- One day a week, sleep in as long as you want. We are all ridiculously sleep deprived. Just give in to your bed…
- Read more. It doesn’t matter what you like to read (ok, celebrity gossip mags don’t count)- on your fashion magazines, health blogs (we recommend Green Queen ;), fiction, science manuals, cookbooks, autobiographies, crime novels, graphic novels…it’s up to you! Reading is a free way to explore the world, to find romance, to learn a new skill, to meet new people…It is also incredibly good for your brain- and when that muscle is flexed, it makes you feel happy.
- Incorporate yoga into your life. Even if it’s only once a month. There’s just so many reasons why yoga is a boon for your health.
- Learn to cook a new cuisine. Or if you don’t cook, learn to. Pick your favourite restaurant dish and get to work. Everybody should know how to make one thing
- When you wake up, take 5 minutes to stretch- on the bed, on the floor…Whatever works. You will seriously feel the difference in your day- your mind will be so much clearer.
- Incorporate mindfulness into your life. Follow our beginner’s guide.
- You know that old expression ‘count your blessings’? Turns out, they were on to something. Keep a gratitude list- list 5 things that you feel grateful for every week. Read it over when you are feeling blue.
- Find some time to exercise: join a gym, become part of a sports team, sign up for tennis lesson, buy a bike- whatever works! You want to get those endorphins released. We write more about why fitness matters here.
- Do a monthly hike somewhere really far away in Hong Kong- make it fun- an adventure you (and your bestie/your partner/the kids) can look forward to. Being in nature makes humans feel gooood!
- Adopt a pet. They really do change your life. We recommend dogs. But whatever floats your boat!
- Volunteer- at a food bank, with orphans, at an old people’s home. Helping others helps you. We have the city’s best NGO list– pick one and do it as often as you can. Even bi-monthly is something.
- Book a trip/holiday with someone you love (that could be yourself). The anticipation of upcoming vacation is really strong motivation for getting through the slog that can be life. Travel plans are exciting!
- Ideally pick somewhere new to visit, with a couple of days outside of your comfort zone. Sure a private pool/beach villa is awesome, though slightly limited. But traveling to new places and experiencing new sights, sounds, tastes- that’s when your life gets richer and you get happier.
- Find a hobby that involves your hands: pick up painting or sculpture or building airplane models or knitting or carpentry- the satisfaction of making things from scratch with your own two hands is incredibly rewarding and happiness inducing.
- Call your nan. Or your grandpa. Or your great aunt. Basically, get in touch with a much older person that you are related to or grew up close to. Their lives have probably slowed down and hearing from you could be the highlight of their week. That will make you happy. Kindness for no reason breeds wellbeing. Plus that person probably showed you immense kindness when you were a child, and that deserves respect.
Sonalie Figueiras is the founder and editor-in-chief of Green Queen, Hong Kong's largest eco wellness media platform, advocating for social & environmental change using original, inspiring content and the founder and CEO of Ekowarehouse, the global sourcing platform for certified organic products created with a mission to make organic farming accessible & affordable for the whole planet. With over a decade of experience in publishing, SEO, digital marketing, organic trade and health journalism, she is a eco/wellness industry veteran with a keen eye for market trends and a regular on the speaking circuit, sharing her experience on stages across Asia and beyond. She recently launched a brand new podcast series about the Zero Waste Movement in Hong Kong. When she is not working, Sonalie is usually dreaming up new plant based recipes in the kitchen for her family.