Guys. I hate winter. I hate snow, I hate being cold, I hate scraping frost off my windshield every morning. It feels like the longest season ever and all I want to do is stay inside – any advice on how to like winter more is appreciate because it makes me miserable. I’m hoping some items on my winter bucket list will make it a little more enjoyable. What’s one thing you want to do this winter?
When I was in high school, if you asked me what I did for fun I could name a few things. I liked reading, writing, going to concerts, and hanging out with some of my friends. If you asked me what I did for fun in college I would say I like getting drunk with my best friends, I like writing, I like meeting new people.
If you asked me now, I think I would struggle a little bit. Because I still love going to concerts and seeing my friends. But I’m not too keen on alcohol anymore. I like going new places and I like writing, but both almost feel like a job to me now. My passion projects have turned into work.
I accidentally forgot to have fun because things have become so different after I’ve spent a few years out of college – I don’t know what to define as fun anymore.
I’ve picked up a few things that I like doing. I like knitting/crocheting and cross-stitching (even though I’m not great at it). I am trying to pick up reading again. And I’m trying to find joy in writing and traveling again.
There’s a lot of pressure when you work 5 days a week to make the most of the time you’re not actually working. I didn’t think it was possible, but there is a pressure to have fun that makes having fun not fun.
So I’ve taken a step back, again, to draw a very very very thick line between work and play. I need to go with the flow and just learn to have fun again.
My current boyfriend reminds me of my ex boyfriend. There are a lot of similarities between the two relationships that my head almost spins sometimes because it seems so familiar.
And I was kind of worried about that because my old relationship ended in an all out war of who could make the other person feel worse. My old relationship was emotionally scarring and unstable. My old relationship left me broken and scared. My old relationship sucked.
I was sitting here thinking about how I would like a lizard as a pet, maybe my boyfriend and I could buy one together. But it feels a little weird to me because I used to have a lizard as a pet, my ex and I bought one together.
Coincidentally, both guys like lizards.
But it’s not a coincidence to like someone who has things in common with me. I felt all of these similarities between this relationship and an old one, but really the similarities just have to do with me. I’ve found someone like my ex because I’ve found someone who I have a lot in common with.
And just because they both liked sports, tattoos, lizards, and some other silly things, doesn’t mean that the relationship is the same. This relationship is safe, trusting, open, honest, and loving. My old relationship was full of distrust, anger, and emotional abuse.
Duh, I have a type. And this looming feeling of similarities doesn’t have to be looming at all. It’s actually really cool that I found someone that I have stuff in common with that I can have a healthy relationship with. I didn’t date my ex for four years for no reason, it was because we had similar interests and therefore we had fun together.
My new relationship kind of reminds me of an old relationship, but better.
A lot of people are scared of changing. They are scared of the unknown and they are scared of their loved ones changing. Because when people change, you don’t always change with them.
But I actually love change. For four years of my life I was the same person, dating the same guy. I went into college and refused to change and it didn’t benefit me at all. It wasn’t until that relationship ended that I realized change just means growth and we all need to grow.
So I make big changes. I took a new job, moved out, planned trips.
But you can’t always make big changes. So I made small changes, too. I cut my hair, I picked up a new work out routine, and learned new hobbies.
And while a lot of people would be afraid to do all of these things, these are the things that keep me going. I get so bored by staying in the same place and doing the same things.
Sometimes I think my need for change makes me restless and can impact my relationships. Because if I get bored of my hair every month, what makes me want to stay with the same person every month? And if I get bored of the state I live in, how can I keep a job for more than a year? And if I feel my personality changing every couple of months, how can I hold on to my friends?
I don’t want to suppress the change, but I also don’t want to lose everything I love because I’m bored of things. So I work at the things I love and change them ever so slightly to keep them interesting. Eventually, I’ll be able to make the big changes. But for now, I love what I have and I keep them as fun as possible.
When you’re in a not-so-great place, it is not easy to find five things that will cheer you up. But as you grow, you begin to add to that list. You find more and more things that help put you in the direction you want to be in. The direction of happiness.
Here are five things that made me a happier person when I was a not so happy person. And here are six things that make me a happier person now that I am in a better place:
Celebrating every little thing We accomplish things on a daily basis and those things should be recognized. You and the people you surround yourself should be proud of everything that you work for. So if you got a raise at work, or hit a goal you’ve been working towards, or just got out of bed today – pop a bottle of champagne because you deserve it.
Writing down what I’m grateful for Every day I write 10 things I am grateful for in what I call my gratitude journal. Sometimes it’s not easy to come up with 10, sometimes it is. It really makes me reflect on the great things I have in my life.
Picking up an activity that clears your mind
This should be something you can do alone. Get a coloring book. Read a book. I recently started going to yoga classes, but now I can try and practice that alone at home as well.
Setting achievable and reach goals
Ever since I started writing down what I want to achieve, I started accomplishing more. It’s easy to accomplish something like “change my hair in the month of January” and I still feel the reward. It’s a little harder to accomplish things like “get a raise at work” but writing it down will get you there.
Letting go of the things I can’t change for people
I used to feel guilty, a lot, because I’m introverted and often just don’t enjoy going out every weekend or making non stop plans. I am starting to put things into perspective where that’s a part of me that doesn’t need to change and everyone just needs to accept it.
A positive mindset
It seems so simple, but we go into most things negatively whether we mean to or not. Do you want to be happier this year? Then think happy thoughts as often as you can.
Unfortunately, for most people their job is not their passion. Also unfortunately, that job takes up a lot of their time. Between working and commuting and checking your emails on the weekend, our work ends up becoming our life. And if your work is not your passion, then you need a passion project.
You simply cannot live your life without some kind of passion. It doesn’t have to be a grand romance passion or the passion to climb up crazy high mountains. It can be something small, simple, and satisfactory. Something that takes the mundane out of your Mondays. Something that makes life seem more like just work.
For me, my blog is my passion project. The blogging community is a little escape from the real world. People compliment me and my writing, I get to express myself, it’s a win/win for me. I am also very lucky to have a job I am passionate about.
You can have more than one passion project – the more passion in your life, the better! The more things you’re excited about, the more exciting your life will be.
Some good examples of small and satisfactory passion projects are:
Running/ exercise/ yoga/ etc.
Painting/ writing/ arts and crafts/ etc.
Volunteering at any non profit organization
Any tiny thing that you like, you can turn into a passion project! Do you like animals? Volunteer at an animal shelter. Do you like food? Taking some cooking classes or follow some youtube tutorials and post your meals on Instagram! Do you like football? Join a fantasy league, make watching your games a time of relaxation, fun, and stimulation!
Passion projects are a small puzzle piece to living a happier life – but sometimes we need all the help we can get! Try something out, because honestly what’s the worst that can happen? Eventually you’ll find something you love that makes life just a little sweeter.
If you have a passion project, or two, or three, tell me about it in the comments 🙂
As far as we know, the key to happiness has not yet been found. All we can really go off of is what generally makes us happier and betters our lives. I have found that these five things can make a world of difference when trying to improve your mood. These might not seem like the most ground-breaking discoveries, but you’d be surprised how much you neglect very basic necessities to being happy.
I let my playlists grow really old, but recently I realized the power of listening to new music or throw backs you haven’t heard in forever. Updating your playlists once a month will give you something fun to commute to work to or get ready to!
2. Exercise and eating right
I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan of exercising and eating healthy, I don’t do either too well. But the important part is to give it a shot, do something that will improve your quality of life a little. Don’t ignore the cupcake when you want to eat a cupcake – but also don’t eat a whole tub of ice cream in one sitting.
3. Hanging out with friends and family
It seems obvious, I know. But I think one of the main components to being unhappy is loneliness. So when you feel some sadness sneaking in, make plans with your friends or family to have something to look forward to. If you feel you don’t have a lot of friends or family to go to, then go run errands or to the gym and strike up a conversation with someone. You’re not alone and you don’t need to feel that way.
4. Writing it all down
As a writer, I clearly believe in the strong power of writing. Get a journal, start a note in your phone, create a blog, and just start writing things down. Things that make you sad or happy, things that you want to do with your life. Writing down your goals will especially give you a better chance of accomplishing them. When everything is laid out in front of you, it makes your problems and the solutions to those problems clearer.
5. Picking up new hobbies
I think having a hobby is now a thing of the past. When I was younger, people would ask me my hobbies and I’d be like ???? watching tv??? Going to work and school??? But now I’ve picked up knitting and crocheting (I know, I’m a grandma) and I started reading more again, as well as writing. Whether it be a sport, yoga, playing an instrument, learning to paint, or knit: picking up something new and accomplishing it will give you a sense of direction and give you something to do in your spare time.