To continue my post from a week ago on the Neom Happiness Programme, here is what Week 2 looked like:
Day 8 – Exercise your mind in under 6 minutes. Based on the fact that learning something new is good for your self-confidence and it improves your memory, today’s task was to learn something new, and the choice was between a short TED talk or Duolingo. I love both, but today I chose a TED talk. The task was under 6 minutes, but I find it can get addicting and 6 minutes end up being an hour… TED.com has over a thousand videos on so many topics, and you can set your filters for the topic, duration and so on, so they make it really easy. Duolingo is a great suggestion as well. This is a free website where you can practice and learn your skills in many languages. I used to practice my French on there, and I think Italian might be next.:)
Day 9 – The morning mantra for happiness. As soon as you wake up, repeat a positive affirmation 5 times before you start your day. I actually took this further and used certain cues throughout the day to remind me of my affirmation. Everytime that cue would come up, I would pause and repeat to myself “I choose to be happy because it is good for my health”. Of course, you can choose any positive affirmation you want, but this one is a personal favorite of mine:)
Day 10 – Have a bath. I LOVE BATHS! I would have a bath every single day if I could, but I am grateful for even once a week or every two weeks. For me, this takes some planning, but when I do get the chance to have some time for myself and have a bath, I make it AMAZING!
Day 11 – Mood boosting smoothie bowls in minutes. For this day, you are given 3 different recipes for some yummy-looking, nutrient packed smoothie bowls. I was really sick last week, so instead of a smoothie bowl, I made a smoothie: I juiced some apples and celery sticks, a lemon, and then added that to the blender, with an avocado, a couple of kiwis, and a good handful of spinach. It was perfect and just what I needed since I couldn’t eat that much.
Day 12 – Get up and at ’em. This day is about setting your alarm 10 minutes early, so you can give yourself those extra 10 minutes in the morning for some deep breathing and visualization. When the alarm goes, you light up a candle, practice a few deep breaths and then visualize the day ahead. Give yourself one clear goal to achieve in the next 8 hours and write it down. Use it to motivate you through the day. The Daily Greatness Journal is like this, too, (I mentioned previously I started to write in it again), where every morning you write one thing you would like to accomplish or do, a few things you are grateful for, a course of action for the day ahead in 3 steps, and then 4 affirmations for the day ahead. Each day finished with a few questions to help you learn and let go of the day, like “What was great about today?” or “What did I learn?”, “What challenged me today that I can grow from?”, “After today, what behaviour would I like to upgrade?” or “What would I like to let go of?”, “What did I do really well today? What strengths did I use?”. These questions or similar ones are written down on every page, and you just need to fill in every morning and night. I am really glad I am beginning to write in it again. I find it really helps, even if I have to wake up a few minutes earlier. It is a time well spent:)
Day 13 – Date Night. Positive social connections are really important for our wellbeing, so it is important for us to spend an evening catching up with someone we love, either going out for dinner at a new restaurant, or maybe spending the evening getting competitive playing board games, or going out to the theatre, or maybe going indoor rock climbing. Although I like all those suggestions, I was sick for 3 good days with a high fever, and so was my entire family, so this day we were all actually finally feeling a bit better, so we ordered some food in, played Mario Party then we all sat together and watched movies, cuddled up under blankets and the fireplace on. This for me was pure happiness 🙂
Day 14 – 10 minute self-massage. I think by now, if you have been following my posts, you know how much I love self massage. I will use any excuse to spend some time releasing muscle tension and inhaling some lovely aromatherapy in the process, and in fact, I do this every day. This is actually the one thing that I do no matter how busy/tired/sick/cranky/excited I may be. This is the one thing I somehow always manage to find time for, even if it is just a face, shoulder and scalp massage when I am laying in bed ready to go to sleep….but on most days, I find time way more often than that. (Even when I am on my laptop, I roll a tennis ball under my foot or when I am on the phone, I rub one shoulder than the other).
Again, the steps are really simple and easy to fit into even the busiest of schedules. I love that you have to focus on yourself for a little bit of wellbeing every single day, and I love that there are a variety of little things you can do each day to add more happiness into your life.
To be continued
Image source: Neomorganics.com