Generally, I'm a pretty happy person. It takes a lot for someone to get under my skin, and my outlook is generally optimistic. Recently, though, I've felt "off" and a little more anxious than usual. I think it's normal to get in these kind of funks, but embracing a few life changes definitely helps. Here's what's helped me lately:
1. Embrace your weaknesses
Every day, I'd tell myself that I'd exercise after work. But after a long day, all I wanted to do was make dinner and veg out. To combat this, I've started waking up early a few days a week to go to the gym. It's tough to wake up motivated, but I feel so much more energized and accomplished afterwards.
2. Take care of yourself
For me, that means trying to eat (relatively) healthy, drinking enough water and getting 8 hours of sleep. I notice all the difference when I take 10 more minutes in the morning to do my hair or pick out a cute outfit (Red lips are a confidence booster, y'all!).
3. Disconnect + Reconnect
I'll be the first to tell you that I have an addiction to social media and technology. And I think we're all guilty of that on some level. I've been making more of a concerted effort to dial it back and be present when I'm with another person. There's nothing worse than having dinner with someone when they're on their phone (#guilty). Foster in-person relationships rather than Facebook ones.
4. Use a planner
I have an actual, old school planner that I write down my to-do lists, plans and appointments in. It's my lifeline and I don't go anywhere without it.
5. Find your 3 passions
One that makes you money, one that keeps you healthy, and one that challenges you creatively.
6. Take some time off
Use your vacation days. Even if you don't have the time or money to go to Europe, take a staycation. Watch Netflix in your bed all day or go to a coffee shop and read. Whatever. Just take time to relax.
7. Embrace rituals and routines
I've always been obsessed with baths. Whenever I'm sick or stressed, I always turn to hot water to heal me. I run a bath, put my phone in the other room, grab a magazine, pour yourself a glass of wine, light some candles and just relax in the hot water. Seriously, it's heaven on earth.
8. Do something by yourself
My Saturdays consist of treating myself to brunch, browsing the farmer's market, and sitting in a coffee shop with a good book. When I was single, I went everywhere (and did everything) by myself. And I absolutely loved it. Why? Because you can do what you love without having to worry if the other person is enjoying themselves. I'm trying to re-embrace that attitude and get back to doing the things I enjoy on a regular basis.
9. Clear the clutter
This one is so tough for me, because I'm not a particularly clean person by nature. I'm not dirty, but I'm messy. Clothes tend to pile up on my floors and dog toys are scattered all over the place. I like to think it's an organized mess, but it's really not. Lately, I've been setting a 15-minute timer each day and cleaning up. It's amazing how just a few minutes a day has changed my living situation (and state of mind) for the better.
10. Splurge (a little)
I have a friend who buys fresh flowers for her apartment every week because she says that they make her happy when she looks at them. Another friend subscribes to Birchbox because she looks forward to the surprise beauty products each month. For me, it's #7 on this list. Find a little thing that makes you happy and stick with it.
What are your rules for happiness?