Unlike my other challenges this one was more of a spur of the moment thing. 2020 has obviously had it’s impacts and my work has been super busy and pretty stressful so by Friday I’d decided that I needed a quick fix. Is there a speedy solution to bring happiness? You don’t have to look far to find suggestions and theories about happiness, the 21st century human whose basic needs are catered for are arguably obsessed with it.
The first 10 on the list I must credit to https://buffer.com/resources/be-happy-today/
This is a great blog and includes all the reasons and research behind their list for happiness. Here’s what I did with their 10 suggestions plus a few of my own:
- Exercise more – 7 mins does the trick apparently. I have a new set of physio exercises to do for a tendonopathy (on my hamstring) so getting those done daily certainly feels like an achievement.
- Sleep more – Well I tried, but when stress levels go up then I tend to wake early so weekend lie-ins could be better. However, a Saturday afternoon nap was an enjoyable interlude and refreshed me.
- Spend time with friends and family – Yes, to contact with various family members, at home and elsewhere.
- Go outside – I dog walk daily and think I might be addicted to getting outside.
- Help others – I did a specific foodbank shop after checking what was needed our local centre, I also added to my microlending scheme, proof read a project for my daughter and took her out for more driving practice
- Practice smiling – This is supposed to be using positive thoughts but I was drifting off to things that just make me laugh, rerunning film scenes in my head. Definitely did smile.
- Plan a trip but don’t take one – I do have a trip planned, they are a bit hard to come by at present so I’ve booked some additional activities on the one that’s due and have started the ball rolling to make a trip to see an old friend.
- Meditate – I didn’t quite get to this one, maybe I’ll squeeze it in later Sunday pm after posting this. However, I’m increasingly thinking that I would benefit from building it in to my routine so this remains on the list. Trying to meditate generally just makes me feel sleepy!
- Practice gratitude – This seems to me something that is generally done kind of privately but I decided to just express it and thanked my mum for being a great mum!
- Get older – Well no dodging this one. I’m three days older than when I started the challenge! More mature and more content…
- Use aromatherapy – I have dug out my diffuser and will try to use that more again. ‘This Works Deep Sleep’ aromatherapy pillow spray helped me to get to sleep quickly on Friday for sure! Or was it the glass of wine and sheer relief it was the end of the week.
- Sing along to a song – Song of choice was Heart of Glass, Blondie, full volume.
- Write down goals – done, these have been in draft for weeks!
- Eat well – Saturday night’s dinner was a delicious Sea Bass with asparagus and salsa verde, delicious and feels like a reward for a busy week. The fun family chat that came with it was a bonus.
- Read a good book and Laugh – These two were meant to be separate items but I realised that they actually come together as ‘Eleanor Oliphant is Fine’, provided both.
- Get something done that’s bugging you – I seized the moment and put a load of the kids old Playmobil that is cluttering up the garage on ebay. Been meaning to do this for months and this action also gets rewarded in cash, I hope. I also like the idea of other kids making use of these toys which brought many hours of imaginative play to mine.
Did it all work is the big question? It feels to good to look at this list and creating any record of achievement is a positive activity. I was certainly happy during some of these activities. I think the point is that instant happiness is likely to be a transitory thing but working at these elements in a sustained way does seem like it would be the route to long lasting happiness and contentment. Perhaps contentment is the word for what I’ve achieved with this.
Would I do this again? Actually recognising that you are out of sorts for some reason and taking deliberate (big or small) steps to tackle it is a great idea and I would definitely do this again. It’s free (give or take the odd book) and probably environmentally friendly.