The word “hack” has become ubiquitous in our modern tongue. I used to know the word as the way by which some genius techie could break into a computer system, but these days, its informal definition generally applies, that being “
2. Use a wardrobe capsule.
I did not know that a “wardrobe capsule” was actually a thing, but as it turns out, it is. What in tarnation is a wardrobe capsule? Basically, it is a small collection of clothes that you can mix and match to wear every day. Why would you or anyone do this? It overcomes two real challenges. First, it eliminates the decision fatigue that comes with deciding what to wear. You can quickly grab any combination of clothes, and they will instantly work together. Secondly, a capsule still allows you to have some variation in what you wear, as opposed to wearing a boring suit or the same thing every day.
For myself, I use a wardrobe capsule for school, and I have gone monochromatic with the color blue. I have a couple of blue slacks, a pair of grey ones (because it is a great neutral that works well with blue), navy blue genes, and various button-down shirts that have the color blue in them in some shape or pattern. All of these items can be mixed and matched in any combination and still look great. Sometimes I throw in a red jacket or green sweater, but otherwise, I have no decision fatigue and do not look like a clone of myself from the day before. This works for me.
3. Drink a lot of water.
I try to drink a ton of water every day. There is the general rule that the average person should drink 8 glasses a day. My only problem with this is that I tend to lose count. I have decided instead to just make sure I drink a lot of water throughout the day. I drink a glass in the morning after I wake up, and then make sure I do so again every couple of hours and with every meal. I also drink a glass before I go to sleep. Why do I do this? First of all, it keeps my energy level up, and I feel less fatigued throughout the day. Secondly, and to be blunt, it helps with regularity. Constipation is no fun for anyone, and drinking enough water keeps everything flowing quite nicely. Lastly, I do not mind that this makes me have to urinate more frequently. I take that time to take a deep breath and a quick mental break. I could always use plenty of those.
4. Do all things gently.
This is a new habit I have been toying with lately. I’ve taken a cue from my piano playing. For the most part, the action of my hands as they press down on each key works best when I stay relaxed and nimble. This gentleness not only produces a consistent and even tone, but it also reduces strain on my fingers and joints. I got to thinking what if I applied this to everything I do?
Whenever I lift anything, be it a spoon or a small box, do it gently. When I push a door open or hold something up, do it gently. When I grip something with my hand, like a steering wheel or glass of water, do it gently. Walk gently. Run gently. Eat gently. This sounds easy, but for me, it requires a good bit of mindfulness to overcome a lifetime of needless overexertion.
Of course, there are times when you should exert yourself more like in the gym or in an emergency, but otherwise, why should we? I am hoping that the decrease in the amount of pressure I apply in all things will alleviate joint and muscle pains. I need to do more research on this, but I am certainly enjoying the more relaxed flow that this invites. Besides, mindfulness is a good practice to pursue, and this happens to be a great way to do it.
5. Consciously be thankful for something every day.
In 2015, I embarked on a year of thankfulness on social media. Every day, I posted a statement about something I was thankful for. As the year progressed, I noticed a very simple change in my life. I started to feel happier. I found myself having a pleasant mood and much less stress. Little things that used to bother me stopped being so annoying. I began to feel better about myself and my life.
One thing I realized about being thankful is that it is essentially an affirmation, a very positive, life-enriching one. Energetically, the conscious outpouring of thankfulness into your life and surroundings will ultimately create more personal satisfaction in all you do.
My gratitude taught me to embrace all that I have and to trust the talents and gifts I have been given. When you cherish everything, you take nothing for granted. When you value your life, you value yourself. These days, I carry a small weekly calendar in my school bag and write something for which I am grateful every day.
From the time I started to be consistently and outwardly thankful two years ago to today, my life has changed dramatically and for the best. I am happier. I have more love in my life, and I am doing more of what I love to do.
If I could recommend one life hack above all others, it is thankfulness. Do it every day. Make it known or document it somehow. Thank me later.
So, go ahead. Hack away. Make your life easier. These are among my favorite life hacks. What are yours?