Right. Today is a day for some much needed positivity, okay? A kick up the arse, if you will. A time for saying what needs to be said, a little tough love us humans need to hear; all in good will to make our lives happier.
This post was heavily inspired by dull, rainy January (because it stripped us of all positivity) and by the wonderful Megan Ellaby, the blogger babe who’s post on appreciating the smaller things in life a few weeks back really got me thinkin’.
For me, January and February are the worst months of the year. Personally, it’s a shitty time, as I lost my Dad in January 2016 and these cold months are a reminder of how much I miss him. And just generally, because there’s nothing like freezing cold, grey weather to strip us of any cheer.
Christmas is over, so crisp, frosty mornings don’t hold the same festive feel as before. New Year has been and gone; we’ve already managed to break those resolutions, reminding us of how awful we are at any form of willpower. And with January taking 835692002379458495 light-years to finally say its goodbyes, it still feels like decades before any sunshine or happy times will come knockin’.
So it’s safe to say that the start of any new year is dull, dismal and dim, and it’s only natural that our moods will be affected by this. But one thing that is absolutely inexcusable (and is one thing that we all continue to do) is to spend these months doing nothing but moan.
It’s so cold (moan); I feel so uninspired at this time of year (moan); why is nothing going right for me this year (moan). I can’t believe that one tiny little thing that wouldn’t usually get me down happened this morning and now it’s 110% going to ruin my day. Moan. Actually no, I think it’ll ruin my week. Moan. Oh for goodness sake, another thing’s happened- 2018 is so officially ruined. M O A N.
Yes, this time of year isn’t the best. Yes, you might not exactly be having the best week of your existence. And times really can get tough, but it’s about how we struggle through to the other side that makes for a worthwhile life. We’re all so guilty of getting caught up in the everyday, that we don’t see the bigger picture. And that’s what this post be remindin’ ya of today. Here’s a few lil things we could all be doing for a happier mindset. It’s time we appreciated the everyday, people!
You can always take something beautiful from every single day
As Megan details in her post (which you should all read for a dose of positivity) it’s the smaller things in life where you can find true happiness and joy. However you are struggling these months, whether it’s because the dull weather is getting you down, or because you’ve been having to deal with some tragic circumstances, there is always something beautiful that you can take from every single day. We can find solace in those little moments and I honestly think if our brains were trained to only want the simpler things, we’d be very happy people.
For me, these simpler things are those such as having the chance to have a lie in; waking up naturally to the sound of birds singing outside and natural light streaming in through the windows makes me happier and more peaceful than anything else can. Similarly, a weekend with nothing to do but be with those I love makes me feel A-Okay about life. Playing my favourite vinyl on my record player as I wander around my student house, running errands and getting everything tidy. That feeling of elation once you’ve handed in all your university work. Sitting on a bench in a park in summer, watching the world go by. Quiet moments reading a book in bed in the evening. We can snatch these simple, yet beautiful moments from every single day, if we make time for them.
And it’s these moments we instantly forget if something goes wrong in our day. We think everything has suddenly turned to rubbish, and that nothing can possibly be good right now. But these moments are always here, and they’re here to remind us that some things are going well, and that everything can and will be okay.
Everything happens for a reason
This is a very cliched mantra, but it has been the mantra that I have stuck to for years, through good times and bad. When things are good, it’s something that reminds me that any successes that come from my hard work aren’t flukes, they’re things that I have worked damn hard for and deserve. When things are bad, I use this mantra as a way to comfort myself and begin to process any traumatic times.
There is only so much that we can do to control how our lives pan out. If we want to work for something, we give it all that we have got and if we get to where we want to be, it’s because we’ve worked hard to get there. If something happens that is distressing: we lose someone we love, we’re made redundant from a job, the sale on our dream house falls through, it’s because life is unpredictable, sometimes scary and often upsetting, and the course of life is sadly just this way- but these things help us learn, grow and become the kindest people we can be.
This mantra can be a tough one to believe in sometimes, especially when we experience upsetting traumas that really don’t feel fair. Life is unfair and it’s unpredictable, and there isn’t really a way to explain why in heck things have to be shit sometimes, but we just have to try our best to move on and to use any experience that comes our way to shape ourselves to be good people.
Nothing is constant
Honestly, nothing is. Life has its ups and downs- but this is just a fact of life. Nothing will be perfect forever, but likewise, nothing will be absolutely crappy forever, either. A happy medium is what we can hope for! The bad things are character building, and the good times allow us some respite. Sometimes it’s worth taking ourselves out of our heads and assessing the bigger picture: everyone has ups and downs, the world is not out to get us if we’re having a bad week, and things will get better.
All we have is now
The human brain is a funny one, because we are constantly either thinking of the past, or projecting to the future. We might spend our days reminiscing about happy memories and wishing we were back at simpler times, or we’ll be constantly looking ahead on how to go up in the world, thinking that the future will lead us to a happier place. We never live in the moment. But just as the past is a thought (memories are subjective thoughts we have conjured that we replay in our heads) the future is also a construction made by us: a projection into what might happen. Neither of those things are certain. All that is certain is our experience right now. If we didn’t listen to our thoughts, that tell us either the past was a happier time or that the future will be better, we’d be much happier lil beans. Focus on the now: the present is really all we have.
Just do more of what makes you happy
Now this one isn’t a get out of jail free card: it doesn’t mean neglect all responsibilities. But, very often, we don’t indulge in the things that make us happiest enough. If you want to watch an extra episode of your fave show on Netflix even though you know it’ll put you half an hour behind on your uni work, so be it once in a while. Indulge in some retail therapy if you want to. We need to do more of what makes us happy, because life’s too short not to feel happiness, people.