I’ll bet that almost each one of you went into reflection mode in the last week of December, 2016 to take stock of the year gone by and contemplated—maybe even evaluated your lives to see if the year had lived up to your expectations.
I know it is not the same for everyone—Into each life must some rain fall; but it is always good to look within and be honest about the things you’re mad at, the things that made you feel down and annoyed.
Dwelling on the past negative (sounds tense, eh?) for longer than necessary will not serve us in any way. It is best to acknowledge it, look at it only as long as it takes to pick out any worthwhile lessons, and move on. Who knows what 2017 may bring?
Regardless of whether things change in the New Year or not, how about using this as an opportunity to be the change—flip over the sadness and get creative about making things better. You know what they say
“. . . grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference.”
So, how can we create happiness on a regular basis? You know I believe happiness is an inside job, and the longer I live the more convinced I am that it doesn’t really take much to make us happy.
Here are six things I am practising to maintain my happiness quotient, in no particular order. Try one, try two, or try them all.
Less social media
The WWW is the best thing that happened to me and has connected me with some fabulous folks. I’d be the last person to say disconnect from social media. However, it is hard to avoid the noise overload, and this can make us disconnect from our inner selves. I’ve become quite conscious of this and have been practising shutting it out—from my phone, as well. I have been doing the following instead:
- Reading a lot of wonderful books
- Walking regularly
- Spending time with friends and neighbors
No wires attached, but still connected. With life.
Spa day at home
I read an article titled Hot bath beats cycling for lowering blood sugar levels for type 2 diabetics and cannot think of a better way to relax, really. There’s nothing like a leisurely bath to get your life back in perspective—at least I think so. Preceded by an oil massage, it can be absolutely pleasurable. Add your favorite soap, perhaps a scented candle or two, some essential oils and your long warm bath can be just the thing to set the tone for your week/month. If you have a bathtub, cool. I prefer running water. Can’t make the long bath? Soak your feet in lukewarm water besides having a shower. Let the water heal and nurture you. Then give those feet a nice scrub.
Laughter is the best medicine. And you need no prescription! Spend time with your BFFs and funny friends with a good sense of humor or just catch your favorite comedy shows. Talk about crazy stuff and laugh your lungs out! Laugh till those tears roll down your cheeks!
Ditch the chores. Just take a couple of days off where you skip household chores, such as doing the dishes or laundry. Free yourself! For a change, use an online laundry service that offers doorstep service—picks up and drops off your clothes. Or, be like me. Get the spouse to take charge of household chores and laundry for a couple of days while you chill doing what makes you happy! Read, listen to music, dance, write, or just do nothing.
Dress like a star
This is a very important tip, at least for me. I know many people telecommute these days, like I do. I’ve heard some say that one of the benefits of working from home is being able to do it in your PJs. So maybe once in a while that’s okay, but I can endorse that dressing to work, even if it is to the dining table at home, to your “workspace” can make all the difference to your mood, and focus. Wear makeup if you like. Dress smart. Accessorize. Looking good makes you feel much, much better.
Enjoy the present moment
Slow down, once in a while. Take time to smell the flowers. Focus your attention on what you are doing—whether it is eating, reading, having a cup of coffee or just enjoying the sunshine. Take a moment to experience what you are feeling. The warmth of the coffee cup in your hands? The sunshine warming your skin? The texture and flavor of what you are eating? Do it. You will feel calmer and ready to smile.
Yes, there’s exercise, meditation, practising gratitude, call a friend, do something for someone, try something new, sing, and so on and so forth. But hey, nothing like starting with self-care first, no?
Would you agree that these are easy ways to lift your spirits, and raise your happiness levels this year? Can you add to this?
I want to know what you think in the comments. ♥
(Have you joined the December Gratitude Circle? Write your post and add your link: Linky is open here till Jan 15)