10 Ways to Be Happy

10 Ways to Be Happy

I last wrote about a happiness boost of refreshing my apartment. Since then, my mental health has taken a turn towards the less-than-awesome, and I’m working harder than ever to get out of this. (There’s a lot more behind this that I will discuss someday but I’m still processing it myself.)

Until then… I thought I’d present you with some things that have worked for me thus far, as well as some things I’d like to try. None of this is earth-shattering, just some things one crazy girl is trying. Also, I’m cognizant that some of these might not be budget-friendly, but I’m trying to include a mix of both.

Flatiron Building

1. Catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while.

My friend Meggie moved to LA (boohiss), so I only see her every few months but love catching up with her. (P.S. She’s also on Ali’s podcast, so you can catch up with her too!) No joke, after having coffee with her, I felt better than I’d felt in at least 10 days. (Or maybe that was just all the coffee I had???) This sunny day in Flatiron didn’t hurt either. But don’t be deceived, it was still cold AF.

I’m also setting up lots of coffee/run dates with other people I haven’t seen for a while or don’t know as well. I have The Best Friends Ever, but sometimes a little new blood doesn’t hurt.

2. Volunteer!

I’ve been volunteering with the New York Junior League for 9.5 years, but I’ve always been internally-facing. I started off working on our communications, and the nature of our league, at least, is that you end up getting pulled into different things.

I’ve been looking at opportunities both within and outside the League, and I’m thinking of volunteering my running or writing skillz to help others. If you’re not familiar with it,  idealist.org is a good place to find volunteer opps.

Sweat Glen Rock

3. Try a new fitness class or activity.

My girl Liz used to teach at my beloved Uplift but has since moved back to NJ. Random fact: we are both from Franklin Lakes but didn’t know each other until we met at Uplift. She’s now teaching at Sweat Glen Rock. Her class is bootcamp-style and fairly similar to her Uplift style, but it’s always fun to try a new studio. (Or one you haven’t tried in a while — this morning I went back to Rowhouse.)

santa monica beach

4. Get away.

If you can fit any kind of last-minute getaway into your schedule and/or budget, DO IT. It doesn’t even have to involve getting on a plane or getting a hotel or Airbnb. A few weeks ago, on one of those freak warm days, my BFF and I played hooky and drove out to Montauk for the day, working our way back west. The fact that we were playing hooky felt so forbidden (hello goodie-two-shoes who has never taken a true hooky day in her 13-year career), that it was part of the fun.

I also love this idea of a DIY writing retreat. Even if you’re not a writer, I think you could still use this to hole up and work on whatever your side project is — or just have a lovely little getaway close to home.

5. Retreat.

I am SO excited to go on this writing retreat in a few weeks and be surrounded by inspiring creatives.

6. Sign up for a class.

This one is super high on my list right now (and I have to say came as a great push from my therapist — I’d been thinking about it for some time.) I’m personally thinking of signing up for a writing class (duh?), but I think either honing existing skills or finding new ones is an excellent way to get your mind excited about something new. I took one improv class a few years ago, and mayyyyy return. TBD 🙂

Sites like CourseHorse or Skillshare are excellent places to start to look for IRL classes. I’m much more of an in-person learner, but if you don’t mind online, Coursera looks great — or just google whatever it is you want to learn and DIY your own learning experience.

7. Sign up for a race.

(You knew I’d say this one, right?) But really. It gives you something fun to look forward to, and if you’re new to running, a new goal/activity to strive for.

8. Change up your physical space.

Obviously I’ve been going pretty hardcore on this one, but I think even re-arranging furniture or buying a new candle (I’ve been loving this one lately) can make a difference in your outlook.

9. Send a friend a letter to let them know how much you love them.

My friends have been nothing short of amazing during these tough few years, and I like (/am trying to do so more) to send them little notes in the mail to let them know how much I appreciate them. Knowing I’m going to brighten someone’s day, even if just for an instant, makes me feel better.

10. When in doubt, Kimmy Schmidt.

I can’t watch that show without smiling at least a bit.

What about you? What are reliable happiness boosts for you?

The Apartment Refresh That’s Turning My Mood Around

I was thinking today about this post I’m about to write. And about how my blog is called Preppy Runner, but how I don’t often blog about running any more.

But yet about how running and fitness are so key to my happiness, my soul, my identity. How my face lights up the most when I talk about running, and about how fitness has the power to change your life, how it changed mine. I’m studying for the NASM exam, and that’s been on my mind a lot lately.

(That’s all, just a musing.)

Last week, I said I was embarking on an apartment refresh. I had a really scary panic attack last week, to the point that I almost went to the ER, before calling my doctor and realizing it was just a terrible case of anxiety. (My fave grief author has an upcoming book about grief + anxiety that can not come out soon enough!) Once I took a Klonopin and calmed down, my best friend thrust me into organizing and redecorating my apartment, and my therapist suggested the same thing the next day. I actually moved into my apartment two years ago today, and…obviously a lot has happened in those two years, so I didn’t really decorate much/as much I would have liked to.

And so, I’ve spent a lot of the past week organizing and decorating…and it’s been really fun.

Closet Refresh Real Simple Hangers

We started out with my closet. And I will just leave at this: I am really glad I didn’t take a before! My apartment has kind of been like I think I am — seems mostly OK on the outside, kinda a hot mess inside. I was ashamed to open my messy closet and told Meg not to judge me…outside. I have probably eight bags of stuff to be donated now! And I am shocked that all of this fit into one closet — this was spread throughout both of my closets before. But Meg suggested I get these hangers, instead of my beloved pretty wooden ones, and they made a huge difference!

World Market Gold Terra Cotta Shower Curtain

In my bathroom, I went for this shower curtain and this cheery rug. Not pictured, but I got these AWESOME new knobs from Anthro. I don’t know why I’d never thought to change out knobs, but it is such a quick update! Now I’m on the hunt for new knobs for my kitchen, but I need 14, so slowing my roll on that.

In my bedroom, I went for this Kate Spade duvet. I love the pink pillow that they sell with it, but at $89…LOLLLLLLLL. (Ali sent me Ellie the Elephant just after my mom died, and yes, I’m 35 and sleeping with a stuffed animal, it’s cool.) I got these curtains and then went to M&J for ribbon for the tiebacks! I’m not sure yet which one I’m going to go with, but I’m leaning yellow/navy.

Rugs USA Pink Rug

In my living room, so far the biggest change I’ve made is moving that bookcase over from one side of the TV to the other. I got this rug  just before Christmas in an insomnia shopping binge, and I regret nothing. This chair is on its way to replace the one in the corner there, and this desk is also on its way, because hello crazy sale!!! (Couch and table also West Elm. I try really hard to buy furniture elsewhere…but they always just have exactly what I want at the right price.)

It’s nice having this project to work on!

Also, here’s an awesome (timely for me!) post that one of my fave bloggers, Grace, wrote this week on home decor tipsWhat are your tips/fave finds?