We all hold on to something to enhance our life quality. Some of us have principles, some of go with routines and some of us keep habits. Not all of them is good for the long run. But, if you filter the good and leave out the bad, it can actually be good life essentials. And, for what it's worth, I also hold on to some things - be it habit, principles or routines - to keep me from going insane.
Water First, Water Last
When I was little, my Dad always made sure that I drink water first thing in the morning. It has to be the first substance to enter my body before anything else everyday. He also makes my sister and I drink at least 2 litres of water everyday - which, to be honest, ain't that hard. This habit goes with me wherever I go. When I wake up, the first thing I do is pour myself a glass of water and drink it. Before breakfast, before shower, before anything. The habit continues with me drinking water before I go to sleep too and bringing a water bottle everywhere I go. You would think water is just water. But I gotta tell ya, it makes a whole lot difference. Water makes your skin look and feel better, it helps you fight diseases and prevent them from spreading, and it helps your digestive system. So if you get to choose what to get into your system first and last, wouldn't you choose something with this many benefits?
First Meal of the Day
Again, another first thing in the morning thing. I know breakfast isn't everyone's cup of tea. Many people claim not to be able to eat so early in the morning. But you cannot skip breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day. I mean, think about it, how do you expect to function without any surge of energy before you set off? There are plenty of types of breakfasts you can choose from. Personally, I don't mind eating meat and rice early in the morning. Europeans normally frown upon this, feeling that the meal is too big. They, instead, eat yoghurt with fruits or müsli or cereal. That's fine too! Just make sure it's something healthy and nutritious. If you feel like you can't eat in the morning, try to stop eating at least three hours before bed time. If you feel like eating, just drink water or snack on fruits. It might help your appetite in the morning.
Random Acts of Kindness
To me, a day gets so much better when I'm out and about and someone randomly treats me kindly. Be it someone I actually know or just a passing stranger, my day always gets better when I receive these acts of kindness. And vice versa. I always feel good after being kind to someone, especially if it's someone I don't know. Of course, this is providing my kindness was also well-received. But if you are being truly and sincerely kind to someone, almost 100% of the time, they would appreciate your kindness. It can be as simple as smiling to them when you pass them by or greeting them or even offering a seat on the bus/tram. You can go as far as having a nice conversation with them - this happens to me a lot - and learn something about them or the world we live in. Also, I believe if we train ourselves to be kind to people, the world can indeed be a better place. Try it!
Never Too Old to Learn
Something else my Dad taught me. He always makes sure I don't stop learning. Anything. He gives me new facts all the time or things to read, watch or listen to. And I think he's right. We can never stop learning even if we try. Knowledge is everywhere, like air. They spread all around us. But, of course, taking all that knowledge in is unlike breathing. We have to actively reach for them and insert them into our system. And, I gotta tell ya, it feels a little different with what we learn from school, where you pay attention half of the time then cram before the exam, stressing out in the process. In life, learning doesn't come with a quiz - well, at least none that you could know of beforehand - so it's a lot less stressful. Actually, it's rather fun.
"Dolce far Niente"
It is a concept from the Italians. It translates to: "The Sweetness of Doing Nothing." Nobody can live life like the Italians. They have a way of doing things just enough and enjoying the little things. That's how they stay happy. Something that all of us can definitely learn from them. In the pursuit of happiness, always find time to stop and actually appreciate what God has given you. Take a breather is what the Americans call it. But it's more than just a breather. You always have to know how to sit back and take all the beauty of life in. When you get to set yourself apart from the picture, you can see all the silver linings. So enjoy doing nothing now and then.