This Presidential election in the U.S. has been like no other in a year that has been like no other. As crisis follows crisis, we are reminded that much is out of our control, such as whether Donald Trump and others will wear a mask. We have a little bit of control over other things, such as making sure we vote. Fortunately, there are a number of things we are in total charge of, and by managing those items well, we can reduce our anxiety, increase our serenity, and improve our lives.
Here are five things that we can do to feel better. Notice that each of these is small. None of them requires a lot of time and all of them are free. These tips improve on things you most likely do naturally anyway; they elevate little moments and make a big impact.
- Keep one room clean. Yes, that’s one. Do more if you can, but if you absolutely commit to having one place in your home that is clean and tidy, you know you will have a sanctuary to go to when all hell breaks loose in the rest of the house.
- Create a beautiful atmosphere at dinner. Take a few minutes to choose a centerpiece, light a candle, and put on some soft music. Think of a conversation topic that is engaging and not related to controversy.
- Reach out to someone who you know could use a caring call. Research shows that any form of giving or caring makes the giver feel as good as if not better than the recipient. And research during the pandemic has underscored the importance of small social contacts such as a conversation with the person behind you in line at the supermarket. If you call one person a day, you will feel more connected and be healthier as well as give a boost to the person on the other end of the phone.
- Use your favorite mug every day. Surely you have one; you know, the one that gives you a little thrill when you see it ready to be unloaded from the dishwasher. Give yourself the tiny but meaningful gift of using that mug every morning. Make sure it’s washed after each use so that it’s there ready when you are. And if you don’t have a favorite mug, go get yourself one!
- Create clear times for treats. Many of us have fallen into the habit of grazing throughout the day since we work at home and there is nothing stopping us. But that’s a messy way to live that can lead to (and may already have led to) extra pounds, which will make us feel more out of control than we did before. Stick with eating food only at mealtimes, but DO treat yourself. We need little rewards now more than ever. Choose two times a day that you set aside for consciously consuming a small treat. You may want to consider eating one or two Chocolate Riot Thins at those times, which give you enormous flavor and satisfaction for only 9 calories.