How To Improve Your Quality of Life: 11 Powerful Ideas To Consider
What Makes a Good Quality of Life?
This is all about how to improve your quality of life. Important stuff, right? (spoiler alert… the answer is yes)
Let’s get right to it!
One thing that I feel happens all too often in life is we get stuck on cruise control.
We are coasting. Existing.
I mean, sure, we might be doing all the things. Bonified productivity monsters. BUT…
Is that all there is? You know the answer to that. (it’s NO by the way)
I used to measure my life by how smoothly it was going.
Never run out of toilet paper or bread. Always have a perfectly planned calendar (missing an appointment or activity was unacceptable to me). Be sure not to let the laundry pile get too out of control.
Does that produce a satisfactory life? Only you can answer that question.
We all have different levels of “achievement” that we are striving for. A different vision of what makes a “good” life.
And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Unless it comes at the expense of losing ourselves somewhere in the process.
Perfectly curated lives do not exist. (except for the ones we see on the internet… which are not real obviously)
The goal is not to just be chugging along. Making it all look good. Quality of life matters. We know that. We also have this pesky tendency to not make it a priority.
If we don’t truly feel good and aren’t enjoying our lives then maybe it’s time to look a little deeper.
Quality of life is not a one-size-fits-all.
It will look different for every single person. There’s no universal checklist to go off.
But it doesn’t hurt to peel back some layers and examine the choices we make and the habits we have in place. And be open to some pivots here and there if necessary.
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Here Are 11 Ideas on How To Improve Your Quality of Life
1) Listen To Your Body
How often do you give how you feel a second thought? How often do you just keep on chugging along because that seems like your only option?
Life doesn’t stop so we feel like stopping or slowing down isn’t a choice available to us.
But it is. Maybe to different degrees for all of us but we do get a say.
We are going to dive deeper into this idea with some of the other thoughts on this list. But I just want you to start asking yourself if you listen to yourself and what you want or need. Or do you tend to ignore that inner voice that’s trying to call an audible?
The world is full of a lot of noise. Don’t let your voice be the one that gets drowned out by all that noise.
2) Move Your Body
This is not solely about pushing exercise. Nope.
This is about moving your body in ways that feel good. Taking a walk. (fresh air can be magical) Having a dance party.
Stretching. (I love to lay on my bedroom floor and stretch every part of my body) It’s so relaxing and also regulating.
I know it is so simple but it feels like a mini reset for me.
Moving your body should not feel like this burden of something else you have to or should do. Try to reframe it in a way that relates to the feeling that accompanies movement. This way of thinking has really changed the game for me.
Focusing on sleep and being adequately rested will only enhance your life.
Just because you can push through doesn’t mean you should. Now, sometimes we have to push through. But as much as we can, prioritizing rest in whatever way possible will serve us well.
Also, here is your reminder that rest is productive. Listening to our bodies and honoring what we need is so underrated.
4) Find Ways To Reduce Stress
OK, before you start shaking your head about this one, hear me out.
Most people will always experience some level of stress in their lives. It comes with the territory of being a human being.
But I do strongly believe there are things we can implement to make stress manageable.
Maybe this is meditation. Or reading a book (read these!) or taking a bath. This could be taking something off your plate.
This could be journaling (check out this simple journal) to clear your head and gain some perspective.
There is no right or wrong answer here. Find things that help you relax and gain a little relief from the grind of daily life.
One giant thing we can practice is prioritizing. My husband has a demanding job and we have many discussions about the amount of stress he feels from having so much going on.
Now, I obviously can’t tell him to quit his job. (he does enjoy it by the way) I can’t tell him exactly what to do or what task to tackle first.
What I do tell him is that if everything is super important and urgent then nothing is super important and urgent.
It’s like that glass balls and plastic balls metaphor. Everything in your life can not be a glass ball.
Want to know a truth that is hard to accept?
There will always be something to do. Most of us will never have a completely empty to-do list. UGH! That thought alone can feel soul-crushing.
But once we take “doing it all” off the table, our lives can become drastically better.
Trying to be all the things in all areas of our lives will lead us straight to a hamster wheel of exhaustion and burnout.
6) Be Picky About Who You Spend Your Time With
How you spend your time matters. Equally important is who you are spending time with.
I read something Brene Brown said about surrounding yourself with people who don’t feel the need to blow out your light. That stuck with me.
I look back on my life and there were many times that I allowed people to be in my life that didn’t deserve to be there. I am 38 years old and still working on being choosey about who I allow in.
And you bet I am trying my best to have these conversations with my 10-year-old daughter. I want her to really know and understand that she has a say on who gets to take up space in her life.
The idea of “being nice” was drilled into my head growing up. While being a kind person is important, it in no way means that we have to accept any treatment that comes to us.
Broaden your horizons.
This isn’t about getting your hands on a textbook and studying calculus. (unless that’s your thing)
But learning is cool. I like to view it as I get to learn new information or a new skill. And that can be really fun.
The best thing about this idea is that the possibilities are endless. Want to learn to paint? Or sew? Maybe you have always wanted to learn a new language. (I am doing this right now)
*If you want to take this to the next level, you should check out Coursera. It’s an online learning platform filled with courses on basically anything. You can even earn certificates and degrees.*
Learning in any capacity can add some wonder and excitement to your life.
Our brains are literally hardwired to take notice of the not-so-pleasant parts of life. Thanks, brain!
Appreciating the simple joys can be a game changer. Now, does it magically make you like Poppy from the Trolls movie and you only see the good in every day and prance around singing and dancing? Not quite.
We will never have to search too vigorously for bumps in the road. They make themselves known. (over and over)
But the little things that add a little razzle-dazzle to our days deserve some credit as well. Really acknowledge and relish the seemingly small parts of daily life that are so easy to miss.
Always make time for joy and gratitude. They can easily be overshadowed but practice giving them their dues.
Here is a really cool gratitude journal that can really come in handy with this!
9) Phone Time
Ugh. Phones. (or any device) They’re great.
They help me get anywhere. They help me stay connected.
But they can also consume way too much of our time.
Be sure to build and maintain real-world connections. Our lives are not meant to primarily exist inside of a screen.
Also, a big thing that happens when we spend an excessive amount of time on devices is that our view of our lives can be skewed.
Our lives can begin to feel like they don’t measure up. But the real issue is not our lives. It is the unrealistic standard the internet sets.
10) Set Boundaries
This is especially true when it comes to work and your personal life. Burnout can creep in really quickly if we live without boundaries.
I know I am not the only person that leans heavily into people-pleasing tendencies.
And being aware of this in no way equals being completely free from it. It’s a challenge. It really takes persistence.
But saying no is a powerful skill to have in your tool belt. Being able to pass on things that are not for you is so important.
A full plate can often be used as a flex for people. You see it everywhere (especially on social media). People praise others for doing it all.
Then it can feel like the more we do or say yes to or take on the more impressive our lives appear. A full plate does not equate to a full life. Especially if you are suffering.
If boundaries are a tricky area of your life, this book is a must-read. It is the holy grail of everything boundary-related.
11) Take Care of Yourself
Let me add to that.
Take really good care of yourself.
And the trick here is to do it consistently. Often we wait until the deficit in any area is so vast that nothing feels like it will help.
But think of how you take care of others.
We have all heard the saying about not being able to pour from an empty cup. However, I think many people do pour from empty cups. The pour might just be a little unsteady.
Taking care of ourselves is not something that we implement once and we’re good to go. It’s a choice we have to make over and over again.
And something that can really play a pivotal role here is giving ourselves lots of grace and kindness.
By the way, here is another little reminder that you are important and valuable. Try to treat yourself as such.
It takes deliberate effort but small shifts will have an impact. Tiny choices matter. Change usually does not come nearly as quickly as we want it to. (major bummer)
Small adjustments here and there. Chipping away at whatever you are working toward.
That’s just the way it goes.
Change is not an all-or-nothing thing. If you are waiting for all the pieces of your life to fall into place perfectly, you might be waiting quite a while.
And I don’t say that to be a downer. I’m not trying to inject any negative Nancy vibes into your brain.
I do, however, not like fluff talk when it comes to life improvement.
The goal is not to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside while you are reading this and then send you on your way. Those warm and fuzzy feelings will fade.
Change is not an easy road. Improving any aspect of your life takes time and loads of patience. And chances are you will not get everything right the first time. (or second time or third) And really getting it right is not even the right term.
My biggest hope is that you develop the habit of checking in with yourself regularly. You don’t just pedal to the medal and call it a day.
Which of these ideas on how to improve your quality of life resonates with you?
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