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7 Ways To Make Your Life A Bit Better This Week

One step at a time.

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1. If you've got 3 minutes: Try out a pillow spray.

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My favourite part of going to sleep is luxuriously spraying my pillow and sheets with a calming scent. I've tried plenty, but I especially like L'Occitane Relaxing Pillow Mist (£14 for a huge bottle), This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (£16 for a decent-sized bottle) and Costwold Lavender Slumber Spray (£7.25). You don't have to buy a *specific* sleep spray, I've also used ironing water/linen spray as well. The main thing is that you enjoy the scent.

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2. If you've got 5 minutes: Find your well.

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This piece focuses on ways Muslims can feel just a little more OK right now (which is good, and useful!) but this point is relevant to all:

"Rashad says to ask yourself “Where do I go to feel nourished and affirmed? To feel understood?” Maybe it’s a friend who always makes you laugh, someone who texts you loving things, a conversation with your mom, being in nature, meditation, prayer, or even watching a video of your adorable baby cousin. Just make sure you know what your well is and that you go there often, using it as a chance to take a moment to breathe and gather your strength."

3. If you've got 10 minutes: Read about somebody else's journey.

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I read this essay about dating after getting sober and it knocked me to the floor:

"In high school, I finally discovered myself in the three Little Kings beers or the moonshine (it was Kentucky, after all) that I downed in someone’s backyard, in my very first screwdriver. I didn’t indulge in the kind of open-mouthed, grinding partying that other teens held so dear. I did not want to experiment; I wanted to drink, and I would be damned if anyone was going to take that away from me. There was so little that was mine."

Read it here:

4. If you've got 15 minutes: Try an old-school puzzle.

Ailbhe Malone/ BuzzFeed

I've taken to carrying a little book of crosswords in my handbag. I do one in the morning on the train to work, and one on the way home. If I'm having a creative block at work, or I need a couple of minutes to myself, I try and bash out a few clues too.

Focusing on a logic problem with a finite solution (and a solutions page at the back!) is very reassuring.

5. If you've got 20 minutes: Reset your expectations.

Maritsa Patrinos / BuzzFeed

I've been trying to eat a bit healthier the past few weeks, and when I'm less hard on myself, I find it easier to make better choices. For example, it's not the end of the world if I have a snack before dinner. I'll just have a handful of crisps, instead of a bag. Commenter Stephanie agrees:

“Tiny steps. What’s helped me is just understanding that progress is eating a few pieces of candy instead of whole bags, or spending an extra five minutes walking my pup.”

It's also important to learn not to fight against your body, but make decisions that feel good to you. Commenter Kayla explains: “I have a disability and chronic pain, and take a lot of life saving medications that make me gain and retain weight. Compounding this problem, and like many others with disabilities, exercising and preparing healthy food can use more energy than I have. When I’m able, I’ve been focusing on eating vegetable based, filling meals because I know my body feels better if I do."

6. If you've got 30 minutes: Go to a class with a friend.

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"Enroll in a class with a friend (or multiple friends). I recently signed up for a dance class and I feel good when I go, however I always get caught up in my anxiety and not wanting to go. Having people to go with makes you feel more accountable to go and you'll usually have a good laugh together too." – Commenter Kora Liegh Glatt via Facebook

7. If you have 30 seconds: Read this tweet.

Johns Hopkins gives Honorary Master's Degree to service dog after attending every one of his owner's classes.

This is a weekly series! Got a self-care tip you’d like to suggest? Let me know in the comments or tweet me.

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