I’ve written a bit about where happiness comes from and how it’s okay to not be okay. Life is a beautiful gift full of self-discovery and exploration, but it can also be challenging and confusing, especially for my generation of hard workers who want to feel purposeful and fulfilled.
Anyone else out there relate? *raises hand*
I’ve come up with a list of inexpensive (mostly FREE) ways to boost your happiness that I want to share. They work for me, and I think they could really work for you too.
There is so much to be said about emotional eating and how it’s a big, fat no-no, but sometimes when you’re having a rough day, all you want is a damn brownie. So get it.
When I’m feeling like I’ve had a particularly stressful day, I don’t hesitate to indulge in a guilty pleasure, which, for me, is always something sweet. I’ll whip up a batch of brownies and won’t even think twice about having one or two or ten. Are you a salty person? Grab your favorite bag of chips. Savory? Eat gravy (jk, please don’t eat just gravy).
Is it just me or can lighting a really good candle elevate your mood in seconds? I’m a budgeter and an under-buyer to my core, but I love a good candle. You can get one for less than $12, which is two lattes from Starbucks or one of those really freaky unicorn frappucinos that everyone is obsessed with.
Sometimes when I’m stressed with work, I’ll light a candle and take a few moments to just breathe in the scent (my favorites are eucalyptus or peony) and focus on my breath and mind. I know how hippie/yoga that sounds, but if this makes me a hippie yogi then bring on the patchouli and namaste.
I think the importance of friends and close family is that these are people that just get you. Know what I mean? They’ve been in your life for awhile, know how you operate, and when you need a pick-me-up, they know just the ticket.
For some reason, phone calls are no longer a thing, but I’m here to tell you that you need to make them a thing. If you’re having a rough day and feeling down in the dumps, pick up your phone and call your mom. Talk to her. Ask how she’s doing, what she’s doing, and ask her for some advice. Are you driving home from work and feeling a little agitated? Call up one of your best friends who never fails to make you laugh and make your commute enjoyable.
It’s amazing what a quick phone call or outing with a friend can do for your soul. It reminds you that you’re loved and you have a support system (near or far for us military peeps), and you’re not alone in your worries or struggles. Human beings need connection. Go connect.
Though everyone is fighting their own battles that we oftentimes know nothing about, a large component of our struggle is in our mind, and sometimes that’s the hardest hurdle to bypass.
Reinvigorating your mind through things that excite you is incredibly important to making it through your battles.
What excites you? Reading? Writing? Going to see a play or a concert? Running? Lifting heavy weights? Doing pilates? Listening to podcasts? Debates? Simply getting outside for some sunshine and fresh air? Do it, and do it often.
Does your unhappiness stem from being on the go all of the time? Perhaps you have a long commute to work, spend your day running around the office and talking to a lot of people, working through your lunch break, and trying not to work too late? You need to recharge.
Set aside thirty minutes every single day for you. Don’t have time for thirty? Try twenty. You have twenty minutes.
Take a relaxing bubble bath. Sit in complete silence. Get in a little exercise. Read your favorite blogs. Make an extravagant dinner. Do something just for you and you alone.
You can’t possibly regain control of your life and happiness when you’re literally busy living for everyone else but you.
You are your main source of light. It all starts with you.