Little Things that Transform My Life… - Expat Nest e-counselling

Your Toolkit

Little Things that Transform My Life…

As we enter the last chapter of the year, I wanted to share something with you… Here are some quick and gentle habits that I have found really improve my day and quality of life. Right, let’s get straight to the point…

  1. I start every day with a three-minute session of exercise for my back and neck, using the McKenzie Method, while still in bed. Having some kind of physical movement for your body is crucial for those who work in an office, especially at a computer, and I find this method really works for me.
  2. Each morning I use the “10-finger rule” to count off 10 things I am most grateful for. These can range from basic to expansive and I find it helps to open up the channel of blessings. Find more thoughts on how to experience more gratitude here.
  3. I make my bed every single morning immediately after getting up. I used to get distracted by other things and make the bed later, but my new habit makes me feel that I’ve started my day in a more organised way and that I’ve already achieved something. It’s also an acknowledgement that my environment is important to my health and happiness.
  4. During the day I place a McKenzie roll on my chair to support my back. (This is not a medical opinion or suggestion, by the way, but what works for me.) Sometimes, if I’m experiencing back pain, I’ll carry it with me to wherever I’m going, as it is small and light to carry. The roll helps to improve my posture too, which immediately brings a better quality of life.
  5. I always carry almonds with me, as they’re a perfect, energising and healthy snack. See this article on other helpful tips for taking life day by day…
  6. I try to keep a daily journal, though I’m not always successful. I’m working on this! I find this is a wonderful way to express my emotions and reflect on what has happened in the day. It is also interesting to look back on previous years and see how my life and mindset have (or haven’t) changed.
  7. I keep lots of candles and in my room and also spray fragrance on my bed sheets, pyjamas and clothes. This calms me and lifts my mood. I also try to take regular proper baths – the ones that make you forget time – with candles and magnesium salts (great for muscular pains).


I hope these very do-able acts help make your days more joyful and inspire you to make self-care a priority…


What would you add to this list? What habits create the best possible day for you? Let us know in the comments below… I love to learn from you!

If you like these ideas, subscribe to our newsletter and share this article with someone who’d enjoy these small acts of self-kindness and self-care.

© Vivian Chiona, Expat Nest

Photo: Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay



  1. sybille says:

    Vivian thanks

    I would add:

    – know my values so when I face a decision to make, it’s easier

    sybille in switzerland

    1. Vivian Chiona says:

      Hi Sybille,

      Thanks for your input and indeed this is so important, to be aware of and live a life in line with our values!

      It’s good to have you here ?

      Best wishes


  2. Arulnathan John says:

    Hi Vivian,

    Thanks for this lovely and enlightening post. Other things I do to brighten up my day are:

    !1. Do my best to think the best about others, not the worst;

    2. When things are bad, remember that the bad times, like the good, will pass and better times will come;

    3. Sing inspiring songs or hum tunes or watch inspiring YouTube videos;

    4. Pray and meditate

    5. Be grateful even for the bad and tough times because they strengthen me and make me better, not bitter

    Best wishes

    Arulnathan John

    1. Vivian Chiona says:

      Hi John,

      Thank you so much for your valuable input!

      Thousands of readers visit our blog and I am sure they will benefit from these nuggets of wisdom and inspiration you just shared with us.

      Best wishes


  3. Jim says:

    Hi Vivian,

    Some morning meditation really helps. And a hug from my daughter (7 y/o) in the morning is a huge stress reliever and puts everything in perspective. Almonds are good too.

    1. Vivian Chiona says:

      Thanks Jim and indeed a hug from a child is a huge stress reliever and a big source of happiness ? Keep bringing more joy your life.

      So good to read your comment and to have you in the Expat Nest community; thank you!


  4. Bhawana says:

    Thank you Vivian for wonderful tips. I would add three-minute session of exercise back and neck. Best wishes to expatnest.

    1. Vivian Chiona says:

      Dear Bhawana,

      Thanks for your comment and all your kind words here and in several social platforms. It is such a pleasure to have your here and your continued support to Expat Nest is highly appreciated.

      Take care


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

—— Discover more


Related Articles

—— Subscribe to our newsletter

Inspiring & Supportive Info  

Straight to Your Inbox

Hello, my email is