So this is totally different than what I typically like to write about, but because my free-time blog is read by approximately 5 people I have the right to write. Right? Right.
The beginning of this month was such a ridiculous way to start a new year. RI. DIC. U. LOUS. Between people dying in my apartment complex, me driving my little baby tib into a ditch, and the other multiple stresses of being a 23-year-old teacher trying to save the world, I was ready to give up on 2015 just 21 days in. However now that we’re 29 days in, I can honestly say I’m beginning to feel happier than I’ve been in a while.
Here’s 6 ways I turned my month (and year) around:
1. Physical activity. If you know me, you know that I am a leach to all my family and friends’ stress. Lately I’ve noticed that I’ve been carrying other people’s stress, opinions, and negativities closer to my heart than they do. I felt like I was on the fast track to a downward spiral and I needed something to focus on. So in short, go to the gym because YOU choose to go to the gym, not because you want to lose weight or because all your friends look better than you in a crop-top. Go to the gym because you want to, and it’ll make it so much more enjoyable. You know what else makes it enjoyable? A cute water cup, and kettleballs. I ♡ my kettleball workout days.
2. Splurge. Seriously. I live on my own, I pay my own bills (mostly), and I’m attempting to save for a new car this Spring. However, the occasional splurge is so worth it. This month I treated myself to a new shower curtain and new flats. Easy peasy.
3. Eat really yummy (and mostly healthy) food. Right now I am currently so obsessed with Mariano’s organic smoothies. They make me want to dance around in circles to the beat of their blending. I grab one 3 times a week to indulge in during my drive to my gym. It’s awesome. Take a look at their menu and go try one.
It’s also important to indulge in just yumminess. My other current obsession is DOC Wine Bar. Butcher block appetizers filled with cheese, prosciutto, jam, and bruschetta? My mouth is watering just typing about it.
4. Pamper yourself. And yes, this is different than splurging. Do something a few times a week for yourself that makes you feel good. On Monday I went for a quick 10 minute tanning session. On Tuesday I had an amazing wax session. On Wednesday I spent the evening with my wonderful boyfriend making hummus wraps and watching Breaking Bad, and tonight I’ll be wrapping my crazy curls in a coconut oil hair mask. Take care of YOU.
5. Exhale your stress. Literally. For the past 8 days I’ve been taking 5 minutes before bed to assume (what probably looks hilarious) my best imitation of a meditation pose. The first few days I simply counted my breathing. In, 2, 3, 4 and out, 2, 3, 4. Now I just let every stress roll off my shoulders before I lay my head down. This is definitely one I’m going to have to keep working on, but it still makes going to sleep much easier.
6. Let it go. *Cue Frozen soundtrack here.* Again, another one that I’m going to have to continue to work on, but I’m making progress. This is, again, something YOU have to choose to do. If you know me, you know I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. I flinch at the mention of someone being unhappy, I cringe when someone raises their voice, and you can probz find me in tears if I catch wind of me upsetting someone. I suppose this is why I’m a good counselor for my students. It’s so very important to realize that your happiness is such a priority. I used to firmly believe that my happiness was dependent on my friends and family’s happiness, and it still is to a certain extent. However, choosing to be happy and choosing to beat to your drum has been a very hard choice for me and I finally feel like I’m making progress here.
Okay, those were my very simple 6 ways that helped me find my happiness. Most of you will read this and think to yourself, “I already do that. I work out, I like to shop, I’m happy.” But I challenge you to ask yourself if the things you do to make yourself happy are truly for you. Because when your happiness is truly yours, no one can take that away.