Today is the International Day of Happiness. I think with current events, we need to keep a positive attitude more than ever! I know that I can feel down in the dumps at times, stressed out, grumpy or sad, and am NOT the example of a completely positive person but there are some things that I do to keep happy.
- Keep hydrated
You have no idea how much being dehydrated can ruin your mood. I try to drink the recommended amount of water every day while avoiding sodas, sugary drinks, and alcohol on weeknights.
Try investing in a water bottle to motivate your water intake. I purchased this 48 oz Nalgene bottle from REI before the school year started and found that I really increase my water intake. I fill it twice a day- I drink one bottle full during the school day, and one bottle full at home. It’s extremely durable and easy to clean since its a wide mouth bottle. Tip: Invest in a splash guard (or two) for your bottle!
- Keep a routine
I am definitely a creature of habit and this helps with my happiness (and sanity). Even on weekends and during breaks, I go to bed and wake up relatively at the same time. I am lucky enough that my friends understand (and some even practice the same routine) and we do everything earlier rather than later. Even a “wild” night for me ends around midnight. Sleeping in is usually 7:30 at the latest. Going out on a weeknight is usually a huge no-no (or I am back home by 8 pm).
I also keep an agenda to help keep my routine organized. Each August/September, I purchase an academic planner (since I am a teacher, it works best with my schedule) and use it for memos, appointments, meetings, and events (personal, grad school, and work-related). I like knowing what I have planned for the month, and what work needs to be done.
I also keep a routine at my home. I try to grocery shop Sunday mornings (as soon as the stores open), meal prep on Mondays, complete homework on a scheduled routine, general laundry is done on Wednesdays, my sheets are done Thursdays, along with cleaning the house. I find by knowing what is expected each day helps it not get out of control. Of course, life has other plans sometimes and I miss a week, or am off a day.
- Stay organized
I am a very scatter-brained individual so this one plays a huge part in my happiness. I like to keep everything organized because for me, disorganization causes me anxiety. I used to misplace/ lose EVERYTHING. If you have ever lost something, you know how stressful and panicked you feel. I now put my items in the exact same spot. I know not only where it belongs, but where I can find it. This makes keeping track of items so much easier. I try to practice this not only in my home, but in my classroom as well. But don’t look in my car, because for some reason it is always a disorganized mess LOL!
To help with organization, I also plan out my personal and grad school requirements on Sunday nights, and write out my weekly work goals when I get to school on Monday. Seeing everything out in a clear list helps to keep me on target.
- Keep live plants
A friend had told me years ago that keeping a bouquet of flowers in the house or a live plant would help lift my mood. I had laughed at it but eventually gave it a try, and I noticed a difference. Years (and many bouquets) later, I have slowly added some live plants into the mix. I keep bamboo in my home craft room/office and a palm plant in the tv room. I purchased both from Ikea (which I totally recommend as their prices are MUCH lower than many other places).
- Surround yourself with positive minded people
To me, this is a big one. I find that being around negative individuals can drain me emotionally. Although I try my best not to let others rain on my parade, it is sometimes difficult to not let others under your skin. Sometimes giving yourself a break from these individuals is best. You don’t have to distance yourself completely, but instead spend extra time with some positive people you haven’t seen in a while or take some time just for you to recharge.
- Self care
This one should be the most obvious. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. Do what makes you happy. For me, this means not letting my grey roots grow in. I go for a pedicure every two weeks and every once in awhile I treat myself to a facial or massage.
This also could mean something simple like #selfcaresunday. Treat yourself to a hydrating mask before bed on Sunday, take a relaxing bath, light some candles, meditate, or just actually sit down and catch up on your favorite tv shows.
Whatever it is that you do, make sure that it makes YOU happy!