16 Little Ways to Be Happier

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Man, has it been a stressful week. I ended up having to cancel two self-care appointments for various reasons and it turned out I really needed that time for myself.

When things get crazy, it’s really hard to find ways to stay happy and healthy. In an ideal world, we’d be able to balance all the facets of our lives while remembering to do little things for ourselves. But that’s much easier said than done! I don’t know about how you operate, but I tend to go all out for other people’s needs before I can even begin to focus on my own. As such, self-care and having fun often takes a back seat. Which is not good for my health.

So this week, I thought it was important to remind myself of some of the things that make me happy. I believe that even trying little things here and there can all add up to make us happier people. Below are 16 things you can try that might give you a little spark of joy in your daily life.

  1. Carry a book you enjoy around with you in your free time. Or, if you’re not the reading type, a book of crossword puzzles, or Sudoku, or even a magazine; just something that if you find yourself waiting around, you’ll have something enjoyable to do. I always keep a book in my car so that anytime I have a break and I need an escape from the world, I have an outlet nearby.
  2. Be the first person to jump in the lake. Or to arrive at the party, or whatever. Don’t hold yourself back because of worries about being the first to do something.
  3. Go see a movie by yourself and splurge on your own popcorn. It’s so relaxing to go see a movie by yourself. Just try it sometime.
  4.  Go out on a walk at late at night. In a safe place of course, with possible back-up and pepper spray. But walking at night when the world is quiet can be therapeutic and allow you to sort through all your thoughts.
  5. Travel! Traveling won’t only give you fun stories to tell, it also gives you a sense of how much bigger the world really is and how much you don’t know. I’ve honestly never regretted a single vacation. 
  6. Watch a documentary. Some, like Food Inc. and Super-Size Me are quite informative. Others, like Blackfish, get you thinking. In any case, there’s a lot of good ones out there worth seeing.
  7. Take an object in your household and find a creative way to use it for something else. Then brag about your invention to others. Mine was using an antique meat tenderizer to mash bananas for some banana bread. Was it the smartest option? Nope. Did I look like an idiot? Of course. Was it fun though? Oh yes.
  8. Offer a stranger a compliment. 
  9. Discover an artist or a band. Browse, browse, browse and see if you can find something you like. Then share!
  10. Put aside a small amount of cash weekly. Then at the end of a few months or so, use it to do something fun!
  11. Become crazy good at cooking one specific dish and then take that dish to every consecutive shindig you’re invited to, thus becoming instantly famous for that dish among your friend group. Because who doesn’t want someone who’s known for bringing good food to be there? My claims to fame are buffalo chicken dip and homemade cheesecakes.
  12. Take a nap at a weird time of day. Like 11AM. Or 7 in the evening. Just to shake things up. 
  13. Wear glasses randomly. If you don’t usually wear glasses. Or, if you always wear glasses, try taking them off right in the middle of talking to someone, because for some reason, that always seems to freak people out. “Aghhh! You look so weird without glasses!” Umm, thank you?
  14. Volunteer. Doing something you enjoy will make it not feel like work; doing something for the community or another person makes it even better. If you don’t enjoy it, you’ll just feel like it’s your weekly martyr session. But if you do, you’ll take actual pride in it. And when you tell others about your experiences, you’ll speak with SO much more expression. And expression is always interesting!
  15. Go on a drive along a scenic route. Blast your favorite music and say goodbye to the world for a while.
  16. Accept your quirks! Flaunt them, even. Because when you get down to it, funny people who are being themselves make you smile. They sub-consciously allow you to be yourself too. Accepting your quirks allows for positive relationships like that to pop up. 

What little things do you do for fun that make you happier? Share your ideas below!

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