Stereotypical grandmothers probably no longer exist.
But for the sake of this list, think old-school, ‘grew up in the 1930s/40s/50s’ granny - because we could learn a lot from them when it comes to everyday wellbeing.
1. MAKE PHOTO ALBUMS
We take more photos than ever, but it’s so easy to file them away on your laptop or upload them to Instagram, check your ‘likes’ for a few days and then forget about them. Before digital cameras, you had to get your photos printed. Seeing how they turned out was half the fun, then you’d flip through the albums again and again, reliving those moments and - to reference a more millennial happiness-giving ‘rule’ - practising gratitude.
2. HAVE ACTUAL CONVERSATIONS
Sure, smartphones mean we’re all constantly connected, yet rates of loneliness and mental health problems like depression are on the up. Having hundreds of ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ on social media, and being able to text and message people for free, in seconds, doesn’t mean we’re necessarily benefiting from meaningful interaction. Text chat has its place, but don’t overlook the importance of proper chats and meet-ups too.
3. TAKE MORE BATHS
It didn’t actually become common for UK homes to have fitted bathrooms until the 1960s, and even then, many didn’t have showers (gran probably made do with an outside loo and a metal tub they filled by hand). Rationing bathwater aside, a good soak in the tub is an easy way to hit ‘pause’ and let those everyday stresses unravel. Treat your skin to some TLC with some mineral-packed bath salts or oil at the same time. You’ll probably have a much better sleep afterwards, too.
4. EMBRACE HOUSEWORK (SORT OF)
Thankfully, we’ve moved on from the days when women’s destinies didn’t extend far from a mop and bucket. And while we’re all about the shared domestic duties, if we’re honest, sometimes a Saturday morning spent getting the kitchen in order, or sprucing up the lounge, can actually feel pretty rewarding. Maybe it’s because calm environment = calm mind. Maybe it’s because focusing on mindless tasks can be relaxing. Maybe it’s because we just feel more comfortable when we’ve got things under control - even if it is just the washing up.
5. LEARN TO SEW
t’s no longer essential to learn skills like sewing. But while granny probably learned to sew so she could darn socks, patch up trouser tears or rustle up a new summer frock, there’s a reason some people take up sewing as a hobby and swear by it for keeping them sane.
6. BAKE FOR FUN
Same goes for baking. And don’t get hung up on how Instagrammable your lemon drizzle looks or if your Frangipane’s a flop. Hobbies can actually help with managing depression and anxiety, so do it just for the joy.
7. SWITCH OFF THE TV
We’re big fans of a box-set binge and there’s no shame in unwinding in front of Big Bang Theory. But before TVs became a regular fixture, and before it became possible to skim through a bazillion channels all hours of the day, thinking of things to do - and spending less time sitting down - probably came more naturally. Enjoy your TV, but carve out time where you purposefully leave it off, so you can read, get out for a jog or listen to music.