I’ve written a lot here about my mental health ups and downs. Though it’s sometimes difficult to share these kinds of posts, I really enjoy writing them because of the deep connection it forms with you, the person on the other side of the screen. (Or occasionally sitting next to me at work, which never feels creepy at all…)
I consider myself the type of person who would bend over backwards for her friends, family and coworkers, but over the years, I’ve really learned the importance of also taking care of myself. If I don’t, I’m not an effective friend/daughter/coworker. I’ve had struggles with depression of both the chemical and situational varieties, and I’ve learned happiness won’t come to me; I need to create it. (Or is that just growing up?)
Like most people, I think “maybe I’d be happier if xxx in my life.” Of course, some of that is within my control, and I go after that. Here’s some of my own ways I aggressively pursue happiness every day.
Work: A few years ago, I decided working in fitness was really important to me, and I narrowed my job search to only look at fitness jobs, and I found my current job, which I love. It’s still a “9-5” (<< LOL) but I have a ton of flexibility — because I sought that. At the time, fitness and “something I believe in” were my criteria, and I really lucked out. There are so many positives with my job, it makes it hard to imagine what I could possibly do next.
With more than 10 years under my belt in my career, I’ve gotten comfortable both raising my hand for projects that interest me but may not perfectly align with my skill set — yet … and also asking for help when needed and really going to bat for myself for it.
Accepting help: Through this past tough year, my amazing friends have been by my side, and they’ve always offered help. I used to have such a hard time taking it. I didn’t want to be a burden; everyone has their own issues. But, no, they’re offering help because they truly care, and I can’t do everything alone. The lovely lady I pay to help me figure it out reminds me I’ve always felt better after letting loved ones help.
Taking time for myself: To be fair, as a single lady without kids, this is easier for me than it may be for others. Taking time for myself means doing something that I want to do that brings me joy or satisfaction. Most of the time, this means working out. I’m now that jerk that needs endorphins. But sometimes this means the exact opposite — sometimes recognizing that sure, even though I will probably feel better working out, I just don’t want to. And that’s ok too sometimes.
Making my bed. Also the kind of person who must make their bed in the morning. After a long day, getting into a neat bed feels like more of a treat than just hopping back in where I left off this morning.
What about you? What do you do to chase happiness and find some high in every day?