When it c
omes to finding a routine that works best for you, your schedule, and your needs, there are a LOT of things that are non-negotiables.
And those can end up taking away a lot of time in your day….
Like having dinner, work, feeding the dog, getting kids to school, washing dishes, visiting with your family, one-on-one time with your partner… The list can feel endless.
That’s why it can be SO hard to fit in time that’s dedicated for you and your health (and that goes for every aspect of your health – whether that be mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, etc).
The good news is that there are small changes you can make that won’t take too much time and still have a big, positive impact.
Spending a LITTLE bit of time doing each of these 5 things in a day only takes a collective 60 minutes that you can easily spread throughout your routine :)
1. Do Something Creative (15 min)
Perhaps the most important one is to spend time doing something creative… This lights up the happy parts of your brain, challenges your creative thinking, and helps you reconnect with your child-like love of the arts.
Some ideas include drawing, painting, making a collage, scrapbooking, building, woodwork, sculpture, finding new music, creating a dance, or joining your kids in their pretend play.
Whatever you decide, keep distractions to a minimum and join in on the light-hearted fun of whatever creative activity you lean toward the most.
Of course, at Simple Daily Drawing we recommend throwing art into your daily mix! Just 10-15 minutes of drawing each day is a great way to release any negative energy and reconnect with yourself.
And if you want to draw for even longer than that, we absolutely encourage it!
A 2016 study published in the journal Art Therapy found that drawing for 45 minutes significantly reduced levels of cortisol (your stress hormone) among its participants.
You can spend time being creative at any part of the day that makes the most sense to you! In the morning to get your creativity flowing for the day, in the afternoon to take a mental break, or at night to wind down and release your stress.
You can even follow along with Simple Daily Drawing’s prompts for each day of the year.
Whatever method works best for you, doing something creative each day is a really important item to add to your daily routine for the mood-boosting effects it has.
2. Meditate (10 min)
One of the lovely things about adding meditation to your daily routine is that it does not require a lot of time out of your day to start reaping the benefits.
In fact, another 2016 study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that practicing mindfulness meditation for just 10 minutes a day over a period of two weeks improved mood, reduced stress, and increased job satisfaction.
In mindfulness meditation, you sit quietly and focus your attention on your breath, body sensations, or other stimuli, such as sounds or visual images.
You can even use drawing as a tool to do this!
Check out our blog 3 Simple Ways To Practice Meditative Drawing.
3. Stretch (10 min)
While stretching may seem like an activity meant to support purely physical health, it has mental and emotional benefits as well!
Stretching out your neck, legs, and back for example can all help reduce anxiety by relieving your muscle tension.
Stretching also helps reduce physical pain and releases endorphins (your natural feel-good chemicals in your body).
It only takes 10 minutes of stretching a day to start seeing the benefits… Including better sleep, too!
4. Move Your Body (20 min)
Another great activity to include in your daily routine is getting your body moving in whatever way feels best to you!
Whether that’s weight-lifting, pilates, swimming, dancing, yoga, taking a walk, or chair exercises.
Any bit of movement is better than none – just 20 minutes a day of movement will do wonders not just for your physical health, but also for your mental and emotional health!
5. Practice Gratitude (5 min)
And last, but certainly not least, is taking some time to practice gratitude.
Because let’s be honest… Life is hard. It can knock you down sometimes. And when that happens, it can become easier to forget the GOOD things going on around us.
This simple practice, done daily, can really help to rewire your brain to think more positively and appreciate your daily life to its fullest!
All it takes is 5 minutes. You can do this through journaling, meditation, or simply in your head. Take a few minutes to yourself to think up at least 3 things you are grateful for.
This can be anything from a supportive friend, to a warm cup of tea on a cold day.
Work your way slowly towards adding any (and all!) of these 5 ideas to your daily routine, and watch as your body and brain continue growing in positive ways :)