Do one thing: creating happy habits

Photo by Raphaël Biscaldi on Unsplash

This week’s blog is a little late as I have just come back from holiday and mentally I am still in hot, sunny Ibiza. Don’t go imagining it was all hot-dog-legs selfies, falling asleep on the beach and drinking cocktails by the pool, though. We were with small children.

That said, it was brilliant fun and I could easily have done another week (thanks in no small part to the family members and carers who came too and helped dilute the difficulties of being away with my food throwing, pool resisting, inappropriate nap-time mini humans).

There’s something magical about being on holiday. Is it the sun, the lack of routine, no work to go to or stress over, new foods to try, new places to visit…? All of it and more, probably. Whatever it is, I always come back feeling ready for a change, a new start, a new path. A bit like New Year but somehow more doable and less forced. Maybe because it’s not all about deprivation, which many New Year’s resolutions hinge on, its more to do with reinvention.

August is here; a new month seems like a good time to start anew with a fresh attitude, so I thought I would start by putting forward my ideas about creating happy habits.

Happiness guru Gretchen Rubin talks about one simple way to start your happiness journey – and it’s probably not what you think…

Make your bed. I first heard this on her excellent Happier podcast and I thought I would give it a go.

My house is often chaotic (as is my life) but it doesn’t sit well with me. I like order and tidiness, but struggle to maintain it. The house gets messy but it is too hard for me to keep on top of it all. The simple act of making my bed gives me a slice of order and calm though. It looks relaxing when I come upstairs at night but it’s the sense of control that it gives me, too. It stops that mental chatter of berating myself for ‘not even being able to do basic tasks’ in that over-dramatic manner I like to indulge sometimes. Plus, once I have nailed that simple habit, I can start with another, and another and soon there is more order in my life and I am calmer and happier.

In the coming weeks on the blog, my Instagram feed, FB page and Twitter, I will be talking about forming some new happy habits. Much like the hack I posted on my social media channels – about washing my face while the terror tot is in the bath, rather than waiting until bedtime and (usually) failing to do it – these will be quick and doable. Think: making my bed, drinking more smoothies, organising my house one drawer at a time, taking five minutes every day for myself, doing some exercise…

I’d love you to get involved, motivate me to carry on, try them yourself and even suggest some for everyone to try. Use the hashtag #happymumhacks to see what we are up to and to join in with the path to happiness.

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