Have you ever watched the movie The Bucket List?
It’s a 2007 film about two strangers, a Billionaire and a car mechanic, who end up sharing the same hospital room. The short version is they make a list of things they would like to do before they die – ‘before they kick the bucket’. If you haven’t watched it, it’s great for a wet Saturday afternoon on the sofa.
I don’t know about you but I love a good list, ticking the items off makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something. I’ve been thinking about some of the things I could be doing to encourage positive wellbeing in my life. So I came up with the idea to make a wellbeing list and instead of aiming to do them before I die, it could be something that I could do whilst on this journey we call life – hence the ‘life list’. The purpose of this list is for you and I to start thinking of things we could be doing to improve our wellbeing.
It’s not about how fast you can do all the things on the list, it’s not a competition, it’s about fostering new habits. This is an opportunity for us to begin to put in place small changes that if done regularly can help us to become healthier happier people.
Each area of wellbeing can affect the others. Pay attention to how you feel and look, see what else is affected. If you find something you enjoy and it makes a difference think about implementing it into your daily or weekly routine.
These are about your body and health.
- Get enough rest.
- Exercise – this could be as simple as morning stretches, going for a run, taking a walk, swimming or putting in place a dedicated 30 mins a day routine.
- Learn about nutrition and make healthy changes to your diet.
- Try a new food regime – challenge yourself for a week or month, try no meat, no dairy, vegan, fruitarian or try a new fruit or veg to your regular meals.
- Join a sports team
- Drink more water
- Try a fast food ban – can you go a day/week/month/year
- Go out in nature for a day – this could be in your garden or local park
- Eat the seasons – only eat food that is around in that particular season
This is about supportive relationships, trust and belonging
- Join a club of one of your hobbies
- Speak to a stranger
- Make a new friend / talk to someone new
- Smile at people and see how many smile back
This is about your emotions and mental health.
- Laugh or make someone you know laugh
- Find someone you trust and talk honestly about how you are feeling
- Be grateful – start a gratitude jar
- Do something you enjoy
- Learn or try something new to boost your self esteem
- Stand in the sunlight
- Live in the present
- Read an inspirational story
- Cook something you’ve always wanted to
- View your day through a lens - Make a photo or video diary of your day, capturing all the interesting things that you see or experience
- Take control over your social media – stop notifications and automatic updates so that you can check them when you want to. If you want to go a little step further delete the app from your phone so that it’s not so easily accessible and you have to go on a computer to check.
This is about your inner life and its relationship with the wider world.
- Take time to meditate
- Spend some time alone
- Attend a local place of worship for prayer or devotion
- Meet with someone who can help you reflect
- Engage with the arts
- Grow something
- Breathing exercises
- Read a book
- Do some reflective exercises
These are just a few ideas. The key to developing positive wellbeing is to start small and try to be consistent with it. If you fail or miss a day, that’s not a problem, start again or try something else. It’s about trying out new things and finding out what works best for you.