How I’ve Started to Live a Happier Life

When I compare my present day self to where I was last year it’s almost like comparing two totally different people. Here are the five major changes I’ve made in my life to improve my overall sense of self and my motivation.

 

Invest time into your hobbies, but it doesn’t have to be every hobby everyday.

I like to do many things. And I love doing things, but if I try to press myself to practice or participate in every single one of my hobbies every single day I would go crazy. There would be no time to do anything else, not even sleep. There would be too much pressure to perform at the same level everyday. And that would take away the joy I get from things like playing the ukulele. It is something I enjoy, and though I could stand to practice more than I do, it’s okay to not do it every day.  This is especially important if you have many hobbies, allow yourself time.

Go outside everyday/open the blinds.

Before I got a dog I would never go outside when it was cold. Even on some nice days I would stay inside, unless it was to go to my car. The blinds were also always closed. Since getting a dog I have to go outside, and I am so thankful for it. Although I never wake up early enough to see the sunrise, going outside at any time is important. Even on the cold days there is something almost therapeutic about breathing in the fresh air. Having my blinds open during the day and letting in the natural light has boosted my mood exponentially when compared to the days when I leave the blinds closed. The sunlight is such a happier light than having the lights turned on in the apartment, and I always feel more motivated too.

Find your perfect work/life balance.

The perfect work and personal life balance is different for everyone. And of course, changing up hours or jobs isn’t viable for everyone who has to hold onto every hour they get in order to fully pay their bills and survive. And I understand that, so if you are unable to change your current work life; I applaud you for doing what needs to be done.

I am fortunate enough to be in a situation where I do not have to work full time to make ends meet. Though the months are tight and I rarely have extra money I am so much happier. The change in hours also came with a job change, which also helped. At my last job(which was at a call center) I was sad and anxious all the time. There were no windows to look out of and it was sitting in one place for eight hours. There were days where my anxiety was so bad I could not go to work; one time I missed a whole week of work due to my mental state.

Although now I still work in a high stress job(at the Boys and Girls Club) it has been a complete 180. The hours are only after school and I am able to move around, go outside, play games, and watch movies. My new job has also allowed me to invest more time into what my dream job is; writing. I have been able to progress more than ever on personal projects than I had over the past year.

Eliminate the things that don’t serve you.

I purposefully left this as vague as possible, because you can take this mindset into any aspect of your life. And I certainly don’t mean this in the way that if someone or something isn’t benefitting you in a financial or material way you need to cut them out of your life. This is more in the sense of emotional negativity, material clutter, or health. I have found that dairy makes me bloated and tired, it is not positively serving my body so I have mostly eliminated it from my diet.

Look at self-care/working out as a celebration of your body, not a punishment.

I’ve never been big into working out. When I would have those few moments where I told myself I needed to work out it was out of hatred for my body. I would eat way too much junk food and was sad and unhappy with how I looked constantly. Now I have gotten into yoga as a celebration of where my body is, and how it will improve. Though I do still eat junk food it is much less than in the past and I now enjoy a much better diet. These two physical changes have improved my overall state of health. Like with the work/personal life balance this, of course, is dependent on how much you can do for yourself. I can’t always eat the way that would be ideal for me, but you just have to work with what you can do.

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