As we established in Part 1 of our series on #designhappyliving rituals, intentional practices can foster a mindset of peacefulness, positivity, hope, thankfulness and contentment.
When you develop rituals that lead to positive mindset transformation, you’re empowered to design happy living lives and homes for yourselves, your family and others.
In 10 Rituals to Help You Design a Happy Life – Part 1 (links to first blog) we explored the rituals of Meditation/Prayer, Journaling, Teatime, Gardening and Giving Gifts.
Here in Part 2, we will look at the repeated practices of: Walking; Creating/Enjoying Outdoor Spaces; Cultivating Creativity through Handiwork; Cultivating Creativity through Artistic Expression and Cultivating Community through Hospitality.
Design Happy Living Rituals – Part 2
6. Take a Walk (at least 3 times a week). Providing the best of both worlds, walking offers the physical benefits of exercise while boosting your emotional well-being. Even a short 10-minute burst of brisk walking increases your mental alertness, energy and positive mood.
And if you can walk in a place that nurtures your need for visual beauty? Even better.
According to WebMD, walking regularly can help ease symptoms of anxiety or depression. A few of the benefits of walking include improved sleep, better endurance, stress relief, increased stamina, weight loss, reduced cholesterol and better cardiovascular health.
As a way to build on the positive impact of walking, invite a friend to join you. Walking with others for just a day or two per week combines exercise with positive social interaction, improving your mood, warding off depression and improving self-esteem.
7. Create and Enjoy an Outdoor Space. From the smallest patio or balcony to the most elaborate party deck or luxury porch, an outdoor living space does more than add value to your home – it can improve your health and enhance your relationships.
Before the COVID vaccine roll-out as remote work-from-home practices ramped up, outdoor living spaces surged in popularity. Revered as “safe spaces” for small gatherings, time with friends and family, al fresco dining and havens for unplugging and escaping screen time, newly-discovered outdoor spaces have become a staple of design happy living.
The benefits are numerous. Aside from the health advantages of breathing fresh air, increasing Vitamin D levels and reducing stress, time together outdoors enhances cognitive function and mood, helping you communicate more lucidly and authentically.
8. Cultivate Creativity through Handiwork. Some scholars believe creativity is the highest form of intellectual development and self-actualization. Cultivating creativity through handiwork — whether the medium is clay, yarn, thread, fabric, glass, wood or metal – results in a sensory, immersive experience that is therapeutic and fulfilling.
Hand craftsmanship has brought joy for many years to Boston based ceramic artist, Jill Rosenwald and the team of artists she employs in her light filled studio. I am such a fan of her beautiful hand thrown and hand painted pottery.
I also love the way her website allows you to first choose the color palette that works for your home, before selecting and purchasing.
9. Cultivate Creativity through Artistic Expression. The tagline, “daily art lifts the spirit”, coined by my very close friend Gloria Batista Collins, inspired me to start experimenting with watercolors.
I decided to try my hand at watercolor to relieve stress by losing myself in observation of the natural world. I’d never considered myself artistic in any way with a brush, pen or pencil in my hand. But I decided to just have fun – with no idea of what would result.
When I shared my first watercolor attempts with friends on Facebook and Instagram, to my complete surprise, some of my friends liked what they saw. It made me happy to know that something I painted brought joy to others. For me, bringing joy to others is the essence of how to design happy living.
Then I painted something that I thought might be perfect on an indoor/outdoor fabric.
10. Cultivate Community through Hospitality. “Life around the table is life at its best.” In an era of division, confrontation and acrimony, offering hospitality to others is a balm.
Hospitality does not need to be a formal, elaborate gathering, and hospitality is not about perfect place settings or 5-course meals in an immaculate home.
Hospitality, in its purest form, is simply creating space for others to be themselves, to feel welcome, heard and seen. When you offer hospitality to another, you’re inviting them into your space to share themselves and their story.
I am slightly obsessed with books on this topic and one of the best I’ve read recently is Priya Basil’s BE MY GUEST: Reflections On Food, Community and The Meaning of Generosity.
Hospitality – which can be as simple as inviting one or two people for ice cream on the front porch or coffee on a cold day or a casual gathering where everyone brings a picnic lunch — has the capacity to deepen existing relationships and allow new ones to flourish, enriching the spirit.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this 2 part series on *rituals for designing a happy life*. I’d love for you to use the #designhappyliving tag on Instagram and share which of these 5 rituals you practice.
I’ll choose some to reshare on https://instagram.com/designhappyliving.
I also invite you to have fun while subscribing to Design Happy Living by taking the #designhappyliving Style Color Quiz to find your perfect paint palette for your home!
As always, thank you for taking a bit of time out of your day to be here with me. I appreciate each of you so much.