Welcome to the month of love! What better way to celebrate this month than with a bit of self-care? With that in mind let us pick up where we left off in this post’s predecessor Important Things You Need To Know To Live Your Best Life – Part 1. Next on the list is:

7. Self-Awareness

Life being life, it’s easy for us to get lost in it. We forget to listen to our inner voice, our intuition and become blind to toxic habits that we know are bad for us. All this leads to negative effects on our wellbeing and on our emotional selves. However, we can not fix what we do not understand. The first step is awareness, only then will the healing come.

Getting to know ourselves allows us to make better decisions and change our lives for the better. Things like meditating, a heart-to-heart with a friend or journaling can be used as mediums to improve self awareness.

8. When You Need A Hug – DIY

Once you get that awareness, then what? This part is the important part. Self-critiquing when faced with adversity or when we feel inadequate, is a trap most of us fall into quite easily. It can however, easily deteriorate our health and general well-being. To counter the negativity, self compassion (in the form of a metaphorical hug or otherwise) can be adopted. Being kinder to ourselves reduces the risk of getting depressed, anxious, and stressed.

If you ever catch yourself overly self critiquing, be kinder to yourself. Think positive, give yourself a hug and visualise happy places.

9. If You Enjoy What You Do…

As the saying goes, if you enjoy what you do, you will never work a day in your life! Hobbies (or hobbies turned businesses) improve our well-being. Doing things we love often and becoming better at it is a great confidence booster. They also allow us to experience flow (as mentioned in the first installment of this series) and meditation.

So, what do you love to do? What are you passionate about? Answering these questions may be key to living your best life.

10. Start A Positive Habit, Develop A Routine

Habits and routines, good or bad make us who we are in a way. We always know what the bigger picture looks like. We always know what we want ultimately but never stop and ask ourselves why it is so difficult to achieve or reach that end goal. Sometimes it is as simple as one habit, one routine that we have or don’t have.

Having a routine in place helps us focus on the important things that we know need to be done. It takes us away from life’s clutter and distractions while making it easier to accomplish the small things that ultimately get us to the big picture result we want. Creating routines for our lives contributes to better health and well-being. One easy way to create routines is by adding a new habit to an already existing habit. If you brush your teeth every morning and you want to start a morning prayer, set the prayer time around the teeth-brushing and before you know it, you’ll have a routine for your day!

11. Guard Your Circle

If we learned anything this past year, it’s how much we took socialising for granted. As humans, we are social beings and socialising makes us happier and contributes immernsely to our overall well being. Simple things like a video call to a friend, joining a virtual book club or attending church online can help us get that sense of belonging back. It’s not the same as in-person contact but it helps.

We are apart but if we put in the effort and keep our circles close (virtually of course) they will keep us close too, and we can always connect despite these pandemic challenges.

12. Exercise!!!

This has been said and said again but a little emphasis has never hurt anyone, right? Working out releases hormones that counter depression, it improves how we feel and also increases our life expectancy. It is not just a major intense workout or run that matters, but things like how we sit at our workstations and the smaller movements we do as we go through our days also matter. Sitting upright rather than slouching is said to bring you positive thoughts. Imagine that!

13. Outdoor Time

Spending time outdoors, in nature is great at calming us. Nature connects us with something bigger than us. Taking in nature’s magnificentness centers us as we break away from everyday routines and being caught up in cycles that tire and drain us.

Lastly, living your best life requires you to prioritise the important things in your day-to-day life. Important does not equate to big, small and intentional changes towards the goal we work to achieve make a difference too.

Go through both lists and find the points that ring true to you, those that you think will have the biggest impact in your life, and do that. Life isn’t a race, if you fall off the wagon dust yourself up and start again. None will ever fault you. If life distracts you, reset and find your flow again. Being able to restart is the hardest thing to do but its also what matters most.

Here’s to living our best lives in 2021!