This is a list of lists of practices I employ to make life less stressful, more productive, healthier, and more fun. I'm often met with surprise when I tell people how old I am, so maybe these things really do work for me! In any case, I find it helpful to reinforce habits from time to time, and writing down the things that work is part of that.
On food, nutrition, and not getting fat:
- Eat meals at the same times every day.
- Don't skip meals.
- Don't eat heavily late at night.
- Avoid heavily-processed foods.
- Start each meal with a glass of water and clean hands.
- Keep food volume under control by using the size-of-my-fist limit.*
- Don't snack.
- If I have a craving, satisfy it.
On peace and comfort in the home:
- Don't let clutter accumulate.
- Spend quality time with the cats each day.
- Pay attention to the garden.
- Keep the kitchen clean.
- Don't keep more possessions than can be seen, used, and enjoyed without moving other things.
- Repair, replace, or recycle worn, damaged, or obsolete items.
- Make the bed.
On mental health:
- Read daily.
- Do yoga daily.
- Notice and appreciate my blessings.
- Don't watch the news.
- Turn down the volume during ad breaks.
- Get some quiet time each day.
- Meet my obligations at work.
- Stick to my spending & saving plan.
- Be friendly.
- Don't engage contentious people.
- Laugh a lot.
- Don't go to dark lonely places alone at night.
- Don't open my handbag on the street.
- Walk with head up.
- Pay attention.
- Drive cautiously.
- Avoid crowds.
- Look both ways twice before crossing the street.
- Only carry what I need, and keep one hand free.
- Keep the car fueled and serviced.
- Know where I'm going, and let someone know if it's outside the usual routine.
- Keep the cell phone charged.
- Know what I have.
- Make plans.
- Block out time.
- Don't say "yes" to everything.
- Be observant.
- Be imaginative.
- Let ideas simmer.
- Enjoy others' work.
- Keep supplies organized.
- Be proactive.
- Only work on a project when I'm in the mood.
- If I'm not in the mood, rearrange things.
On fitness and dancing:
- Think about choreography.
- Think about technique.
- Practice as leader and follower.
- Practice the basic actions.
- Stretch a lot.
- Practice arm stylings.
- Do strength-building exercise.
- Dance socially with the best technique that traffic will allow.
- Walk a lot, and walk fast.
- Be mindful of posture, alignment, and body mechanics in daily activity.
- Enjoy music attentively.
- Get enough sleep.
*the "size-of-my-fist" limit: One of the easiest ways to keep food volume in check. If you think about it, the size of your closed fist is roughly equivalent to (or even slightly larger than) the size of your stomach (that's "stomach" not "belly"!). Therefore, it stands to reason you wouldn't be very comfortable eating more than that at a sitting.
Many of us routinely overeat, which means the stomach may be distended or stretched-out. Reduce food intake per meal to match the size of your fist, and if you're still hungry, drink water; before long, that volume will satisfy you and you'll be better able to manage your daily food intake.