Before we start, I am the queen of depression. I talk about my mental health daily and I’ve struggled with depression for years. So, while I might not be the happiest person, I do realize that when I do THESE things, I am happier. I just lack commitment and energy to keep it up for more than a day at a time.
So without further ado, here are 10 things that can help you live a happier life.
Assuming that at some point, we get out of bed. And hopefully we do (even if just to go to the bathroom – I’ve been there.) Get some happy dancing music on and dance. Move your body even if it’s for one song. It might be the latina in me, but I love dancing. I don’t always feel like it but I have a tip for you.
When you’re lying in bed scrolling through the Instagram models that make us feel worse about ourselves, instead turn on some Fitness Marshall videos or Madfit! Both of these Youtubers have a great uplifting attitudes and make me want to move my body and have fun. The videos are from 3 minutes to about 15 minutes. Just choose whatever you feel comfortable with.
2. Listening to Lo-fi Music
I typically listen to my Spotify on shuffle and I know I’m not the only one when I say that my music taste varies. And music affects your mood, sadness to longing for love, to anger. So when I journal or heck, the dishes. I put on Lo Fi Music so that my mood isn’t affected. However, on the days that I crave upbeat music, I have a playlist of Music that brings me happiness. My choice as of late is Backstreet Boys or NSYNC.
I try my hardest to write daily but it doesn’t always have to be so thoughtful. There are so many journaling prompts out there and I think it can scare some people away.
I try to keep my journal as a memory keeper – keeping it simple but happy.
- Gratuity – 1 thing your thankful for
- Something good/funny that happened that day
- An activity that you tried and enjoyed
- A new song that you discovered
- Something new that you learned
- Write down what happened at your appointments (New meds, new diagnosis) and how you feel about it
- A new movie you saw
- A date or friendly hangout that you had fun on
- Someone interesting that you met
It doesn’t always have to be deep and meaningful, but something is good and eventually you will start to open up on feelings you have. Either way, once I get everything out on paper I tend to forget about it and it alleviates all the tension I hold.
Escapism at its finest, yes. But sometimes you find a relation to your real life told in the story. I know it’s hard to find time to read sometimes, but audiobooks on your commute to work will do. It doesn’t even have to be a “Self-help” book (however, I do recommend ‘You are a Badass’), just any book will do. I personally enjoy mystery books because they know how to hook me in and make me forget all my troubles.
Check out Book of the Month and get your first book for $5.
Adult coloring books have been all the rage for the past decade, and while I absolutely love the idea of it. I’m a cheapie and prefer coloring with my kids in their coloring books. But, if you insist on something more mature, then go for it. I’ve seen some great ones at the Dollar Tree. There are also some great FREE websites that are a great substitution, if you have a printer at home
Here is a Link, just in case, Free, Printable Coloring Pages for Adults (thesprucecrafts.com
All of this goes to say, that happiness and whatever hobbies you pick up, don’t have to cost an arm and a leg. I also don’t invest in any expensive colors. I use my kids crayons and colored pencils. We sit at the table and we all color together.
6. Going Outside
You can never go wrong with a little sunshine or even just look out of the window on cold days. Sit outside and drink some tea, or color, or journal. Listen to some light music. It doesn’t have to be much, but soak in some Vitamin D, (the kind that is actually good for you).
The benefits of spending time outside include:
- Motivates you to be active
- Vitamin D which is important for your bones, and immune system
- Help raise positive energy to reduce anxiety
- Improve your sleep because the sun regulates your internal clock
- Improve focus
However, be sure to protect yourself from the sun with SPF or Wear a warm jacket when it’s cold.
7. Play with Pets or Animals
If you have pets or animals, engage with them, especially if you’re depressed. Your pet can sense you. Play some fetch if you have a hyperactive dog, or just pet and cuddle them. You both end up happier for comforting each other.
I mean, why do you think they bring animals to senior homes or emotional support animals.
(Just adding in, don’t pay for your emotional support animals for your landlord, all you need is a letter from your doctor. You DO, however, need proper training for a service dog).
Here are some benefits that your pet could have on your mental health [10 Ways Pets and Mental Health Go Together | Newport Academy]
- Lower stress, increase serotonin and dopamine
- Boost self- esteem
- Diminishes loneliness
- Reduces fear
- More likely to be outdoors for walking your pet
- Increased exercise
- Build relationship skills
- Unconditional love
But do NOT get a pet, if you’re not ready to take care of it. Pets offer a lot of support, but they are living beings and also need love and support. Please do research before getting a pet.
With gyms closed due to the pandemic, or you just hate going out in public, there are many affordable options.
Besides the health benefits that we all know about, there are many more.
- Improves mood
- Boost energy (I always feel more ready for the day after exercising and a good shower)
- Promotes better sleep (which in turn can help with your happiness as well)
- Helps with sex life (boost your confidence and enhance your arousal)
I completely understand that getting up to exercise can be daunting especially if you’re not in the mood for it. But some tips that have helped me are:
- Find something that you enjoy. I really like to dance and was lucky enough to find The Fitness Marshall on YouTube. He really gets me feeling confident and happy while I move.
- Start small. Don’t over work yourself. No one expects you to do all the crazy moves in Insanity or do 300 Push-ups on your first day. Do some yoga. Dance around your kitchen. Go for a walk. Whatever it is. Just start and keep moving.
- Do short workouts. Instead of scrolling on your phone, start a workout. There are tons of ‘7 Minute Workout’ Apps right on our phones. Despite busy schedules we all have 7 Minutes to Spare.
Taking care of yourself can really boost your confidence in yourself because you feel clean and pretty. What could be better? I know we all love the feeling of getting in bed after a nice shower. But some other ideas of self care are:
- Getting a Mani/Pedi
- A new haircut
- A massage
- Relaxing in bed with soothing music
- A nice bubble bath with soothing music
10. Sex/ Masturbation
Saving the best for last, I’m single so I typically use my B.O.B, battery operated boyfriend. Just an option for all the independent women out there.
Besides the decreased risk of unwanted pregnancy or STDS, here are some other benefits on masturbation:
- Helps relieve stress
- Better understanding of your body
- Mood boosting
- Better Sleep.
Overall, these are just some ideas to be happier on a daily basis, you obviously don’t have to do everything daily, but pick a few and practice safely.
I hope you enjoy!
Leave a comment below if any of the ideas helped you, or your tried something you didn’t know you’d like.