The first month of my Happiness Project inspired by Gretchen Rubin’s book is over and done with, so it is time for both a wrap-up as well as a reveal of the new month’s focus point. There are some lessons I have learned already that I look forward to sharing with you now! This post is part of my blog series The Happiness Project.
August Self-Care Month
My August focus was the fluidly defined self-care. I had set out to work on very wobbly health routines such as flossing or nasya, nose washing. Flossing saw no progress whereas my neti pot is put to work almost daily now.
Some younger selves would have declared August a failure due to not having managed to work much on deep cleaning teeth, but my current self reminds me of the flu that was carried home from the daycare centre. In fact I am still fighting flu leftovers, even though the throat feels fine and there is barely any coughing now. Perspective is great to have.
Amidst taking major strides forward in preparation of my up-coming move in a couple of months, some of the self-care stuff had to go. Partly due to lack of energy, partly because self-care more than expected involved managing stress levels related to decluttering before packing things. But more about moving in some other blog post.
What surprised me regarding using my neti pot so often was that while there is still the occasional “Ugh, again?” feeling popping up, resistance to a routine is clearly diminishing.
It may have something to do with the practical aspect of changing salts. I had thrown in the basket a package of 20 salt bags when buying the neti pot in a local pharmacy. I figured the process itself would be so daunting (fear of drowning and such) that fiddling with loose salt would create too big of an obstacle. This guess turned out to be correct, because I didn’t have enough headspace to research salt until I was on my last five bags.
Theoretically there could be only salt in the pre-measured salt bags, but for some reason they have added some preservative. When using normal fine table salt without any iodine added, I felt a distinct change in the nose. The saltwater felt fresher somehow and my nose slightly more open. Washing the nose and sinuses before bed also removed gunk accumulated due to the flu, which was very pleasant.
A final bonus is the price itself. The 20 bags cost a few euros whereas I got a whole kilogram for less than one euro. It is easy to measure up with the spoon that came with the neti pot and the Jozo (local brand) salt I use mixes in very well with warm water.
I will write a post dedicated to cleansing of nose and sinuses, because this is at the heart of preventive medicine. Suffice it to say I doubt this routine would be as close to established, had I not chosen it for this Happiness Project. A quietly satisfactory win in other words, so I will keep working on it the remaining eleven months in addition to bringing flossing and a few others along.
Before moving on to my September ponderings, I want to share a curiosity from the fascinating world of neti pots. It keeps getting corrected into “yeti pot” or “nets pot”, so if I haven’t caught all autocorrections, the word is indeed n-e-t-i.
September Tidying Month
Does this sound familiar? You grab a thing or two to use, leave it where you used it, thinking you will put it back in place later, and then once cleaning Thursday arrives a lot of it is about tidying rather than cleaning. Anyone?
There is a saying some readers are guaranteed to be familiar with: “A place for everything and everything in its place.” It is so simple yet so unbelievable difficult in my opinion.
There are many things I leave randomly such as clean, folded laundry that gets dumped on what I call a mid-station. Obviously not its final destination, but hovering on surfaces where it does not belong. I am no fan of mid-stations.
The habit for laundry should go like this:
- Fold laundry
- Sort like with like
- Put in designated storage spaces
If you have read “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, I am referring to cue, habit and reward. The cue is “dry laundry in bathroom” and the habit should be a full loop of putting the stuff back. Then reward such as “Oh nice, clean stuff to wear!”
My September Happiness Project therefore is to spend a few minutes at the end of the day, before my bedtime routine, to put stuff away. I may not get to all of it, but some is definitely better than nothing. Eventually it may even sink in that it is more beneficial to put everything back in its place as soon as I am done using the things.
Be sure to grab a free worksheet for your own project by signing up for my newsletter below. The months are undated so you can start whenever suits you.
You find the blog posts of this series in their own collection by clicking on this button:
Please share in the comments whether you intend to join or not. And if you have decided what to focus on these first months, you are welcome to share what your own projects are about, too! I already know I am not doing this alone, but perhaps there are others lurking still?
Photo credit: Uliana Kopanytsia.