The snow is melted. The litter is slowly being cleaned up. The grass is growing and turning green. The warm air is blowing through your hair. The sun in shining. The winter blues are gone and spring is finally here!
It’s amazing how much impact the little things can have on your overall mental health. I never quite understood when my family would tell me that winter makes people depressed. But, as I grow older, I can see this affecting my own life.
But even when the sun is shining, there are days when it’s hard to stay positive. I am a pretty optimistic person. So, these days don’t come often for me and, when they do, they’re usually sparked by something out of my control. I want to share my insights on how to be happy.
You likely already know of some ways to relieve stress and you might find yourself overlooking them, claiming they’re not important. For example, daily exercise, smiling, and helping others. Yawn. Of course these will make you happier. But you don’t always have the energy to get these things done.
There’s 3 basic steps to live an all around happy life. Once you nail these, you can move on to setting goals and volunteering.
1. Simplify your life.
It’s easier said than done. Today’s standards of living swirl our schedules like a spinning top and leave us running around to catch up to them. From the moment you get up in the morning to the moment you go to sleep, the only downtime you get is your lunch break, and even then, your mind is still spinning in dizziness of the chaos that is your life.
How to enjoy the mandatory adult responsibilities
Much of the things we do on a daily basis are required of being a responsible adult (I know, it sucks) and are unavoidable. These things include earning an income to support yourself and your family or shopping for foods to provide you and your family the best nourishment. However, there are ways to manipulate these things in order to get the most out of your life.
It’s long been known that in order to keep the perfect work/life balance, you need to leave work at the office. That’s easier said than done. Especially for certain professions, levels of job seniority, and personality types.
Managers often have the power to delegate their tasks to those under them, allowing their schedule to be as free as they desire. On the contrary, entry-level workers must work hard to prove their dedication to their career. On the other hand, some people simply have entrepreneurial personalities and don’t find work exhausting, but rather, thrilling and motivating, and therefore don’t want to put it down.
When you’re at work, make a plan for your day. Set goals to accomplish each day and check them off your list when you’ve completed them. This will allow you to budget an appropriate amount of time for tasks eliminating the feeling of pressure hanging over your head throughout the day and potentially while your at home as well. If you don’t have time for something that day, you can do it first thing the next day. Just make sure you leave extra time in the morning for catch-up. Turn off when you leave work. No ifs, ands, or buts (unless you’re an on-call doctor… please don’t ignore your pager in that case).
How to enjoy the not-so-lovely duties of life
As for the rest of your life, write down a list of everything you do in a day. Then star the things that you don’t enjoy doing. Dig deep and determine a way you can make these tasks more enjoyable, easier, or get them done faster. Ask for help if you have to.
For example, I hate rushing in the mornings. Specifically, I hate packing my lunch last minute in the morning. But, at the same time, I’m too lazy to take the time to make a lunch the night before. I don’t want to waste my money (and my health) on fast food, so what can I do? I started making extra food during dinner and packing the leftovers in a Tupperware container for lunch the next day. I found that not only is this easier and faster, my lunches are [hot] more delicious than a lousy sandwich.
Another example: I hate showering in the morning because it takes too much time. I like to sleep in until the very last second. The thought of showering in the morning makes me dread waking up. I find it easier to get up in the morning if I know that step is eliminated. So, instead, I shower the night before. This way, my hair is dry by the time morning comes around and all I have to do is decide how to wear it (along with the rest of my morning beauty routine).
What about the rest?
But that’s not it. The things that immediately affect your daily life are very important, yes, but so are the things that don’t. For example:
Health insurance is something most Canadians don’t need to worry about.
Although being healthy is basically a Canadian right, surprisingly, only 84.5% of Canadians have a doctor. There always seems to be a shortage of Doctors in comparison to Canadians. Luckily, the ER of hospitals and clinics offer services similar to family doctors so no Canadian is left in the dark.
“While Canadians are guaranteed access to hospital and physician services, it is up to each province to decide whether to cover “supplementary” benefits, like dental care and drug coverage. About two-thirds of Canadians take out private, supplemental insurance policies (or have an employer-sponsored plan) to cover these services.” – Sarah Kliff, Washington Post
Many Canadians do not have dental and drug coverage through employment and are left either fending for themselves or sourcing third-party insurance companies for help. Unfortunately, with the decrease in full-time jobs, increase in part-time job, and continued shaky Canadian business economy, many of us don’t have varied options.
Knock on wood, I have not yet had any medical or dental health scares where I may need insurance coverage as security. However, as Oscar says, “You never know”.
I wish Canada had a health insurance company like Oscar. They just get it. They made health insurance easy to understand and simple to use. Not only that, they went one step further and made it easier for their clients to stay healthy. They married insurance and technology, bringing health care into the 21st century. They made your health accessible from your fingertips, allowing you to be consistently confident in your simple, healthy life.
“Tell us your symptoms to get started. You can shop for a doctor and pick one you like. Or just click to talk with a doctor right away. Then see all your visits, prescriptions, and lab work in an intuitive timeline. We keep track of your care so you don’t have to.”
That’s right. A directory of health care professionals readily available to answer your health questions and concerns. No more Googling your symptoms only to be told you probably have cancer.
They’re dedicated to your health, so much so that they’ll pay you to reach your health goals.
“Stay in shape with a free Misfit Flash fitness tracker. Sync with the Oscar app to count your steps and earn $1 when you hit your daily goal. We’ll personalize your goal to keep you moving. You can get up to $240 each year just for being active.”
Where art thou, Oscar?
Why didn’t a Canadian think of this? I’m waiting, Oscar, for you to travel to Canada. Or to at least make friends in Canada. Please hurry. More and more Canadians need you with every day that passes.
If you’re lucky enough to be located in the United States and are interested in Oscar health insurance, you should definitely check them out.
Make your plan to simplify your life
Long story short, dental and drug coverage, and other insurance industries like life, health, home, and auto, are things that most Canadians push to the side to deal with later. But when will later actually arrive? When will you deal with the complex issues in your life and simplify them? Not until then, will you live a simple, happy life.
So, take a good look at your life. Where do you need to make changes, both big and small, immediate and distant? Make your list and check something off that list!
Oh, and if you know of a dental, drug, or insurance company as cool as Oscar, available in Canada, holla!