Life is hard and can be quite disappointing at times. Whether it’s because of work, family, friends, or just politics that’s getting you upset, it’s best to find a few things you can always rely on to get you through it.
I get stressed very easily, and I do tend to get angry often when anything inconvenient or annoying happens. Over the last few years, I have tried to manage my stress and anger more by finding things that can always make me happy. Whether it immediately puts a smile on my face, or just calms me down enough to take a few deep breaths, these ten things below have always helped me in one way or another.
Obviously I had to include this on the list because science says so. The endorphins that are released into your body when working out are scientifically proven to improve your mood. If you struggle with depression, low self-esteem, or anything mood altering, you should definitely be working out regularly. It could mean taking a long walk, doing gentle yoga, or completely smashing it in the gym.
For me, working out makes me happy once I’m done because I feel proud of myself. And the more workouts I get in during the week, the happier I feel. I have more energy, I sleep better, I’m a lot less moody, and I gain more confidence in myself. Making the first step is difficult – believe me, I know – but the pay off is incredible.
A Good Cup of Coffee
I don’t know what it is but whenever I have a fantastic cup of coffee, I am always feeling happy and warm inside. Maybe it’s the caffeine and the hot temperature, but whatever it is, it’s a small bit of my day where I truly feel happy. We have a Nespresso machine at home and can have some decent cups of coffee. But if I’m being serious, I can always count on Pret A Manger’s Soya Americano to really get my spirits up. It’s actually my favourite coffee I’ve ever had anywhere, including Starbucks.
Cooking or Baking
I hadn’t realised until recently how much I am in the kitchen. I love researching new recipes and trying them out. I love planning out our meals for the week. I genuinely love to eat.
When I have enough time, I thoroughly enjoy cooking and baking. I have a tendency to get bitter about it when I’m busy because it leaves very little time for me to relax on weeknights. But when I set aside some time, I really do love making food, it can be quite therapeutic.
I think I picked this up from my mom as she always made us home cooked meals every night of the week when we were kids. I just can’t imagine living off of ready made meals and takeaways. Don’t get me wrong, I get lazy and we have our fair share of ready meals and takeaways, but for the most part, I like to make sure we’re having home cooked meals.
A Bit of Self-Care
Generally, I am pretty good at keeping up with my self-care routine. Although the last few months of 2018, I got really lazy – pretty much in all aspects of my life.
Every once in a while, I love to have my own spa day. I run a bath, do a face mask, exfoliate my skin, put on oils, do a hair mask, or give myself a manicure and/or pedicure.
On the daily, I love having a cup of tea every night in the winter, using roll-on essential oils, and making sure the diffuser is going. And of course, meditating always leaves me feeling calm and at peace.
Having a proper self-care routine makes me value myself more and in turn leaves me feeling happier about my life. I feel like I have my shit together. I genuinely think if we all take a little more time to pamper ourselves more, our confidence and self-esteem will improve.
Now this has been the one thing I will come to no matter what is going on in my life that will always put a smile on my face. I have probably seen these episodes hundreds of times in my life. I have the lines memorised and yet they still make me laugh like it’s my first time watching them.
Back when I was in high school, I would come home every day and watch one or two episodes of Friends before starting my homework. It was my way to decompress by getting lost in my favourite show and laugh through the stressful high school drama. When I went to college, I watched Friends every single night without fail. Now, even 9 years later, I still fall asleep to it every night that we’re in our flat.
It’s turned into this insanely comforting thing for me. If I’m really feeling down, D will know to put on Friends. There has only been one or two times in my life that Friends has not immediately improved my mood. It is the one thing I can always count on to make me smile.
Spending Time With Friends or Family
Sometimes what you really need is a big hug from your momma. Or just spending time with your family in general. It can be an incredibly comforting thing. I personally love spending time with my mom and dad, I always have. They’re fun to be around and we get along really well. And my mom gives some pretty good hugs.
However, there are times when you just need to hang out with your friends. I am incredibly lucky that I have two amazing girls in my life who I can truly count on for anything. Spending time with those two makes my heart and soul feel so full of love. They are my squad.
And of course, I could never forget my fiance. It’s very rare we go a day without laughing with, or at, each other. That is how we fell in love after all, and how we stay in love, and how everyone seems to know us. D makes every single day better just by being next to him. I guess that’s what it’s like when you’ve fall in love with a person. I’m a lucky girl to have a guy who acts like a complete goon just to get a laugh out of me. Not to mention, his hugs make me feel the safest I’ve ever been.
I’ve been a writer for a long time now and the last few years I have been able to use it to my advantage. When I am really upset or emotional about something, I get my computer out and write. Eventually, I’ll delete it because it’s only about getting my feelings out no matter how irrational they may be. It really can be such a relief. Sometimes you just need that personal time to let your feelings out.
And even when I’m not emotional, I still love writing, hence why I started this blog. I love being able to write a piece of content that you guys love and can resonate with. It brings me so much joy to write all the words.
Having Some Alone Time
As an extrovert for the most part, I do love being social. But as I’ve gotten older, I find myself loving my alone time more and more. I lived on my own for two years before moving to the UK and in a flat with D. And I am so thankful I had those few years, and the finances, to manage that. I absolutely loved it. I loved having my own space and being able to decorate my apartment exactly how I wanted it. It was an incredible time in my life.
Nowadays, it’s a hard thing to come by for either of us to get the flat on our own. But every once in awhile, D has a lads night and I get to snuggle on the couch, order a takeaway, have a spa night, or do whatever I want all by myself.
I am able to recharge myself. Sometimes you need to be selfish and only think about yourself. Make decisions based solely on what you want and need that moment in time. I strongly believe everyone needs that to feel like themselves again.
Getting Lost in a Good Book
I’ve been a reader since I was 3 years old. That is how old I was when I asked my mom to teach me how to read, and I’ve loved it ever since. I love being able to find a good story and getting lost in it.
I know some of you aren’t book lovers, so it’s kind of similar to getting lost in a movie or a TV show, but still very different. Somehow, it’s more personal and intriguing. Reading a good book makes you feel invincible. Which reminds me that I should set aside some time this weekend to finish that book I’ve been reading.
In all honesty, I could have just listed this one and been done with it.
Even if it’s only for a second, a laugh will always make you happy. They say that even if you force yourself to smile, it will make you feel happy. Just like if you force yourself to frown, you make yourself feel sad.
So if you can force yourself to laugh, then you’re really gonna be flying high. Hence why I turn on Friends when I’m feeling sad and it immediately makes me happier, or why I ask Den to do a funny walk so I can laugh at whatever he comes up with.
After all, laughter is the best medicine.
Whether or not you were here to get inspiration, I hope you can throw together a list of your own of things that can always make you happy. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, get out a piece of paper and write down 5 things you know you can count on to put a smile on your face. Next time you have a bad day or week, remember that list and do something that will make you feel good.