Creating a happier life requires intent and action. Make your next 7 days count with an action plan that takes you there.
We all have those moments when we’re feeling down and in a funk: that feeling of riding a negative thought train that just won’t stop. If you’re having trouble figuring out how to get off, there’s a solution:
Get ready for some self-love.
Start by challenging yourself in a way that doesn’t involve over-exercising or dieting, because the goal is to start feeling better in your skin right NOW. Each day, carry out a new feel-good task that will take you higher and higher towards happiness and a brighter soul. Here’s an action-oriented plan for the week that will improve your mood and feelings of self-worth, and start a positive flow that will carry you beyond the next 7 days.
DAY 1: ADIOS ALCOHOL
Be honest with yourself. When do you typically drink alcohol? How much do you typically drink? If you drink after a long day or week, when you’re stressed, when you have a lot on your plate, or when you want to relax, consider slowing down.
Using alcohol as an avoidance tactic or relying on it to relax you is not best practice. It is one thing to enjoy the taste of a glass of wine with good company. However, reconsider your intentions when you go to a bottomless brunch so you can drink as many mimosas as you can, and end up losing your entire day because you’re avoiding tasks that need to be addressed. Using alcohol in these ways can lead to negative self-talk. We don’t need it, not this week.
DAY 2: YOGA
Take a yoga class to connect your mind and body, whether it’s the norm for you or not. Consider trying a local class, but if you don’t feel comfortable, an online video in your living room works just as well! It may be difficult at first to relax, but once you move slow, focus on your breath, and chill your mind, it will get easier. Try adding yoga to at least 1 other day during this feel-good week. The more you do it, the better it gets!
DAY 3: WALK WITH A FRIEND
Try a new coffee place, go shopping, or walk around the park. Just grab some good company, lace up those sneakers, and get moving. Relationships are so important, and connecting with others can improve our mood. If you don’t feel like you have a friend to call, try a coworker you’ve been wanting to get to know better and walk on your lunch break. Significant others and pets work here as well!
DAY 4: PAY IT FORWARD
Do something nice for someone. For example, buy your co-worker lunch or coffee. Compliment someone’s outfit or new haircut, or simply compliment how awesome of a person they are. I love Telling someone how much they mean to you will make their day, and their response will make yours!
DAY 5: COOK A NEW RECIPE
Pull that dusty cookbook off the shelf, or search through Pinterest for a fun or ‘must try’ recipe. The more involved the better! It will be fun to shop for the ingredients and get focused in the kitchen. Put on some relaxing music and get cooking. Get an extra positivity boost if you cook for someone else…sharing food with others is a great way to show love!
DAY 6: READ
Set aside one hour to read, and truly unplug from the world and absorb a new one. Set a timer on your phone for one hour and place it across the room. This will help prevent you from compulsively checking to see how much time has passed.
DAY 7: TRY SOMETHING NEW
Grab a friend, family member, or go solo. Trying something new can be scary but invigorating. You don’t need to go too crazy either! Some ideas include hiking, bike riding through your city, solo dinner date, trying a new restaurant, getting pampered at the spa, take a bath, DIY face mask, or have a sleepover with a friend. Whatever it is, know that you are living life as it’s meant to be experienced!
Adapted from the original article.
HEADER IMAGE: KAROLINA GRABOWSKA
Courtney Ferreira, MS, RD, LDN is a Registered Dietitian based in Baltimore, MD with a passion for helping individuals reach their health and wellness through flavorful whole foods and freedom from counting calories, fat, and minutes on a treadmill. For more insightful tips on living your healthiest life, visit Courtney at the RealFoodCourt.