1. Regularly Make a List of Things you’re Thankful for.
This doesn’t have to be a written down list. My advice is to hang a sign in your shower reminding you to think of 5 things you are grateful for that day. Our mind wanders in the shower anyways and this is a great time to practice gratitude. Also, if you’re thankful for someone specifically that day, reach out to them and tell them! Studies have shown that regularly practicing gratitude improves your psychological well-being.
2. Say Hello to Someone New Each Day.
Did you know that interacting with someone new dramatically improves your mental health? It is true, even if you are an introvert or find approaching a stranger with a conversation terrifying, it can actually dramatically improve your mental wellness. I realize this might sound difficult to people so I wanted to suggest a few times/places where you can incorporate this into your life.When you are waiting for the barista to make your coffee, ask the person waiting next to you how their morning is going. If they just say good, ask them if they are off to work or if they have the day off. (If you are thinking, Melanie I go through the drive through, then fricken stop doing that.)
- At the grocery store if you are struggling to pick a bottle of wine or a type of cheese for your charcuterie board and someone is in the same section as you, ask them if they have tried any and which they prefer.
- At work, send a slack or teams message to someone you haven’t met at your company and ask them if they’d like to introduce themselves via zoom for 5 minutes during their next break.
- This one might sound really silly, but at a restaurant, spark conversation with your waiter or waitress. Ask them how long they have worked at the restaurant, if they are there part-time or full-time and what their favorite menu item is.
- If you stop to pet a cute dog while out on a walk, talk with the owner, ask them how old the dog is and then ask them what they do for work and if they have lived in town for a while or are new to the area.
- If you are meeting a friend for dinner/drinks. Get to the bar a few minutes early and sit close to someone at the bar. This is nice because you know you’ll have an easy way to end the small chat when your friend arrives.
- Reach out. Reach out to people you share connections with on LinkedIn and invite them to chat over the phone or zoom about their work. This is a win-win because you build your network and you are becoming happier by talking to someone new.
This one was a significantly hard practice for me to make part of my regular routine because I just kept forgetting to do it during my busy day. That was until I decided to purchase the headspace app. By investing money into something, I feel like I need to use it to get my money’s worth. Headspace is an app with hundreds of guided meditations. They have a student discount which makes the subscription just $10 per year. If you are not a student, the app costs less than $6 per month (which is basically a Starbucks latte.) Headspace has a brief series on Netflix introducing meditation if you are interested in learning more about it before diving in.