It was the first day of summer yesterday, down here in New Zealand, and this is my favourite summer chill song.
It got me thinking about the weird and wonderful little things that get you energised, make you happy, and make you want to get up tomorrow and fight the good fight all over again.
Do you know what they are, for you? This TEDTalk by Shona Rhimes explains what I think that feeling is like – “The Hum”. It can be a certain time of day, certain people or certain things you do in your routine.
You could google “how to be happy” and you’d get back a tonne of hits on this. You could even take the Oprah quiz, but I bet you already know the answer, you just need to start focusing inwards, paying attention to yourself and be a little more mindful. A little more self aware.
A little less connected to screens that eek out your energy and destroy your hormone balance.
For me it was asking myself: Can I remember what made me happy as a kid? What was good at, then? What did I enjoy doing? What makes me feel exhilarated, thrilled, happy, energised NOW?
My answer: Getting out everyday, connecting with people, being positive, doing things for me and from when I was a kid, dancing or rather, moving.
This has translated to my “little things”, that don’t take too much time, and if done frequently they help me have a clear mind, be happy and engaged. Things like:
Unsubscribing from all the emails I tend to delete before even opening
I spent about 15mins this week and unsubscribed from about 20 different websites/blogs. Who needs to be bombarded by information that is no longer relevant? No one.
I’ve already noticed that I’m getting less and less traffic through my email, and it makes be feel so much better that I don’t have to go through and delete 30 or more emails a day.
Painting my nails
Everyone probably has one process related to their physical body that they get satisfaction from. My brother loves cleaning his ears (sorry bro). A friend of mine LOVES to use her nail brush and really scrub out all the gunk from under her nails. I’m kinda similar in the sense that I love to have painted nails. When I was a kid, I loved painting my nails all sorts of crazy colours. I even remember being gifted my first bottle of nail polish, I remember the colour, what the bottle looked like, and the rush I got when mum showed me how to paint my nails “properly”.
Two reasons why I think this works… firstly, it’s a sign I’ve spent 10-15mins focusing on ME, and what makes me happy is a balance between self/work/family. And secondly, they’re a physical reminder that I’ve done something for me. When I’m busy, or stressed, I can look at my fingers typing away and feel good.
I need to do this more, because I know that it helps when I do.
I aim for 1-2 walks outside when at work, and I’m going to start taking Mackenzie for a quick half hour walk every night between dinner and bath/bedtime. I did it last summer and happened to lose a little weight, which was a great benefit!
Connecting with people
Before I had a kid, I could spend full weekends speaking to no one, I mean, my husband travelled a lot and I got pretty hermity (is that a word?) because it was easy to stay in.
I soon realised that I needed to be around people, and interacting with them energised me. Then I noticed that I had to be careful about who I actually spent my time with, because back then, I’d take on the emotions and attitudes in the room. If I spent time with happy people, I was generally happier, and if I spent my time with negative energy suckers, my happiness dipped.
Now I’ve got more self awareness and I can distance myself from people I feel I should avoid, and a stinky attitude, in my opinion, is their problem and not mine.
What are your little things?