Daily Dose of Happiness!!

Monotony or as we say, the “daily routine” may at times lead to boredom or even lead to taking up unhealthy routes just to amuse ourselves. Moreover, if a long part of the day is consumed in the corporate work life, one hardly has much to do or even achieve after getting back home.

Image sourced from the internet

Around two years ago, I was my usual self, caught in the monotony of life and the only important purpose in life was to somehow get through the day. My work hours were equally irregular. Getting up late, reaching to work beyond 10 a.m., irregular or even skipping meals on the pretext of having to complete loads of pending work, no fixed time to return home, somehow stuff something for dinner and then staying awake late night either wasting time on the social media or continuing with pending office related work.
All of this had started taking a toll on my health and was making life meaningless. Well the above para is no different than most other people making a living in the forever evolving corporate industry today. Just to add some spark to our life, most of us go dining or partying or movie watching over the weekend. But seriously, this does not amuse you for long.

Here is a list of the lifestyle modifications I did in the past 2 years which has helped me revive my health and most importantly my emotional quotient. I am calm, happy, contented today for no specific reason needed. 

Fixed wake-up time – 
I have started getting up much earlier or rather on time. This especially helps to wind up tasks earlier by the end of the day. Also I can ensure to be on time even for work.

Breakfast, a boon – 
Waking up late meant hurried or skipped breakfast. Today I do not miss a single breakfast. A banana or nuts within 15minutes of waking up followed by a heavy breakfast within an hour after that. It’s the best one can do to give a good start to our digestive system. Obviously if we feed it well, it will make us feel better for the entire day. 

Mindful intake of Tea/Coffee – 
Earlier tea/coffee could be an anytime thing. Not that I had a lot of it, but was definitely not watchful when I had it. I do not have these in an empty stomach anymore. Moreover, this is definitely not the first meal of the day. Mindful consumption of 2-3 times a day has helped a lot in avoiding bowel irritations and acidity problems.

Managing the work hours – 
I try my best to work during the office hours only i.e. 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. I ensure not to take up tasks beyond this time. It has been a tough choice and even more tough is to stick to this self-imposed rule, as this does not ensure my superiors will not give me work beyond this. But eventually communicating and letting them know about my constraints has helped me. I still do same or sometimes more volume of work in the said time just to ensure I do not end up staying late at work. This has also inspired some colleagues to follow the same. ;)
Thanks to technology, many of us even have work from home provision available these days. I always try to reduce that since it adds up to excess work hours also compromising on my routine or family time.

Relishing the traditional and seasonal foods – 
The way food industry has got involved in our lives, it’s difficult to identify healthy and unhealthy things. At times even unhealthy stuff is sold with healthier names. As we all know, we are the happiest having traditional homemade recipes.
One more tough task these days is to identify what’s in season and what is not as almost all fruits and vegetables are available round the year, not to miss their preserved versions as well from canned, concentrated, juices, flavors, etc. One best option to get over this dilemma was to frequently visit the local markets and check what’s actually in season and locally available.

Cook, if you love yourself – 
We are all getting educated enough to outsource the cooking and household activities. Most of us, men and women equally have become busy enough to accommodate this daily chore anymore. Either we hire people to cook for us or rely on instantly available packaged food or even cheaper options of home delivery food services.
But to be happy, the most important of all is to keep our gut healthy and clean. There have been plenty of studies which show the mind and gut connection. So cooking my daily meal has been the best ever lifestyle modification I took upon. Only this will help me control what I put on my plate and thus into my system. We need not have elaborate, exotic meals daily. Just healthy, proportionately added ingredients in limited quantity is sufficient. Though it gets tiring post long work hours but I cannot explain the satisfaction I get on having home cooked meals.

Workout, best change ever – 
Some positive changes can be a boon. This one has definitely been one. This was a conscious decision and I was not very new to it. I had worked out before but was not regular at it. Like most people I had the best excuses like time constraint, too tired, many other important tasks to do. But I had started noticing the side effects of a sedentary profession where almost 9 hrs of the day is spent on a chair glued to the computer.
I started light, mainly with exercises to relax my back and spine. Slowly when the body was acquainted I started taking up the tougher ones. So now I make sure to have 30-45 minutes of some physical activity apart from the daily chores for atleast 5 days a week. I go jogging or walking on some days, do yoga for relaxation and stretching, but the best days are the weight training days. Not that I have lost a lot of weight or look perfect, but I feel great every day. I seem to have more energy even at the end of the day. The usual complains of body ache, knee hurts have vanished.
I am much fitter now compared to my twenties and just 30 minutes every day is worth it. And once you feel good inside, all the outer changes just follows! 

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Not so fancy gyms of the locality

Sparing time for hobbies – It’s always said one should try to develop a hobby for a better life. One need not be an expert at it but investing some time for ones hobbies will definitely add more life to your daily routine. Also you will have something to spend time on when you retire from your work or grow old.
Reading and Writing is something I have loved as a kid and even today I ensure to spare some time with the books. Books can be your best friends, there is a different world in the books; very different than our own. I am never bored if I have the company of a book.
New found love is that of travelling. Travelling is the best way to learn. You are never the same person after you have visited a place. Even if you stay in the best locations of the world, one must travel to admire the amazing creations of the world. The more you explore, the more you are wanting to seek. With a full-time job and hefty EMIs to pay, in the last one year we have managed to travel four different places. And now when we think of it, cannot imagine how it has been possible. It’s like the law of attraction is showing its magic!
Image sourced from Internet
Home decor and art also fascinates me a lot. Adding, removing and moving things around the house, decorating the place every now and then adds freshness to the atmosphere. Once in a while I try to draw or colour but I have still not been able to put enough time for it.
Pebble Painting over the weekend
DIY using leftover plywood

I am still struggling with some changes like sleeping on time, getting away from gadgets, working out in the mornings instead of evenings. But the changes I have done until now has added a spark to my daily routine and I am happy and contented than I have ever been.
Doses of happiness are required daily and these are some of mine! What about yours?

Note, I need to confess, I have been a lot influenced by the Indian celebrity nutritionist, Rujuta Diwekar (https://www.rujutadiwekar.com/and have been following her over the internet and also reading her books. If you know her, you can quickly relate to these lifestyle modifications.