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1. Practice gratitude
I love this poster, which I got after the Goodness Gracious Me workshop. I was actually quite surprised to find that life really does become more wonderful when you practice gratitude – I think it’s about being other person centred, being outwardly focused, rather than focusing on yourself, on your dissatisfactions, on your lacks.

And reading Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts helped me see how much around me there was to be grateful for, in the everyday, in the big and small, in the hard and the easy.

As an exercise, grab a notebook, or a piece of paper, or open a blank document on your computer, and write down some things you’re thankful for right now. It will help you to stop, slow down, and really notice what is going on around you. I’ve found it can help make it easier to get through tough days. You don’t have to show anyone, though I found that people really liked my Bec’s List of Gratitude! It’s encouraging to others to read what you’re grateful for. The list is still going in my head, even though I haven’t blogged any for a while. I might do it every now and again but stop numbering them – because there are so many things to be grateful for, they are really without number!

2. Look after yourself physically
I don’t mean become a gym junkie or a diet nut, because if you know me at all, you know that those things can become unhealthy obsessions or excuses for feeling bad about yourself.

No, I mean do little things that will make you physically feel good, and chances are it’ll be good for your mental health too. Some things that help me – sleep, eat good food, do a bit of fun exercise, have the occasional massage, drink lots of water, moisturise my skin, brush my hair, sit in the sun, scrub and moisturise my feet and hands (amazing how good this feels in winter), laugh.

Mattie sez, “Sit in the sun, it’s good for your coat.”

3. Create something
I know not everyone is a crafter, or you might feel like you’re not creative. But everyone has a little creativity in them, and to create is such a satisfying thing. Whether it’s making a birthday card for someone, baking a cake, sewing a quilt, growing vegetables, knitting a scarf, building a sandcastle, recording a podcast, cooking a delicious meal…there are many ways to make things. Creating things gives you a sense of satisfaction, makes you feel that you are contributing to the world and not just consuming, and often brings joy to other people. You can also learn new things and that’s always good too!

A time I made candles. Such fun!