43 daily habits, guaranteed to calm your mind and change your life
I’m so incredibly over seeing lists pop up of daily habits that say they are gonna change your life! … but this gal has done some hard yards in this life and I can tell you one thing… these habits below are worth reading!
Even picking a small handful of the ones that are most meaningful to you will have you starting something truly wonderful for yourself. Routine can be super powerful and I know for me, creating routines and habits that serve me well has been a complete goal shifter for me. I really hope these help you find some calm in amidst the chaos.
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43 daily habits guaranteed to calm your mind and change your life
The world needs you right now and your unique gift is like no one else’s! You literally have something inside you that no one else does. Figure this out and share it. You have no idea how valuable this is. It give you purpose. Which, in the cornerstone of living a life full of meaning.
2. Never put clean sheets on your bed straight from the dryer or clothesline
Ha ha ha, my husband thinks I’m utterly nuts because of this… but it’s actually so, so true .. and works! Own at least 2 sets of great sheets. (I’m totally in love with Brooklinen)… And let your sheets rest and relax. Fold them out of the laundry and pop them away in your linen closet to rest. I know this might sound totally whacko. But trust me here. “Rested” sheets are so much nicer!
3. Sort your socks – Don’t judge me
There is calm and peace in not having to search for socks that are fit for purpose. I ball my socks together. Then put in a shoe box in my drawer. I organise them front to back… winter, work, home, sports, and casual … and I dont sock horde. You can also find some pretty cool wee drawer organizers out there for pretty cheap.
4. Practice patience
When I was a kid we anticipated Christmas or the holidays for months. The treats, the gifts, the holiday snacks and the family time spent in our favourite holiday spot camping and boating.
We didn’t get random gifts or items of value through the year. Only on birthdays or Xmas. We didn’t have McDonalds. We couldn’t drive through to grab food. We waited. We waited for cake. We waited for our dinner. We waited for the thing we coveted so badly that it hurt. And we loved every single minute of the wait. The wait is exquisite. Trust me. The wait is where you will find yourself and the life you were meant to lead.
5. Make a decision
There’s one big thing that I’ve learned recently and that’s the power in making a flocking decision. It doesn’t matter how big or small. Just decide, then move forward with grace and purpose. This doesn’t mean that you can’t change your mind! … but don’t sit in inaction or indecisiveness too long. There’s freedom in making choices.
6. Simplify your wardrobe
I literally have a uniform for everyday wear. I have plenty of white tees that I rotate- I hang these in my cupboard (on wooden hangers) and I pair with a different top or jumper and pants every day. It’s super easy to never have to wonder what I will wear and helps calm my mornings with routine.
7. Sleep in and let others do the same
AITA for turning on the coffee machine and cranking up the clothes dryer on a Sunday morning? YES! Yes you are Brad!
Don’t be that person. If you’re an early bird, sneak away quietly and enjoy your peaceful time alone while your partner/ roommate/kids sleep in. Also allow yourself to indulge guilt free. A sleepin is good for the soul.
8. Be consistent
Consistency for me means making decisions and carrying out practices and habits – most of the time! There’s that word again. I know that if my mindset is to not punish myself for eating something less than ideal, or skipping my walk because I’m tired, I know I’m being kind to myself.
9. Allow yourself to move on from feelings
It’s vital that we allow ourselves to sit in our feelings. When a feeling comes up I don’t push it away… BUT. I can also choose to allow an emotion to pass and move through it. I can sit with my feelings, then gently move them on once I’ve experienced them. I can move on from a feeling.
10. Move daily
I practice yin yoga and/or stretch most nights – remember that word “most” … it’s important. I walk most days. I don’t sit too long when I work. That’s it. That’s my decision around movement.
11. Breath in the beach air
Something about the beach that changes your mood, or even your chemistry … negative ions are powerful! You can almost taste them right!
12. Ditch the foods that you know make you feel bad
I decided a few years back to ditch gluten and dairy… as they made me feel yuck… caused inflammation in my body and other complications like reflux and constipation. Ugh. I’m not mega strict about it… but know I’ll suffer as a result so am careful. The lesson here is learn to understand your own body and what influences your overall health. Then make a plan to minimise the things that don’t make you feel your best. No one’s perfect.
13. Get yourself a sticky white board sheet
Hmmm …I bet you’re wondering what the heck that is?? Ha ha ha … well it’s actually a 3M dry erase board (or sheet) … best thing I ever did! Peels off and sticks to your office/study wall. And you can jam your thoughts and goals on it, without feeling like you’re back in an 80’s boardroom or classroom.
14. Learn to love the body you were blessed with
Tough one. There’s always something we don’t love about our bods. If you can get to the point where you’re OK with yourself that’s pretty powerful. I love my belly. It’s grown 3 babies. It’s feminine and curvy. I’ve struggled with my body for as long as I can remember. Eating disorders are no fun. So this is something I’m passionate about. I respect my body for what it does for me daily and I strive to care for it in ways that allow it to serve me well.
15. Find a therapist
Everyone needs a therapist. It took me many years to finally decide to try therapy. One hit and I was hooked. I literally couldn’t believe I had missed out on this goodness all those years. Why didn’t anyone tell me that therapy wasn’t scary or weird???
16. Fold your underwear
I sort my underwear into night and day, favourite and non. I can hear you laugh from here. And I fold it, and stack it into 4 piles. Saves me searching for what I need, means I can rotate my faves and means I always know what I have on hand or for trips.
17. Let go of perfectionism
Kinda counter to my above point huh! … ha ha ha … but…you see, from a young age we’re often taught that we get more love and acceptance if we ace the test, get the award, be picked first, be skinnier, prettier, better. It’s not something that’s a truth. It’s something we feel. We feel like if we could only do better, try harder, reach our goals faster, we’ll be seen as worthy of the love and acceptance we all deserve. No one tells us this. We take it upon ourselves to believe this little lie that ultimately ends up messing with our self esteem and self worth.
Over and over again. Thing is. This level of perfectionism is unattainable. Each time we leap that stream, our interpretation of what we need to do next feels even higher, even bigger. We put ourselves in a spiral of trying to achieve the impossible, only to warrant the kind of acceptance we crave.
Perfectionism is fear. Fear of not being good enough. Fear of being imperfect, wrong, weak or flawed in some way. When we are flawed we are unworthy in our own minds. Unworthy of kindness, compassion, love. Fear is simply a sheep in wolf’s clothing.
18. Start writing
Journalling or even just taking notes – Karissa Kouchis calls her practice “Janning”.. (If you haven’t come across Karissa Kouchis… head over here to see her Instagram… she’s pretty inspiring…) The practice of journaling and planning… love this idea! I don’t “jan”… but I do write… I have two blogs …. I write for my mind… but I also have a journal I do daily pages in … and plan my life… write that shit down! It makes it real, enables you to work through things and gets stuff outta your brain.
19. Eat less
Hmmm weird one I guess. Thing is, I’m happy in my own skin. I gave up the motion of a perfect body years ago after having an eating disorder as a teenager. So, this isn’t about weighing less or taking up less space. I want to take space. It’s my right. I eat less to feel better. I eat less by intermittent fasting from 7pm till around 12 noon the next day. My joints feel better, my sinuses, my asthma. I feel calmer and more in control of the food that I consume and make better choices to nourish my body throughout the day as a result. It’s all about caring for my body. Not punishing myself. Do I break this rule? yes, definitely yes. But most days I do this. Consistency.
20. Reign in the skincare routine
And while you’re at it, clean out your bathroom cabinet. Get rid of medicines and make up that’s past its best and don’t keep testers that have been around for years. I have a really simple skin care routine which consists of a day time moisturizer, I love Noto Moisture Riser, a night time cream, right now I’m trying Trilogy replenishing night cream, an oil, Trilogy certified organic rosehip is my oil of choice right now, and a soft retinol cream. That’s it girls.
I don’t use anything fancy. I wash with water, unless I wear makeup – which is very rarely. And apply moisturiser. An SPF one if I’m going out into the sun. Keepin it simple. I gave up makeup a few years back. It wasn’t serving me well. And I hated having to remove it from my eyes. Plus, I love my natural skin!
21. Find some water and get in it
The sea, the shower, a bath, a river or lake… Get your body in some water. I regularly take a shower every morning, and a bath or shower at night too. I am a cancer and the water is my heaven. It simply relaxes my soul and gives me time to feel connected. I live near a beach and grew up on a lake. Water is life.
22. Learn a breathing technique, or two
I like to draw on three techniques in a crisis or if the shit hits the fan… the first is box breathing, where you breathe in for 4, hold for 4, breath out for 4, hold for 4… the second is The Alexander technique, which teaches an un-doing of muscular tension and contraction… I like to think of it as breathing into your relaxed whole torso… but also lengthening the neck and back on exhale to create space.. The video explains it pretty good! and third is Buteyko breathing, where you practice not overbreathing and breath hold for 5 seconds after a small inhale and exhale to alleviate hyperventilation.
23. Invest in your future
Invest in yourself! Education, a course, a new hobby… invest in your mental and physical health… daily… do the small things that stack up to big changes …. Invest in the things you love.. Your family… your relationship… use your time wisely.
24. Be yourself, be authentic
There’s a freedom and a sense of relief from allowing yourself to be the true and real human you were born to be. We all have a filter that we apply to ourselves in order for the world to keep spinning. But, I’m here to tell you that you are doing yourself a massive disservice by not allowing your true and unique self to shine. You were put on this planet for a reason, use it.
25. Surround yourself with plants
My office has 11 plants in it currently (sadly, I’ve killed 3 recently 🤣) …. I even have names for some of them… Patrick died… but Juliett is one of my longest lasting – she’s a cactus and has doubled in size since I got her! I love tending them, seeing them grow and change. They give me joy. And are great for the air quality in your home.
26. Be of service – Life is about service
How can you be of service to the world? How can you show up every single with your unique gifts and offer the world something? Some of the ways I consider I’m being of service include raising my kids to be good humans… helping entrepreneurs… and volunteering at a local food rescue organisation where we collect and redistribute excess food from cafes and supermarkets to people who need it.
27. Find your voice
I’m a believer in energy systems in the body.. Or chakras… and the throat chakra is a powerful one… learning to speak your mind and use your voice for yourself and others is powerful.
28. Practice gratitude
You can’t be simultaneously grateful and wanting in the same moment. Your mind simply can’t compute that. Sit in gratitude daily. I like to run through my bubbles… myself… my immediate security… my family… wider community, then move to the greater things like the world and life itself!
29. Create more than you consume
Start a veggie garden, grow some plants, write a blog, build a computer, start a business, renovate a room, paint a painting, sew or knit or bake or cook. Give something of yourself to your circle and the world. It feels good. And, by creating more than you consume you’re contributing something of value to others.
30. Rest & nap
It’s not weak or lazy to take the time your body and mind needs to recuperate. Sometimes you don’t need any excuse at all. We get stuck in busy and forget we are human beings, not human doings!
31. Take responsibility for your own feelings and emotions
What other people think of you is none of your business is one of my favourite sayings. Conversely, what you think and say and feel is wholly your own responsibility.
You can choose how to react, you can choose how to respond, you have the power to choose how you face circumstances. Showing up with grace, humility and a strong sense of self awareness brings peace.
32. Learn to love your own company
Being an introvert this isn’t a stretch for me! But, it’s so important to be comfortable with being alone. Being happy to just be.
33. Learn how to listen
We live in our own heads and minds and often when we are engaged with another special person we are so busy trying to figure out our next sentence that we forget to actively listen to those around us. It’s a special kind of person who can listen to another. Really listen. Give them your full attention and see how special you make someone feel. Especially kids!
Learning to say your sorry means learning to let go of being right. It’s freeing. And it means you are able to move on far sooner from an argument or disagreement. It strengthens your relationships and tells others that you value them.
35. Love the mundane
Ok here we go! Cooking dinner, hanging out the washing, making the bed, driving the kids to football! It’s all not going away right? We can either make a choice to be here, be joyful in the way we make our way through the world or we can choose to drag our feet through the everyday. You GET to do the washing because you have electricity and water, you GET to drive your kids to practice because you have the financial means to own a car and pay subs, you GET to make your family dinner because you have an income, food in your cupboard and a home to keep you safe. See the change!
36. Keep your promises
First and foremost to yourself. And to others. It shows a great level of respect and consistency when you keep your promises. I think it keeps your mind calm and focussed and brings a level of peace. People can trust you. And, you can trust yourself to follow though. By keeping promises to yourself you’re telling yourself that you are valuable and worthy. That’s pretty special.
37. Learn how to fold a fitted sheet
This is something I learned from Martha Stewart many many years ago… If you don’t know how to do this, what have you been doing with your life! … it makes your linen closet so neat and tidy and stops you simply rolling your fitted sheets into a ball. If you watch one video today watch this one. You’re welcome. This will change your life. See also, Never put clean sheets on your bed straight from the dryer or clothesline!
38. Pencil in things to look forward to
I started doing this this year. I made a plan and a vision board around what I wanted for my life and the lives of those I love. Then took deliberate actions towards manifesting those things. One of those actions was to pencil in time with loved ones. First thing I did was book a trip to Queenstown for me and my husband for his birthday. Having things to look forward to that are planned can be a powerful momentum creator.
39. Acknowledge and work on your flaws
You can’t continuously go through your life pointing the finger at other people and how they don’t measure up to your ideal standards. You need to take a deep breath in and do some self searching. What are the things that you need to work on? Be honest! It’s truly liberating to acknowledge your foibles and begin to work out the kinks.
40. Ditch processed sugar
I suffer from inflammatory conditions like asthma and arthritis. Sugar wreaks havoc on my system and makes me achy… even my sinuses suffer. So I try my best to avoid too much sugar and try to opt for things like fruit and coconut yogurt for a sweet treat. I also love to use organic coconut sugar in my baking recipes and I use banana as a sweetener in my oats, with almond milk to make porridge.
41. Slow down, be present with your actions
Rushing from one thing to the next doesn’t serve you well. Allow yourself to experience life, not just endure it. Move slower, more deliberately and let yourself be in the present.
42. Wear perfume
Even though I don’t wear makeup regularly, I DO wear perfume. Every single day. It makes me feel good and it’s my signature. Perfume and painted toe nails! I’m in love with Jimmy Choo Floral right now… subtle and sassy … Perfume’s like your secret best friend … no one can see it … they know there’s something special about you but they just can’t put their finger on it! Game changer.
43. Set boundaries
It’s up to you to set the parameters and boundaries of what you will and will not allow into your life. Toxic people, relationships, environments. You can build your wall and choose to lower it if and when you desire. It’s up to you to let people in- or not. On your own terms. Take hold of your power. Audit your life.
Practicing even a handful of these habits regularly will have profound effect on your wellbeing and your midnet. It’s the things we do consistently that make up change.