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Quality of life isn’t a fixed concept. Having good quality of life will look different for every single person because we all have different priorities and want different things.
But whatever your idea of it is, if you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for ways to improve your quality of life. And there are plenty of ways to do just that.
Pick and choose from the tips below and take away the advice that really resonates with you.
But first, what actually is quality of life?
In broad terms, having good quality of life is about being able to enjoy the world around you.
It’s about having enough money to support your lifestyle (however humble that lifestyle might be) and having the time to enjoy your surroundings in the company of people you love.
You might be the richest person in the world but have a far lower quality of life than someone on minimum wage if all you do is work and worry, rather than taking the time to actually enjoy the little things in life.
It’s about enjoying your day-to-day life, without worrying about the past or the future.
21 tips to improve your quality of life:
If you think your quality of life could do with some improvement, here are some tips for making that happen.
1. Spend some time in nature.
The fact that many of us live our lives so disconnected from the natural world is, in fact, unnatural.
We’re animals, and we evolved on the African plains. We’re not designed to live in the concrete jungles that are our towns and cities.
So do yourself a favor and reconnect with the natural world. Get out into a green space. Feel the grass between your toes. Hug a tree. Go for a walk. Lie on a blanket with a book.
Just switch off from the hectic modern world completely and immerse yourself in all things natural.
2. Be social, but respect your own boundaries.
Some of us need more social time than others, and social interaction can be overwhelming for lots of people.
But try to spend as much time as you can with your best friends and family. Quality time with the people you value the most is great medicine for the soul.
On the other hand, don’t feel pressured to be social just for the sake of being social.
It can also be a huge boost to your quality of life to say no. If you’d rather stay in with a movie than go to that party you’ve been invited to, then just say no.
Be true to yourself, and use your social energy on the people you care most about.
3. Call someone you love.
You might not be able to see all the people that are important to you in person, but you can still call them.
Call the person that always puts a huge smile on your face but you don’t talk to enough. Sure, message others to keep in touch, but don’t underestimate how much better it is to call or video call someone.
Life is all about connections, so work on your connection with the most important people in your life, and it’s bound to make you happier.
4. Find or develop a hobby you love.
Is there a hobby you love but feel like you never have time for? You need to make the time for it. Carve that time out. Prioritize it.
Or have you never even found the time to discover what your passion is in the first place? Start exploring what it might be. Try lots of different things. Learn a new skill.
Having an interest and a passion outside work and family life is beneficial in so many ways.
5. Prioritize good quality sleep.
Being well-rested is one of the most important things for having good quality of life. It’s vital for your physical and mental health.
If you don’t get enough sleep, you won’t have the energy to sustain active, productive days.
Sleep also regulates the hormones that are connected to your mood and keep you balanced, so a lack of sleep can lead to mood swings or irritableness.
6. Focus on a healthy, balanced diet.
Alongside sleep, your diet is one of the most fundamental aspects of good quality of life. You really are what you eat, and you need high quality fuel if you want to feel your best.
If you don’t feel good in yourself, then it’s really hard to enjoy life.
A good diet is brimming with fresh fruit and vegetables and contains minimal processed foods.
7. But don’t deprive yourself.
On the other hand, being too strict with your diet can take you too far the other way.
Enjoying good food, delicious treats, and giving into your cravings now and then will boost your quality of life hugely.
Small things like going to your favorite restaurant or cooking yourself a special breakfast can be really boost your mood.
As with many things in life, maintaining a healthy balance is key.
8. Drink enough water.
Very few of us drink as much water as we should, but it’s so important for your health and proper functioning of your body.
So, make sure you always have a reusable water bottle with you and take sips throughout the day.
9. Get some sun.
Our bodies need vitamin D, and the best source of that is direct sunlight. So make sure you spend some time outside every day, even if it’s cloudy, but definitely if it’s sunny.
And, let’s face it, what’s not to love about getting out in the sunshine? It can ease your worries and ground you in the present moment.
10. Move your body, every day.
Exercising improves blood flow and makes you feel more energetic. It makes you feel better in your mind and body. Strengthening your muscles means that you’ll find going about your daily life less of an effort.
If your job is sedentary, you need to prioritize exercise even more. Something as simple as a morning walk can make all the difference to your health and state of mind.
But if you can, a proper heart-pumping workout is the best way to really get those endorphins flowing.
11. Go easy on the alcohol.
Enjoying a drink or two here and there on a special occasion or just as a treat can be a boost to your quality of life.
But everything needs to be in moderation. Perhaps try only drinking one or two times a week.
Giving yourself some time off alcohol will help you realize how much of a toll drinking can take on you physically and mentally, and help you develop a healthier relationship with it.
12. Live in the moment.
There’s absolutely no point in dwelling on things that happened in the past or worrying about how things might go in the future.
Be present in the moment. Live life with all your senses and revel in what you’re experiencing. You never get to live a day over again, so focus on the here and now.
If you struggle to live in the moment, try meditation.
Do a guided meditation or just sit for 10 minutes and listen to the sounds around you and watch your thoughts float on by.
Meditation is a great way to ease your stress and worries which inevitably enhances your quality of life.
14. Plan your time.
Sticking too rigidly too a plan or trying to squeeze too much in can be a negative, but planning your time out sensibly can help you feel less overwhelmed by your to-do list and more in control.
Structure and routine may not sound like good ways to promote a good quality of life, but they are preferable to the stress of a chaotic existence.
Just don’t forget to plan in some downtime too.
15. Transform your living space.
We spend a lot of time in our homes. Making them as nice as possible can make a huge difference to our quality of life. And it doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. You might just need a bit of creativity.
But before you get the paintbrushes out, start by decluttering. Organize your things and donate the unnecessary stuff that’s weighing you down.
Go all Mari Kondo on your home, and you’ll feel all the lighter for it.
16. Move house.
This isn’t going to be a possibility for everyone and is a big ask, but if you don’t feel happy in your home, see if you can move to somewhere you feel better.
You might decide that somewhere with more light, a little more space, a garden, or surrounded by green space would increase the quality of the life you lead. And making that happen might not be as expensive as you think.
17. Practice gratitude.
You might not even need to change anything about your life to enjoy a better quality of life.
It might just be a matter of changing your perspective.
Make a list of everything you’re thankful for in your life. Or a mini-list of things you’re thankful for at the end of each day.
Get together with your friends for a giggle. Watch a funny movie or listen to a comedy podcast. Book tickets to a stand-up night.
Laughing can lower your stress levels and strengthen your immune system, so the power of laughter should never be underrated.
19. Get away.
If you can, plan a weekend away or even a day trip close by. A change of scene can give a huge boost, and discovering new places is a great stimulant for the mind.
Just be careful you don’t end up resentful of your day-to-day life and just wishing the hours away until your next break.
20. Be true to yourself.
You’ll never be truly happy or at ease until you start being true to yourself without worrying about other people’s opinions.
Listen to your gut on this one – if something doesn’t feel right for you, don’t do it. Don’t bow to peer pressure or let yourself be manipulated in other ways.
Social media is terrible for comparisonitis, so spending less time on those platforms can go a long way toward improving your quality of life.
Live life on your terms without worrying about how everyone else has decided to live theirs.