Spring is a time of renewal, so we feel like there's no better moment than now to pick up a new habit or try out a new idea. Even better if that idea inspires some good 'ness — you know... happiness, coziness, wellness or just all around better living at home.
So without further ado, here are some ideas for starting your month off right:
Read a short poem when you wake up every day
April is National Poetry Month, and committing to read a poem each morning is an easy way to honor the cause and inject a bit of culture, literature and fulfilling introspection into each day. Reading poetry could also have a really tangible benefit on your mental wellness. The Poetry Foundation's landmark study Poetry in America showed that regular readers of poetry were more sociable than non-poetry readers, and the readers enjoyed "a deeper appreciation of the world around them, a better understanding of oneself and others, comfort in difficult times, and sheer enjoyment."
Poetry books to pick up this month:
- Depression & Other Magic Tricks, Sabrina Benaim
- Heart Talk: Poetic Wisdom for a Better Life, Cleo Wade
- The Sun and Her Flowers, Rupi Kaur
- Blue Laws: Selected and Uncollected Poems, Kevin Young
- How Lovely the Ruins: Inspirational Poems and Words for Difficult Times
Upgrade one thing in your bedroom in the name of better sleep
Between brighter mornings, chirping birds and unbeatable allergies, spring can be a tough time to get a good night's sleep. Take the cue and invest in your bedroom this month, whether that means a boss air purifier (we chose our favorites right here) or some blackout curtains built for sleeping in (here are our best picks). Bonus: like a new pair of sneakers helps to get you to the gym in January, investing in some fresh gear could get you excited to hop into bed early at 8:30 every night.
Adopt a plant, and name it
This month is National Garden Month, and a perfect time to expand your plant family at home. Whether this will be your first plant child or fiftieth, the benefits—from aesthetics to air quality—are palpable. (And haven't you heard? People surrounded by plants might live longer.) If you're a black thumb nervous about sacrificing yet another flora to the garden gods, can I suggest a ZZ plant? I don't know why people recommend succulents to new plant owners (I think succulents can be pretty tough to care for) when ZZ plants are out there in the world, thriving on neglect and ready for you to bring home from the nearest hardware store. And yes, you have to name it. Mine are called "Jay Z" and "ZZ Ward."
Spend one weekend doing some Kalsarikannit
ICYMI, Finland was named the happiest country in the world, according to the UN's 2018 World Happiness Report, and we think we might know why. In addition to sustainable income, healthy life expectancy, social support, freedom, trust and generosity — you know, nbd — the Finns enjoy a little something called Kalsarikannit, an untranslatable word that refers to the phenomenon of "drinking home alone in your underwear with no intention of going out for the evening." I'm being tongue-in-cheek of course, but if Kalsarikannit sounds like your idea of a good time, set aside a weekend for some bra-and-beer "me time" and toast the Finns for their vision and vocabulary.
Take the bus to work one day instead of the train
The L.A. County Metro conducted a recent customer survey and found that their bus passengers were happier with the service than their rail passengers. This could certainly be due to unique aspects of L.A. area transit, but some locals are theorizing that bus travel might just better for your soul. Compartmentalized, forward-facing bus seats offer a little more privacy and mental peace than rail seats that force you to share face time with your fellow passengers. And if your rail line is underground, the bus is going to give you a better dose of happy-making sunshine in your commute. Give it a try for one day or one week—keep notes in a journal—and see if your mood improves.