Amidst everything that’s going on in our world right now, it’s only logical that our emotions are all over the place. Anyone else feel incredible joy one minute and then blah or loneliness, depression or anxiety the next? My emotions have definitely run the gamut, though I’ve found in recent weeks helpful ways to maintain better balance. Which is why today’s post is all bout how to feel happy again.
Even as some places are starting to open and perhaps add a small sense of normalcy we are all in a different world than we were just a few months ago. Here are some ways to brighten your mood that have worked for me, as well as ideas my friends have shared with me that are so good. Would love to hear your thoughts here too; when you comment in the section below it gives everyone a chance to try your ideas, too.
HOW TO FEEL HAPPY AGAIN
MOVE YOUR BODY
I talk about this often, that moving my body is as much for my physical health as it is my mental well being. I honestly crave sweating out the stress and getting my heart rate up. Need motivation? Plug for the #modernsavvyrunclub which, holy cow, we have nearly 350 runners and walkers, feeling empowered and motivated to get moving each day! Get the details here — you can join anytime this month. If that’s not for you, I get it. I’ve been loving leisurely bike rides, too – I pitstop at Starbucks for an added treat. Play ball outside with your kids, go in your pool if that’s an option, try a free class on YouTube or Instagram Stories, there are more options than ever to move your body with zero cost involved. Check out my recent post with where I find my online workouts plus some of the easy equipment I use.
TREAT YOURSELF TO FRESH FLOWERS
I used to treat myself to flowers more often and lately my Publix trips have felt so stressed with masks and not going near anyone and which way down the aisles that I haven’t had a second to consider this treat. During a recent outing to Trader Joe’s I picked up some fresh flowers and wow, they brought such a smile to my face every time I saw them! If you’re already doing this, consider buying an extra bouquet and surprising it on the doorstep of a family member or friend.
PUT DOWN YOUR PHONE
I was having a tough time recently, and realized the phone and mindless scrolling was likely largely the culprit. At a minimum, miles of scrolling wasn’t helping at all. Instead I read two books in the past few weeks — I’m embarrassed to tell you the last time I actually cracked a book! — and it was such a good distraction. I read this and this — they’re really fun, quick, easy, juicy reads that made me actually want to put down the phone in favor of seeing what would happen next. I am planning on reading this next, though I’m honestly looking forward to getting back to another good fiction book. Any suggestions?
TAKE A BATH
OK, so I’m an incredibly novice bath taker (bather?), lol, you can see what I mean, however I’ve taken a few baths recently, setting a serene environment with a candle (this candle is everything, trust) and relaxing music, and in 20ish minutes, I’m in an instantly calmer state. It’s really incredible. I purchased this Dr. Teal’s relaxing lavender foaming bath and holy cow, it’s the best $4.99 I’ve spent in a long time (it’s a huge bottle!). The coconut oil version is fantastic for more hydration. Plus, great to use for the kiddos too without fear they’ll dump out your pricey product — we’ve all been there.
TALK TO A MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
Your therapist only doing FaceTime or Zoom so you put it off? Do not! I initially did the same and regretted my decision. I’ve now done a couple of FaceTime sessions with my counselor and have another one scheduled this week. I need the every other week check in. My emotions honestly run the gamut that even when I think I don’t have much to share, I always feel better and lighter after the call.
GET OUTSIDE… AND OFF THE COUCH
Your body needs Vitamin D, friends, and more than that, just feeling the sun and breeze on my face makes me feel so much better, refreshed and more alive. Go for a walk, or just sit on a towel or beach chair and read a book for a bit. If you have little ones attached to you, ask them to play ball, have fun with chalk, a bubble maker or in a kiddie pool. It’s better than sitting inside.
ENJOY TAKEOUT FROM YOUR FAV RESTAURANT
Even as restaurants are starting to open up, do what feels right for you. FOr me that mostly will mean continuing to do more of the same — cooking at home, and takeout. When I had a particularly tough day with the kiddos last week, takeout sushi from my favorite spot instantly put me in a happier mood. Food just makes me really happy! Or, take your food or pickup and find a great picnic spot — as I was bike riding last week, it was so cool to see people outside (very spaced out) in certain areas, either solo or with one or two other people, enjoying a meal, a beer, a coffee, etc.
PUT ON HAPPY MUSIC
I rediscovered my love of music in the past year or two, and I’m not talking about anything fancy, friends… I mean the likes of Nelly, the Jonas Brothers and Sam Hunt, just to name a few! Just put on music, whatever I’m in the mood for or whatever comes on an Apple Music Playlist and it instantly upps my mood. I’ve started doing this while doing the dishes or laundry, while getting ready or just futzing around the house.
WEAR A FEEL-GOOD SET OF NEW PJs, LOUNGE or WORKOUT SET
Have your pjs, lounge wear or workout clothes been in desperate need of updating forever? Mine have, so nothing like a pandemic to upgrade. Jokes aside, I’ve focused most of my new clothing purchases in this area (you know, aside from the million random things I’ve purchased on Amazon — I keep that updated on my Amazon shop), and putting on matching pjs honestly makes me feel like I have my life together, lol. This and this set are a recent favorite — they’re under $40, so insanely soft and are perfect heading into summer. Target also has so, so many good options under $30, and its loungewear section is equally amazing right now — I love how they’ve added so many good in-house brands. For working out, I’m all about Amazon (these shorts, leggings & bra), Athleta, Lilly Pulitzer and a mix of other brands I find on Nordstrom athletic section (Alo, Zella, etc).
LIGHT A CANDLE
So it wasn’t until last year that I understood the difference between a cheapy candle a quality candle. I don’t want to pretend that I’m super knowledgeable here but what I realized is that I was wasting money on candles that really didn’t emit anything. There’s basically no way a low cost candle can have high-quality oil. I found this article really interesting by the way. That said, I’m not spending $80+ on a candle, but I do see the value in candles up to $50ish whose fragrance can literally make me happier, more relaxed, less stressed over a few month period. That’s one less meal out, or a couple of drinks at some spots. While I live for anything citrus/fresh-grapefruit scented — I have two of these (Sephora and Nordstrom) Nest diffusers around my house — this candle is my absolute favorite. It has this rich, kind of sultry, earthy and relaxing scent that transports me. Crazy, right? It’s incredible. I have another from Magnolia that I bought last summer when I visited Waco, Texas, and another from a small boutique. Capri Blu “Volcano” is a major favorite as well — it’s so popular they make it in a million variations. On the more affordable end, a friend is obsessed with this candle, which is beautiful and available in a few scents.
SCHEDULE ZOOM & FACETIMES ON YOUR CALENDAR
If you’re feeling isolated, in the trenches, not motivated or just blah, a favorite face on your screen is a helpful antidote. Plan to grab a glass of wine or tea and catch up, hang on the phone as you both watch an episode of Friends and giggle, or just catch up for five minutes.
And, with close friends, don’t be shy about making impulse video calls. Why the heck not! If they’re not available, they won’t answer. Some of my favorite moments have been those five minute videos with friends, even amidst chaos or kids in the background. Don’t overthink it.
DRINK THE GOOD WINE
This is the drink version of the good quality candle! I’ve honestly cut back more recently on my wine and alcohol consumption…. not that I was drinking excessively but more than I do and I felt like I was about to create a bad habit. That said, enjoying a slightly better bottle of Pinot Noir makes me really happy so I’ll pick up an extra bottle or two when I see them on sale. Drinking a glass of wine in cozy coordinating pjs (these are Roberta Roller Rabbit – code ALY15 for 15% off the site) is a bonus!
These are definitely key ways I’ve found joy the last couple of months! I’d love to hear what has been working for you. Comment below so we can all take advantage of easy ways to find a little more joy these days.
Do you have any extra tips on How to Feel Happy Again? Let me know in a comment below!