How I have led a happier and more meaningful life in the past year – Nikki Andrews

Sep 4, 2018 | Self Care

This year I have truly dedicated my time to making sure I feel my best. After years of constantly feeling anxious, unhappy, tired and unhealthy I decided it was time for me to take my well-being more seriously. Although everyone is different, I made a few changes to my lifestyle and a year on I can say that I truly feel a lot healthier and happier. Additionally, these changes have also sparked a feeling of meaningfulness and purpose within my life.

The approach I took is as follows:

The biggest change I made in my life was to start eating a vegan diet and I know that this one is not for everyone. However, upon changing my diet I almost instantly noticed a change in my energy levels, mood and health. I was suddenly being able to sleep well at night and wake up feeling energetic, happy and prepared for the day. I now very rarely feel the need for coffee which is great. Additionally, all my skin problems were suddenly near non-existent. I suffered from really bad skin constantly breaking out in eczema and now I very rarely get a problem. The weight I have struggled to shift for years finally shifted as I was eating a lot healthier and had more energy to do more. I am now the lightest I have been in years and overjoyed with my progress.  Lastly on this point, I feel great that my diet has reduced my carbon footprint and eating a plant-based diet has allowed me to do even the smallest bit towards combatting climate change.

With being able to sleep better at night, I am able to wake up significantly earlier and take my time to get ready in the mornings. I realised in doing so I was able to appreciate my routine rather than having to rush through everything as if I was a robot on auto-pilot carrying out the same mundane routine every day a week. I got to appreciate the lovely view on my balcony whilst eating my breakfast and whilst doing my make-up. I even had the time to let my hair dry naturally before work instead of blow drying it which often damages your hair if you aren’t careful. As a result, my hair has started to grow faster, healthier and softer. I now even have time have a quick walk around my neighbourhood as well and appreciate the neighbourhood in which I reside and clear my mind before work.

Being able to appreciate the incredible architecture and nature in my neighbourhood has truly changed how I feel about my mornings.

Lastly, I now only do things that bring me joy. I’ve adopted the mentality that I should invest my efforts only into the people who matter. I used to spend a lot of time worrying about what people thought about me and tried to get people who would often see me as either a filler friend or someone who they would contact when they needed something to like me more. I just accepted that these people are toxic and best at seen at a distance. Instead I put my time and energy into my genuine friends who bring me joy and are there for me. I now also consider the money I spend and save when I have to. I appreciate the value for money more when it comes to spending my money. I used to recklessly spend on things that were of poor quality and on things I didn’t really want to spend on. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of things out there that are cheap and of good quality, but I also used to shell out on things that were actually poor quality and I would end up having to replace them regularly.

Being able to be selective over what I put my energy and money into has allowed me to spend more time with the people that genuinely care about me. It has also allowed me to spend more money on things I enjoy doing such as exploring new cafes with my best friend.

I learnt that I do not have to say yes to everything that I am asked to do which was costing me a lot of money previously as I felt the need to constantly make plans with my friends and do what they wanted to do all the time. Adopting this new approach has therefore allowed me to spend my money on things I enjoy and has led me to save money, spend on what I truly want to spend on and allowed me to also have time for myself.

As a result, I feel as though I now live a better quality of life than I did before. By targeting the areas in which I felt I was unhappy with and needed to change. As everybody is different, my best advice is to pay attention to what makes you feel happy and fulfilled and aspire towards these by making small changes that work towards your goals.

Bio: I am 25 year old Half Filipina Blogger who moved to London after completing her Masters in EU Politics at LSE. In my free time I am often at gigs, restaurants or learning new languages.

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