2. Eat a healthy breakfast - Willpower is strongest in the morning, so breakfast is the easiest time to eat lots of nutritious foods. Even if I eat the same thing over and over for the rest of the day, at least I had a nutrient packed and varied breakfast. I love eating scrambled or poached eggs, salsa, avocados…usually all together! My friend recently told me about her banana-egg-chia-coconut milk oatmeal, so this week I’ve been making that and it’s amazing! Maybe I’ll post a recipe?
3. Drink coffee - With butter… mostly just because it’s delicious, yum! I make my coffee really weak, so sometimes I wonder if the boost I get is just a placebo effect… but maybe not, who knows! (This post sounds like I'm slightly caffeinated...) Wait, isn't coffee unhealthy? I don’t think one cup a day is particularly harmful, and I’m not suggesting everyone needs to drink coffee to be healthy, but it just makes me happy. I AM suggesting that you do what makes you happy.
4. Read - I try to set aside 15 minutes or so to read after breakfast, or if I don’t have time then I read later in the day. I read to feel inspired, and to be constantly learning and improving myself. Mostly non-fiction recently, sometimes as research for future blog posts, sometimes to learn new strategies applicable to life in general, and sometimes just because the topic is interesting. I also think fiction can teach valuable life lessons as well.
5. Write - I don’t always get around to writing blog posts (I’m working on that!), but I do write in my journal almost every day. I use an app called DayOne, which syncs between my phone and my laptop so I can journal wherever I am - often I read and write on public transportation. Writing always helps me make sense of my thoughts and gives me some perspective on what’s happening in my life. Once I start writing, I can separate myself from my emotions a bit, and things start to make sense. Journaling was extremely helpful in my recovery, and I still use it to figure out any problems I’m having and make action plans moving forward.
6. Be grateful - Gratitude is possibly the most important way you can create happiness for yourself, by changing what you think of your situation. You can find happiness right now by simply changing your thoughts and appreciating what you already have, instead of constantly longing for something more, whether that’s things, money, people, time, etc. I have another app on my phone for recording one thing that went well each day, or one thing I’m grateful for. It forces me to focus on the positive even when everything seems to be going wrong.
7. Connect with others - I’m definitely an introvert, and I tend to hide away by myself if I don't make a conscious effort to reach out to people. But when I do make that effort, I've noticed how much better I always feel with some dedicated social time. Talking to other people forces me to get out of my own head and into the present moment. I know it can be tricky to socialize during the week, especially if you have projects to work on in the evening. My solution was to set a specific time for texting friends each day. If I don’t hang out with anyone, at least I’m still connecting virtually.
8. Floss - Doesn’t directly make me happier, but anything that makes you truly healthier should also make you happier in the long term! Otherwise maybe I would question those supposed health benefits.
I know there are loads of other health and happiness habits I could add here… which ones did I miss? Listening to music? Watching cute cat videos on YouTube? I challenge you to add one thing to your life just to make you happier!