My Roadmap to Happy

Since I was in high school, I consciously struggled with depression and anxiety. Those years I began learning whatever I could from therapists and self help books–any tools I could implement to pull my head out of the clouds.

I don’t fight so hard to be happy nowadays. Don’t get me wrong, I still have bouts of depression (much more mild), but I’ve learned over the years how to set myself up for success and get myself out of a negative space before it takes over.

Here’s a list of some big changes you can start making in small ways 🙂

1. Appreciate what you have in your life on a daily basis. When we scroll through Instagram and marvel over the adventurous and perfectly filtered lives of our “friends” or get suffocated by our to-do list at work, our minds start to harp on what we wish we had (more time to sleep or the money to take an 8 day vacation to Costa Rica).

A few months ago, a friend of mine told me about Morning Pages. I love this because it gets my day started on the right page, and my creative juices flowing! Here’s how it works: Before you start your day in the morning, you flip open a notebook and write down three pages of whatever you want. You could write about what’s on your mind, in your dreams, on your plate for the day…anything. Lately, I’ve been using this to wake up and remind myself what I’m grateful for. A morning list of the things (tiny or large) that I sometimes forget mean the world to me or means at least more than any stressor that’s on Monday’s agenda!

2. Express more vulnerability. Compliment someone once a day. The lady sitting next to you in the waiting room with baby-blue nails or the women standing in front of you at the check-out line who has terrific style, or a delicious selection of food in her cart. Instead of thinking about something positive you feel about them–tell them! Get it off your chest because human interactions are doors waiting to be opened.

While you’re eating a salad with your best friend on a Sunday afternoon, tell her that she means the world for you, and that you’re thankful she puts up with you. You can tell your parents that you don’t know how the heck they have as much patience as they do or the intern who sits across from you that you appreciate how hard she is working and things will eventually get easier.

Compliments put you out there, as if you’re pulling open the curtain of a Broadway stage open and stepping out and speaking your mind like people, these days, rarely do. Give it a try!

3. Feel more comfortable in your skin. Add on an extra 10 minutes to your workout. If you don’t workout regularly, try to do just 10 minutes, three times a week. Think about it this way: You can watch two sets of commercials during 10 minutes, so while you’re waiting for your show to come back on, do some jumping jacks, push ups, squats (check out my fitness posts!) Every week, add on another 10 minutes until you’ve mastered a routine that works for you, and BOOM! You’re feeling confident.

4. Reconnect with people in your life. Turn off your social media for a day or two and insert a “no text message” policy. With social media at our fingertips, everyone “knows” everything that’s going on, they don’t even ask when they bump into you in person. Spend your unplugged time dialing phone numbers of people you haven’t see in a while or heard their voice. Say you’re calling for no reason other than to see how they are really doing and take it from there!

5. Switch up your day-to-day grind. When the days start to blend together and you feel like you can’t make any changes because of your overwhelming work schedule, after school activities, etc. that means it’s time to initiate a small change in the morning that’ll carry you through the day–could be as simple as wearing a different perfume or jewelry.

6. Learn something new. Talk to one new person every single day. Strangers have the power to turn your world upside. If anything, they will be the most honest and unbiased person you’ll speak to that day. Every human being has a story to tell, experiences to share, or some wisdom and advice from the things they have learned. Say hello. Ask them how their day is going. See what happens.

7. Stop feeling like a grown up. Spend Saturday afternoon doing something that you used to love doing when you were 8-years-old. Maybe it’s making friendship bracelets or sliding down a slip and slide in your backyard. Perhaps it’s rollerblading or writing love letters to a guy you have a giant crush on while you dance on top of your mattress to an NSync song! Heck yes!

Bottom line–
Change has the power to make life slow down a bit. Change gives us the opportunity to press the reset button on a situation that’s spun wildly out of our control. Change makes us shake off the crud that’s building up inside of our eye socket and say hello to a world we’ve been casually sleeping through..

No more of doing that, okay?



2 Comments Add yours

  1. Dan Sims says:

    Great Post. This is needed more than ever in today’s world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dan! You are right, feelings of hopelessness and sadness are temporary…we have control and need to take control back. Even when it is difficult.


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