Recently, someone told me she'd be feeling down and didn't know how to cheer herself up. When life is impossibly busy it can be easy to feel like there's nothing you can do you break out of a slump. Talking to this friend reminded me of something I'd done almost two years ago when I was going through a few dark and stormy months: I made a list of little things in life that make me happy and cheer me up. It isn't always possible to take a luxurious vacation, quit a frustrating job, or get a nicer apartment, but there are always a few little things you can do to brighten your day. When times are tough, even the tiniest ray of sunshine can make a world of difference.
The great thing about making a list of little joys, is that you can always look back on it when you're having a bad day and pick an item or two to cheer yourself up. Even if life is going spectacularly for you at the moment, it's still lovely to remind yourself of what makes you happy. Just writing this list will make you smile.
This is something I think everyone should try. It will brighten your day and give you something to fall back on if you ever need a little cheering up.
To get you inspired to write your list, here are a few items from mine:
- costume dramas
- bengal spice and early grey teas
- having friends in my living room
- visits and phone calls to my parents
- one-minute dance parties
Some of these things may seem banal at first, but they really do make me happy. The point is to focus on the little things you can do every day to live a happier life and to appreciate how the small things can make a big difference in how you feel. Finding joy in simple places reminds you that you don't need your life to be perfect before you can be happy. You don't need a lot of money or free time to make your day a little bit better. It might be something as simple as a cup of tea and a trip to the park to take a ride on the swings.
Why not give it a try for yourself? Make a list and keep it somewhere safe so you can keep adding to it and look back on it when you need to. Don't let yourself get carried away with big dreams or wishes for the future; those are important too, but they belong on another list. This is about the things you can do right now.
So here's to a very happy Wednesday!