I’ve been thinking a lot recently about quality of life and seemingly insignificant factors that can really affect our happiness levels day to day. Like how long your commute is in the morning, or the layout of your kitchen, or how close your closest coffee shop is. These are all things that affect my well-being and have the power to take it up a notch or drop it down to sub ideal – just compare standing up on a packed tube for your entire journey to a gentle 15 minutes bus ride sat reading a book.I suppose it all started when we moved house a few months ago and had the opportunity to switch things up a bit. One of the biggest changes that resulted from our move is no longer having to drive the kids to nursery. In fact, we’re now so close to their nursery that we can walk there in about 30 seconds. Sounds so small, but each time we walk there and back (me basically in my pyjamas, them half finishing their bananas), I smile and my general happiness levels shoot up and any stress dissolves as we meander there, splashing in puddles and chatting on the way. As a result, I believe, my well-being has significantly improved. Then the other day a reader left this comment under one of my photos and it all clicked into place: “This has been my usual way of managing things but sometimes you start to think your own way isn’t ‘as good’ or ‘as productive’ but really all we need to do is keep doing what suits ourselves rather than following the herd. In all honesty it’s never failed me in 37 years. I manage work as a specialist midwife, 2 Boys, 2 dogs, a cat, a house and my marriage and a blog…and we are all happy ? so really what else do I need? ” And that’s just it, isn’t it. We need to be ruthless and fearless in pursuit of what makes us happy (when we know what that is – the actual hard bit).
According a YouGov survery, when it comes specifically to mental well being, the first step is identifying your triggers and working out what it is that might be causing you stress (try piling the kids into a car, reversing out of small carparks, sitting in traffic and parking the other end several times a week at the end of a long working day). Then it’s about doing what you can to make a change.
Now that I’m aware of this ability to change my entire state of well-being, that things are within my control, more and more I’m analyzing which small things in life are bringing me joy and prioritising them above all else. So whilst I might love the idea of the kids attending forest school, there ain’t no way I’m giving up my 30 second pyjama commute.
What factors in your life are really affecting your quality of life right now? What wouldn’t you let go of? What could you change?
P.S If you’re interested in anything happiness or well-being related, check this report out.