20 Feb 5 Things I Did to Make Me Happier
In November, I started going through a downward spiral. For so long, I had a hold on my depression and almost knew what to look out for and ways to ease it but then November rolled around, and I felt like the breath had been kicked from my body. By January, I decided I needed to make some changes in hopes of living a happier life. So far, I have been doing better and while there are certainly things I wish to add, here are just a few things I started with.
- Limit and cut back on social media
Both my blog and work require me to be on social media, which means a lot of my day is spent mindlessly scrolling through tweets and feeds. I don’t know what exactly inspired the change, but I guess it could have been when I realized that I was trying to explain to my husband how a person I didn’t even know IRL had just taken a virtual shit on my day. He looked at me with a quizzical look, the sort that made me feel like he was wondering when he should gesture to my friends and family to walk in for my impending intervention. I realized that social media wasn’t adding any value to my life and that there was a life worth living free from the screen. So, I logged off. At first, it was just for a day – and then two – and before I knew it, it just didn’t matter anymore. Suddenly, I had free time to paint my nails, catch up on YouTube or play with the kids, free from the anxiety of everyone’s expectations.
- Reclaim my social media
It was unrealistic thinking that I could be completely free from social media, so I knew that I needed to reclaim my space by taking control of who I follow. Twitter is no longer my favourite platform as it has become so negative and seems that behind every tweet is a bitchy fight waiting to happen. So, I have focused more on Instagram and following accounts that inspire, motivate, and encourage me. I have also introduced #MyWeeklyWin, where I share a few highlights from my week – big or small – so that at the end of the year, I will have a bunch of positive things to look back on.
- I focused on my marriage
There is no one who makes me happier than my husband. Much of December and January we focused on us. We started saying no to the things that neither of us wanted to do or attend and said yes to doing more of what made us happy. We took walks around the neighbourhood, made smores on the braai, drove around searching for Christmas lights, and sipped on a beer while we watched the sunset. We worked through the holiday season but made time for us and the boys and it remains a highlight!
On the eve of our wedding, my dad gave my husband one piece of advice; put your marriage first. At first D thought it was bizarre. Surely, you should put your kids first? But the older we get, the more we realize how right my dad is. Our marriage is the foundation of our family and what holds us all together, so it’s important to nurture it.
- I created a schedule
I run our business, work full-time and blog when I get the chance so it’s easy to see why life can feel overwhelming. In the middle of January business started getting busy – the sort of busy that I could no longer keep up – so I decided to start scheduling my time. I suck at keeping a diary of things and always rely on my memory to remember what needs to be done, but it soon became impossible to keep track of so many moving balls and giving in to a formal diary brought me a great deal of peace, by feeling in control of my days.
- I became my own hero
One of the things that broke me down the hardest over the December period was being let down. I always find one or two people who I hold up on a pedestal. The problem is that the higher you put them up, the higher they fall down from, and you’re bound to get hurt along the way. I am so tired of being disappointed and decided that I can’t count on anyone but me, so it’s time I became my own hero. I realized that I sort of am a badass in my own right and that I deserve the recognition I give to so many others. It’s ok to be proud and confident of just how much I have accomplished and am yet to achieve.
So that’s how I changed the ending of my year around – what do you do to make yourself feel better?