In times where we have been in and out of lockdowns for over a year, and forgotten what the old ‘normal’ is, it can become quite overwhelming to see what matters and compare what you should or shouldn’t be doing to other people. Looking back on this year, and also the way that I like to think of things, I have decided to write this blog post as a reflection of the small, simple things in life that you can do to make you, or someone else, smile. And, they won’t cost you much (if anything!) at all.
- Kindness and saying please & thank you
This is something seemingly very minor and forgettable, but it can be really beneficial and kind to remember to say these words when asking for or receiving something. So, the next time something happens, try to remember to be polite and use these simple phrases to show your understanding and appreciation.
- Smiling at a stranger
Again, something small and, you might possibly think, a bit odd – smiling at a stranger can really lift their spirits. It uses less muscles than frowning, and brings a glimmer of positivity. You never know what someone else is going through so try to be kind, and a little gesture like this is an easy way to do just that.
- Doing a book swap
Reading is such a calming way to pass the time, you can immerse yourself in another world, or take to learning something new. A great way to discover a new book that you have never read or heard of before is by doing a book swap with a friend – as that way you both find something new without having to buy and store it.
- Making yourself a nice meal/drink
Something seemingly simple and maybe a bit self-indulgent. But, as something we do multiple times a day, sometimes taking a bit more time to prepare yourself a meal or a drink, taking a little more effort that normal can be a really nice way of showing yourself care.
- Going for a walk
Getting outside and getting moving are two things that your body and brain will thank you for. So, why not leave Netflix until later or take half your lunch break to have a walk outside and soak in the sights.
- Sitting in the park
Similar to the walk, this is just something that can get you out into nature and calm down the fast pace of life. Maybe you’ll spot a new bird or hear different sounds that you wouldn’t have if you were always on the go.
- Talking to a friend/Visiting someone
This can be as simple as picking up the phone but can really lift both you and your friend’s spirits. Sometimes, being in your own head can get a bit lonely, so talking to or seeing a friend will give you something to do and put a slightly different perspective on the day too.
- Listening to music
Whatever genre floats your boat… pop, classical, rap, drum and bass, or musicals (my favourite!), music can really lift your mood and maybe humming or dancing along may give you even more of a boost!
Either for yourself or someone you know, baking is a really fun way to pass the time… and get something tasty at the end of it! You can get creative, a bit messy, and maybe try a new recipe you’ve never attempted!
- Visiting a garden centre or shops
You don’t always have to buy something, but sometimes even just the idea of looking around can be a fun adventure and get you out of the house, amongst people, somewhere new. Plus, you might find some inspiration of things to do while you’re there!
- Exploring somewhere new
This could be a new walking route that you haven’t explored in your local town, or somewhere further a-field, getting out of your ‘normal’ and venturing somewhere new can be a great way to spend an hour or a day and change up your routine a little.
I hope this blog has given you an insight into the array of activities and everyday practices that you can do and appreciate, without breaking the bank… and other’s can join in too!