Just even hearing the words “I love you” can facilitate the activation of oxytocin. Oxytocin is the love hormone that makes us feel wanted, comforted and nurtured.
22. Spend one whole day in bed being completely lazy.
Simply stay in your pajamas, make your bed your home for 24 hours and do whatever it is you want: read a book, watch a Netflix or just lie there and daydream. This is also your big chance to eat crackers in bed, without caring about messing up the sheets. This is a great way to fully recharge your batteries, and don’t let anyone judge you for taking the opportunity and completely stop everything that is going on, so you can recharge your internal batteries.
23. Catch a sunset or sunrise.
It’s worth it to get up early in the morning and align your own intentions with the dawn’s early light. Twilight, when the sun sets is a beautiful time to meditate, practice an attitude of gratitude or simply to connect with any sort of higher power that you believe in.
24. Take time out to smell the roses.
This is another way of simply saying, be mindful and appreciative of where you are in the here and now. The brain is always busy and it is important to shut it off for a few minutes and take a look to see if there truly is something that you can appreciate the beauty of the meaning of in your environment. This could be a picture of a landscape hanging on a wall in an office, it could be the smile of a baby in a stroller on the bus or the sound of the wind rustling through the leaves in the trees. It is also crucial to take on the full experience of where you are. For instance, don’t just look at the rose in the garden, lean over and take in its amazing aroma. Remember that if you are not “taking time out to smell the roses” then you are cheating yourself of some of life’s biggest blessings.
Live a Life With No Regrets By Remembering To Do The Small Things
The reason this Master List of Little Things That Count matters so much is because many people go to their graves with all kinds of regrets. When we are younger, the thought of death may enter our minds, but we always think that we still have time on our side. A palliative nurse from Australia named Bronnie Ware wrote of a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed By The Dearly Departing Gives Hope for a World came up with these five regrets expressed by people who were in the last three to twelve weeks of life.
1. They wished they hadn’t worked so hard.
Most people spend all of their lives trying to achieve some goal, usually a number to be deposited in their bank account. Although this may have brought these individuals some financial security and a sense of accomplishment or pride, it cost them time with their family, self-development, time for a hobby, time to travel and time to make connections with other people.
2. They wished they’d kept in touch with friends.
Making a phone call or going for coffee with a friend does not take a huge time commitment but that sad fact is that most people are so busy making money that they could not take the time to nurture these relationships.
3. They wished they cared less about what others think.
Many people live their entire lives sweating things that don’t matter, such as gossip or pictures on social media. Often a personal drama or Facebook feud is blown up into a huge matter, when the words said or acting out should have just been ignored in the first place. Focusing on frenemies is a bad idea, especially if you have true friends waiting for you in the wings who just want to have fun with you.
4. They wished they’d practiced better self-care.
If you don’t have your health you have nothing, so make sure you take care of all of the little things that help you to maintain it. Going to the doctor or dentist for checkups, getting your skin checked by a dermatologist and watching your weight are all small, but important actions, that could greatly improve the quality of your life.
5. They wished they worried so much.
Many people spend hours and hours of their day fretting over things that by the end of their life just won’t matter. For example, that heap of bills on your table is still going to be the same heap of bills that will be there on the day that you die, so there is no sense in worrying about them all the time. Ultimately, worrying about something does not change the outcome of a situation, so it is a waste of time or energy that could be spent on doing other things, like a creative project or spending time with friends or family.
The one thing that all of these regrets have in common is that they express a wistfulness for not spending more time focusing on the small things in life and truly taking that time and enjoy being a fully rounded being on this earth enjoying the human experience. Live your own truth in a simple authentic and happy way and do what feels right for you. For many people that really does mean making the smaller, more humble things in life count and being grateful for the basics, such as the sunshine that gives us all live, the air that gives us oxygen and the miracle that it is life itself.