30 Days to Happiness and Eudaimonia

I'd like to share with you a beautiful Ancient Greek word, Eudaimonia, for which there is no direct English equivalent. Eudaimonia means 'human flourishing'; it's all about finding joy in every day life, even in mundanity. Hanging out your laundry in the winter sun can be eudaemonic if you know how to implement this simple and beautiful practice. It's gratitude, contentment and purpose combined. With that in mind, we've broken down 30 simple steps towards achieving happiness, or even better, eudaimonia over 30 days. Start your journey now. 

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New Mag. Treat yourself to a new magazine (a REAL, hand-held, page-turning magazine) one that you’ve never read before. You’ll open your mind and your heart to a whole new world, and nourish your soul. It’s screen-free me-time well spent. 

Screen Ban. Speaking of screen-free, imagine an entire day without screens. It almost sounds absurd, impossible, rude even! But also gloriously euphoric. Close the laptops, switch off the tvs and turn off the phones. Granted, you may be required to escape to the country for the day to make it happen - whatever works. 

Move Your Body. If couch to kitchen is your only regular routine, this one can really feel overwhelming. Start with a walk to your local cafe, or take the stairs instead of the lift. We were made to move.

Bathe. There is something about immersing yourself in water that feels so inherently rewarding. If you don’t have a bath, phone a friend or family member to use theirs, or head to your local bathhouse

Go Green. If your go-to breakfast is a cup of Moccona, it may be time to rethink your daily bread. Easier said than done, right? Science says it only takes 21 days to break an addiction or habit. Try switching to a fresh concoction; add a handful of spinach to your morning smoothie or juice. With such a minimal edit to your routine, your body may be pleasantly surprised.

Do New. Try something you’ve never done before! Say hello to your neighbour, book a staycation, take a course on LinkedIn Learning, watch a Masterclass, start a business, host a digital house party or volunteer your time. 

Do You. Tell your partner or your family or your roommate that today, you’re doing you. You’re going to spend the day with yourself and do the thing you’ve always wanted to do, ALONE. Whether that’s wandering through a museum, sitting in a library, hiking in the hinterland, walking along the beach or simply watching Netflix all day, sometimes we all need alone time. 

Drink More Water. Utterly basic, but just for today, try drinking eight glasses of water.  

Plant Something. If you think you’re not a green thumb, think again. Anyone can plant a plant if they follow the recipe. In the right location with a little love, you can grow something from nothing and the rewards are more than aesthetic. If you live in an apartment, ask your building manager whether they’d be happy for you to create an outdoor shared garden. Start small with an indoor pot plant; if you give him a name, he'll have a higher chance for survival!

Phone a Friend. Remember phone calls? How extraordinarily refreshing. 

Well Read. A good old-fashioned paperback will reinvigorate the soul. Check out Good Reads if you don’t know where to start. It’s a social media platform for book worms. 

Memorise It. With a camera in every pocket, it’s so easy to get caught up in taking photos everywhere we go. Rather than living behind the insincere glare of a screen, try to avoid taking any photos for one whole day. Store those beautiful memories in the treasure chest of your mind.

Life Admin. Boring as hell, but ticking something off the list that you’ve been meaning to do for months/years is extremely gratifying. Whether it’s paying your bills, updating your CV or LinkedIn page, printing photos and framing them or backing up your laptop, get it done and watch the world float off your shoulders like a balloon. 

Fresh Flowers. When do you ever buy yourself fresh flowers? There’s no doubt that you deserve it. 

Dance. Ridiculous as it seems, blast the beats for an hour in your living room and just DANCE. It’s the most exhilarating way to exercise without even realising you’re doing it. Get the whole family involved. 

Breathe. The breath is the most underrated tool towards happiness, because it functions without any given thought. And yet, it is the fundamental pillar in defining how the rest of our body and mind are feeling. Unintentional short, shallow breaths will signal to your body that you’re stressed, while slowing down the breath instantly provides a sense of calm. It automatically changes your biology. 

Zoom Out. Are you constantly stressing about daily minutiae? If your life was playing out on screen and you could zoom out, you'd be given the opportunity to remember how far you’d come; that once upon a time you wished for all the things you have right now. Write down three things for which you’re grateful, and see if this divine ritual can become a new habit. A reverse bucket list has the same effect. 

Go Outside. When was the last time you felt a deep connection to the earth? Head to your local beach or hinterland and remove your shoes. The soles of our feet were meant to feel the earth. 

Reduce Waste. Evaluate the contents of your bin and discover new ways to switch single-use disposables with everlasting items. While you're at it, you may want to start composting or taking your plastic bags to REDcycle. Every little step towards sustainability helps, no matter how small. It's the vast mindset that will change the world. 

Declutter. Is your pantry a minefield? Are your bedside drawers a disaster? How’s the garage looking? Create a peaceful place in which you live, and peace shall follow you everywhere. 

Shut Down. Create a new bedtime routine whereby sleep is a priority. Remove screens after 5pm, enjoy a quiet cup of lavender tea and try lying on the floor with your legs up the wall whilst reading a book. Bizarre but life-changing. 

Oil Up. Try rubbing coconut oil all over your body and hair, and leave on overnight. Coconut oil has healing and inflammatory properties and makes you look all brand new! (Be sure to shower in the morning, lest you resemble a walking oil slick.) 

Press Play. Listen to your favourite music while you work today. If that’s Elvis Presley singing Blue Hawaii on repeat then so be it. You do you, sister. 

Write a Letter. Remember pen pals? Write a letter, a card or a postcard, stamp that baby and post it. You’ve just made your day AND someone else’s.

Stretch. Take a free online yoga class. Even if you only last two minutes, you’ve moved your body, stretched your limbs, and possibly tried something you’ve never done before. 

Talk. Sometimes we forget to TALK to our partner…about something other than the children or the dog or logistics or bills. Take five minutes out of your day to reconnect with the one person who matters the most. 

LOL. Laughing out loud is undeniably good for the soul. Try these hilarious podcasts or watch Celeste Barber do her thing. 

Make Something. Your sewing machine is gathering dust, you need a new ceramic vase and the idea of making handmade pasta is idyllic. Making something with your hands is part of our biology, which is why it makes us feel so good. If you’ve forgotten the long lost art of well, art, try one of these online creative classes to get you going. 

Do Nothing. Stop trying to do and be everyone and everything. Today you get to press pause and throw productivity out the window. 

Choose Local. Fill your fridge with fresh produce from the local farmers market. Your body, your wallet and the planet will thank you for it.

Forward this to a friend who would love some Eudaimonia in their life, and try the 30-day challenge together!