The other day, the man in my life told me I haven’t been the same over the past month.
Not as happy. Not as cheery. Not as “me.”
So of course, being who I am and doing what I do, I started some serious thinking on what has changed.
I also bought a gigantic new vision board that I’m working on, the book The Happiness Project (so far, it’s amazing), and started doing the worksheet that I have clients fill out before we work together.
Yes, I take my own advice;)
Throughout this process, I noted the things that make me feel good, vibrant, and happy.
Some of the things I do and some I need to do more of.
My purpose today is to share the 10 things that helped me bust out of my rut, so you can too.
1.) Get away from the computer, especially social media
The more we’re on the computer, the less we’re doing things we need to do to feel good, like moving our bodies, walking the dog, being in nature, spending one-on-one time with real people. Plus, with social media, the more we’re forced to compare ourselves to everyone else’s highlight reels, and we just end up feeling crappy.
Not to mention with smartphones, iPads, and mini-computers, we’re setting ourselves up to constantly be on-call, which is uber unhealthy. And leads to abnormal stress responses.
My recommendation: designate a certain amount of time to social media per day (less than an hour), remove people who make you feel bad from your newsfeed, take hourly computer breaks to move your body, and set an end time for no more computer work.
Our work-life balance is no more balanced and makes us feel awful. More and more research is starting to show this.
This, I tell you, is my BIG personal goal.
2.) Call a friend
Start calling people more and don’t just text! Calling is more personal and makes us feel more connected. There’s something to hearing someone’s voice and tone and having the ability to carry out a meaningful conversation that puts us in the right place.
3.) Spend time with people you love more
I often find myself saying, “Oh, I’m busy this week” or “I can’t do that day” or “I need to finish more work.” Well, I’ve got news for myself and others, we’re always going to have more things we can do. It’s simply a part of life. But, we won’t always have time to spend with those who matter, which is why I picked up the phone and scheduled a date with my Nana in the middle of a work week.
People who live longer, have more meaningful relationships. Let’s start adding some meaning.
4.) Do something for someone
Giving back makes us feel good. So whether it be volunteering to coach a girls running group, cooking a meal for an older couple down the street, or doing that thing your significant other would just love for you to do, do it. You’ll instantly feel good. And remember, no matter how small you may think it is, that action will make someone’s day.
5.) Make to-do lists each day
These lists keep us grounded, focused, and feeling accomplished. I write the top things down (no more than 3) that I must get done each day and then underneath, things to get done during the week. I do this each morning. That way I don’t feel overwhelmed and get done what I need to do.
6.) Start doing that thing you always wanted to do
And, I bet you know what that is. For me, it’s planting a garden. I’ve been talking about this for the last two months. And what have I done?? Absolutely nothing! Instead, I spend a ridiculous amount of time (doing I don’t know what) on my computer. So, on my goal sheet, I mapped out when I’m starting my garden and put cut-off times in my calendar for the computer.
Whatever that thing is. Stop talking and start doing. The rest will come naturally once you gain momentum.
7.) Focus on how you want to feel
Whether it be a new job that you want, to live healthier, or a better relationship, focus on how you want to feel. From there, look at the things you need to do to feel that way. For example, I want to feel loved in a relationship. What makes me feel like that? Cute notes, random texts, and actions that my guy is proud to be with me … to name a few.
When we focus on how we want to feel and the things that will help us feel that way, we get a clearer, more meaningful picture about what we really need to feel happy.
Exercise is a huge mental uplifter for me. Find activities you like (this is crucial) and start doing them at least 3 times per week.
For me, that’s running, weights, BURN classes, plyometrics, and long walks. For my sister, that’s horseback riding and jogging. For my other sister, it’s rowing and crossfit. If you told me to ride horses or row for my workouts, I wouldn’t do it.
So, don’t just go to the gym because you think you should, find an activity you like. You may think you hate exercise, but you’re really just doing what you think you should be doing instead of what you want to be doing.
9.) Eat well
A mentor once said to me, “Eat junk, feel like junk.” I couldn’t agree more.
Start simple. A basic recommendation is every time you eat, make sure you get in a fruit and/or veggie. My super simplified motto is “protein + produce” are musts every 3-4 hours, starting within an hour of waking up.
For example, my lunch: veggie scramble – 2 eggs (protein) + tomatoes, zucchini, and mushrooms (produce) + Parmesan cheese
10.) Think of all the awesome things you’ve done
We are our harshest critiques. Start replacing those harsh words with words and thoughts of all the great things you’ve accomplished so far. Change your mindset. My motto: “Think positive, be positive, see positive.”