There are many small things that you can do for yourself. On this site, there are plenty of articles on practising basic self-care. This is probably the most important thing you should do for yourself, but to provide a summary, here they are in order of importance: drink water, hygiene, eat healthy stuff, and do some form of exercise. We all cycle through varying stages of being able to complete these things, and that’s alright. Sometimes, when getting out of bed seems completely infeasible, these take a back seat for the moment. Nevertheless, they are important to keep in mind, because they are a way of staying physically and mentally healthy.
This article goes beyond taking care of yourself. These are ideas to something that you can do to make yourself happy in the new year. Making this list is my effort into broadening my horizons from ‘surviving’ to ‘living’. It’s small and might seem insignificant, but it might also be a step towards a more joyful life. You can try and implement some of the things for yourself, or feel free to steal my idea. Move your focus towards something positive that will help you . not something that will make you look good, or something that will make you more productive. This is about a more positive experience, not about a more positive image.
Take up a new hobby
This is a big one. I’ve realised that I spend the majority of my free time doing something insignificant and then I feel like I’ve wasted my time. Pick up a hobby or something - for me, it was embroidery, simply because I had a lot of thread laying around from a deceased aunt. Relaxing in your spare time is very important - you can’t go, go, go, all the time. It’s not sustainable. But at the same time, it’s important not to let your downtime become something that makes you feel bad. A hobby is lovely if you’re like me and feel a bit bad about just being in bed all day.
Find a really small thing that makes you happy.
This is simple. It can be anything that you can enjoy on a frequent basis, almost an afterthought to your daily routine. For me, it’s putting on perfume after I shower. It could be watering a plant. Just a small, simple thing that brings you joy and brightens your day.
Make a playlist that makes you effin’ jazzed (if you don’t have one already)
Collect all your jams. All the music that makes you want to dance. Put it all together, and voila: You now have an instant mood booster. I recommend listening to your creation when you’re showering, cleaning, or when travelling to school.
Send a card to someone you love
This is just nice. Makes you feel really productive. Makes the receiver happy. It’s just cute and romantic.
Remember that dreams have no expiration date
This is something I have to tell myself and my friends repeatedly. You’re young. Life is so, so long. Nowadays, most people in the developed world live to their 80. I once read an estimate that of those born after 2000, half will get to see their 100th birthday. There is absolutely no reason you should have it all figured out by the time you’re 18. Dreams, wants and aspirations can change. You can turn your life around when you’re 36. Don’t panic, take a breath, and remember that you’ve got time. Don’t let societal expectations dictate what you do and when you do it. You’re the one living your life, so live it at your own pace.
Spend your free time on things that make you happy.
This is my primary focus for the new year, and it sort of ties in with the point of the hobby. 2018 was the year I realised that I let myself and my time be dictated by school to the point where I spent the majority of my time doing something that contributed absolutely nothing to my overall happiness. Make sure that the time you have is spent making you happy. Whether that means reading a good book, playing board games with friends, going out, or taking time to your family, make sure that if you can, you are spending time making yourself and others happy. If you feel like 4 hours spend on Youtube is a waste of time, work towards limiting the time you do that. Your obligations become a lot easier to deal with if your time outside those obligations are spent doing something that makes you feel good.
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The articles here are written by guest writers or previous TWE members.