12 Little things that changed my life

Here are 12 little things that changed my life. 

I used to believe that in order to change my life I would have to ‘do something’ fairly elaborate. But the more I thought about it the more I realised that I’d already made some significant changes to my life, not through elaborate gestures and giving up chocolate but by doing a fairly bijou series of little things to tweak my lifestyle, mindset and daily routine.

As ever I thought they may be useful to other people hence why I’m sharing them with you now.

If you find them useful please feel free to share this post with your friends

things that changed my life. image of a good breakfast

Having a good breakfast within an hour of waking up

Those of you who know me well know that I’m not a morning person and so breakfast is something that I’ve struggled with in the past.

I’ve spent way too many years skipping breakfast in favour of some form of caffeine replenishment therapy – a.k.a a pot of coffee and then nothing to eat until mid morning. (I know, I know!)

But then I read an article which said that having breakfast – and the right kind of breakfast- within the first hour or two after we wake up would set us up for the day and help rebalance our hormones.

So I gave it a go and found that eating something rich in protein within that first hour made all the difference. I found that I wasn’t needing a mid-morning biscuit break, my energy levels where higher and I was more able to focus. 

things that changed my life, image of woman on sofa thinking with a peachy background

Tuning in to what made my body / gut feel better

Going back to the idea of having breakfast (or not as the case may be!) I realised that the cereal and toast type ‘traditional’ breakfast had left me feeling either a bit light headed or downright hungry by 9.30 am (sometimes both!) whereas something a bit more substantial made me feel better.

The more I thought about this the more I realised that there were other patterns to things that I ate that either left me with a low mood, feeling sluggish or feeling way better, depending what they were.

So I started to make a point of really tuning in to what my body needed and what it wanted less of. I realised that bread based things don’t make me feel great unless they were the less processed kind.

Things like salmon and brazil nuts made me feel good as did chicken thighs and butter – but things like low fat margarine, low fat yoghurts, low calorie pop, and anything with artificial sweeteners just made me feel downright ill.

I found having a little supper stopped me from waking up in the wee small hours and for some reason having a bigger cup of tea made me sleep better than having the small one (presumably with concentrated caffeine!)

So it was all about just noticing what was working and what wasn’t and doing more of the things that made me feel good and avoiding anything that didn’t!

After I’d made a point of noticing what food and drinks made me feel good I started thinking about what my body needed.

It turned out it sometimes needed to rest and other times it needed exercise.

Other days it just needed a big heartfelt hug from a friend.

Having regular reflexology helped enormously to help keep my stress levels at a manageable level too. 

things that changed my life listen to your intuition. Image of woman on peachy background listening to her intuition

Started listening to my Intuition

There have been many times when I’ve instinctively known what to do but chosen to ignore that instinct to my peril – like the day that I had the thought to go find my breakdown cover card, have a wee and buy a hot chocolate at a petrol station.

Only to find that within 20 mins of having this thought I was broken down at the roadside, desperate for the loo and craving a hot chocolate. I know know that if I have a thought it is worth acting on that thought, even if at the time it doesn’t make any sense!

things that changed my life image of woman holding placard saying perfectly imperfect

Let go of the need for perfectionism. 

For many years I wanted to be perfect and this was so limiting as at the end of the day none of us are (thankfully!) I thought that in order to be loveable I would need to be good at everything, have all the answers and not have any personal flaws.

It was an impossible brief to keep to and one that left me with terribly low self-esteem for a long long time! In fact it delayed me starting my business for many years as I was so afraid that someone would ask me a question I didn’t know how to answer (I’ve since learned that most people are happy with my answer of ‘I will get back to you on that!’ if I’m not sure. I’ve also learned that the right people will love you because of your imperfections – just as I love other people exactly as they are! 

I’ve also realised that if I just approach life with a sense of ‘I wonder what would happen if..’ and a sense of playfulness life is a load more fun and way less daunting. So now I feel able to try new things without needing to be an expert immediately etc

things that changed my life speak kindly to yourself. image of pink parrot on peachy background

Learned to Speak kindly to myself and set myself a series of mini dares

I realised that I was constantly having a go at myself, telling myself off for the least little misdemeanour. It took a while and a lot of practice but I’ve since learned to speak kindly to myself (most of the time) and to see the lessons that I can learn from situations that haven’t quite gone according to plan rather than berating myself for not doing better.

My eldest daughter is constantly saying to me ‘you’re doing your best’ and so now my inner voice is more likely to tell me that I’m doing my best than that I’m an idiot for not doing better!

If you’re too scared to do something just dare yourself to do it with no set outcome. So if you want to ask someone for a coffee for instance just ask (that being the dare) – they may say yes or they may say no, that doesn’t matter, the bit that matters is that you dared to ask!

Read my article on Improving your self-esteem
https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/easy-ways-to-improve-your-self-esteem/ 

Things that changed my life do those things you've been avoiding image of toad on pink background

Tackled those things I’d been avoiding

Do you have a task that you’ve been putting off doing, a conversation that you’ve avoided having or maybe you really want to resign your job but haven’t quite got around to it yet?

If it’s causing you stress and hassle it can be useful to simply do that task or have that chat now so it’s done and you don’t have to think about it any more.

We can make it bigger in our heads than it actually is. Once it’s done we can get on with the rest of the day in peace.

Journal Prompt
Ask yourself  ‘what am I avoiding?’ 

things that changed my life surround yourself by the right people

Surrounded myself with the right people.

I used to spend a lot of time surrounded by people who I couldn’t be my authentic (if slightly bonkers) self with. Having to edit yourself to fit in with how someone else wants you to be is exhausting.

In the end I broke away and found people who are heading in the same direction as me, have shared values and interests and who are generally encouraging, loving and constructive. 

things that changed my life image of stormy sea with big waves

Changed expectations of how life was going to be

For years I expected life to be constantly smooth with no bumpy bits – once I changed my expectations my life got way better. I know that whilst there are bumpy times in life generally everything sorts itself out eventually and then calm is restored.

I also realised that I’m stronger than I gave myself credit for and that I too can do hard things! 

Things that changed my life cross that bridge when you come to it image of bridge

Crossed that bridge when I came to it!

My key piece of advice to all my children is to ‘cross that bridge when you come to it’ In other words only deal with actual situations that arise rather than conjuring up some worst case scenario along with dire consequences out of some imagined event.

Especially as about 90% of everything we worry about never actually happens!

If you have a journal flick back through the pages note what you were worrying about this time last year (or even this time last week) chances are it all resolved itself nicely or didn’t actually happen in the end!

thngs that changed my life work out how much time things take image of man with hoover on pink background

Worked out how much time things actually take!

For some unknown reason I always assumed that vacuuming the house was going to take hours (if not days!) to do! When in fact it takes about 20 minutes tops. Ditto mowing the lawn.

If you don’t know how long things are going to take you’ll not get around to doing them as you’re going to think it will take way longer than it will.

So if you work out the facts of the matter you can simply slot short activities like vacuuming the house or mowing the lawn into those small gaps rather than thinking you have to put 3-4 working days to one side to do a simple task!

Things that changed my life curated time with phone image of phone with christmas stuff

Set boundaries with my phone use

One of the key little things that made a difference to my life was setting strict boundaries for my phone.

I stopped taking it upstairs overnight so I couldn’t be stressing over a work email at 4 in the morning when I came back from the loo. I found that there are focus modes on my latest phone so if I want to concentrate I can pop it on one of the focus modes.

I also try not to have it out when out with friends (apart from to take a photo or three) 

I also put it on silent for much of the time – so I don’t have lots of notifications binging at me at all hours. Occasionally I go for a walk without it so that I can simply focus on what I’m experiencing rather than stopping every 3 ft to take a photo of something else!

Further Reading https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/confession-time-why-i-was-struggling-to-get-a-good-nights-sleep/ 

 

Things that changed my life set my alarm not to come on on the hour image of alarm clock on pink background

Stopped setting radio alarm to come on on the hour!

I hit on the idea that if I set my radio alarm to come on on the hour I wake up each day to the news. And as we all know they rarely speak of good news.

So if you want to start your day in a more positive way, set it so it doesn’t come on on the hour! 

 

 Over to you! What little things have changed your life?

Sarah Cooper

Sarah Cooper

I am a Reflexologist, Reiki Master Practitioner and Writer from Boroughbridge, North Yorkshire. I love writing about Health and Wellbeing, Mind Body Spirit and Reflexology. When I’m not at work, you can find me in the kitchen cooking up a storm!

If you’d like to book a treatment please go to https://www.sarahcooper.co.uk/book

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