“Decide what matters most to you, and do it.
Decide who matters most to you, and make time to spend with them.
Decide to be happy, and be.”
Hi, I’m Hailey from On the Side of Nine to Five (http://onthesideblog.com) I’m so excited to be guest-blogging on Beautifully Nutty today. I saw that Melanie was looking for guest bloggers on Twitter and immediately jumped at the opportunity. I love Melanie’s blog and outlook on life.
A huge part of the reason that I started my blog was to help myself find my own happiness through experiencing the things that I’m passionate about….food [eating, it, cooking it, baking it], fitness, friends, family, and traveling. This didn’t come easily. I really had to gain some perspective and think about why I wasn’t as happy as I could be. There were things weighing me down, and I needed to get rid of them, so I’m going to chat with you today a few [of the many] ways I found my happy and stay happy every day.
Over the past few years, I have seen a few ups and downs. No, nothing has been extremely traumatic. In fact, I am so lucky. I have wonderful family and friends. I have a great job and I’m healthy. So what, you may ask, could I possibly have to be down about? I couldn’t pinpoint it, but I knew that I wasn’t as happy as I could be. I was so hard on myself about exercise and constantly comparing myself to others. I was always on such a rigid schedule and the moment that got thrown off, I was in a bad mood. I was constantly wondering why I was so down and out, and I finally came to the conclusion that my (un)happiness had nothing to do with any external elements. My unhappiness came from within. It came from dissatisfaction and insecurity.
When I finally realized this, I knew that I was the only person who could make a change. I was responsible for being an active participant in my own life. I was responsible for creating the person I want to be, and while I think there’s always room for improvement and self-reflection is SO important, I’m getting close. Of course I have moments of negativity and self-doubt – wouldn’t it be annoying if I didn’t? But those moments are becoming less, and less, and I wanted to share with you 5 of my favorite tips for happiness:
1. [Please] Stop comparing yourself to others. We, women in particular, are constantly comparing ourselves to others. She’s prettier. She’s skinner. She makes more money. She has better clothes. She has a boyfriend. The list could go on and on. Stop punishing yourself for what you think you aren’t and praise yourself for what you are – AWESOME. And on the flip-side stop being so hard on each other. If your friend is trying to eat healthy don’t guilt her into eating the dessert you ordered at dinner. That crazy person on the subway or walking down the street, try not to judge. You don’t know their story and they don’t know yours. Let’s stand by each other.
2. Be your own best friend. I’ve always been a bit of a social butterfly, and up until a few years ago I always had a boyfriend. When my boyfriend and I broke up, college ended and I moved to a new city, my social circle seemed to be incredibly small, and I didn’t know what to do with myself. I became introverted and felt depressed when I was alone thinking about how much I wish I had someone to share those moments with. But in reality I was spending 24/7 wit the person who knew me the best – me! When I realized that I’m alright to hang out with I valued my alone time so much more and started experiencing things that I never thought I’d do. I started running more and I went to the museum alone. I sat for hours in a bakery eating absurd amounts of pastries and reading. AND I started my blog!
3. Love what you do. Find your passion and experience it. Maybe it’s in your 9-5 and maybe it’s not. It’s okay if you’re job isn’t your #1 passion, although you should enjoy being there at least a bit. Find something you love to do outside of work that you can throw yourself into. Maybe you take up photography or painting. Or maybe you feel best taking a long walk. If you love to do something, make the time to do it. You will thank you later. Oh, and don’t be embarrassed of these things just go do them. Make time for you!
4. Be Gracious. There are always bumps in the road, and we’ve all experienced those dips, but when you’re at the lowest of the low try to find your silver lining. There are things that are good in your life, even if it seems like there’s a gray cloud following you around. In an attempt to have more gratitude for the good things in my life, I take five minutes at the end of every day to write down 1-3 things (or more on a great day) that I am grateful for. It seems like a small task, but taking the time to be grateful helps us realize that through the bad, life is good.
5. It’s OK to Say No. I used to stress myself out trying to make decisions based on what I thought would make other people happy. I would do things I didn’t really want to do and go places I didn’t really want to go. I love making other people happy, it’s something that makes me feel best, and it’s important to take other people’s feelings into consideration. But life is busy right? You have friends from all different groups and you feel pressure to make time for everyone and everything, right? Yes it is SO important to make time for the people in your life, but there are only 24 hours in a day. By the time you sleep and work you’re left with approximately 5 hours (unless you’re a morning person) to do whatever it is that you want to do. So tonight, you’d rather stay home and watch a movie than go out for drinks? Do it! [Just don’t do it every time] You’d rather go out with friends than go to a movie with another, do it. So do your best to see your loved ones but make sure you’re happy in the process.
These are just a few of many things that work for me. Everyone has their own formula for happiness. But if you can do one more thing for me that will significantly contribute to your happiness…be confident. Walk away from this post and take on the day because you can.
Oh – and share with me, what’s your formula for happiness?