Everything I Learned About Happiness In The Last Year
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Hello Peaceful Mind turns 1 this month!
Can you believe it?
I can’t … time is going so fast.
So I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to do a round-up of everything that I changed in my life to become happier.
I’m going to be honest and let you know I am still having bad days. Just a couple of weeks ago I spent all Sunday on my couch under a blanket feeling down. But, overall I am happier and I am proud of where I am today!
1. Taking antidepressants
The first step in my journey was to make an appointment with the doctor to talk about my depression and anxiety. It wasn’t easy to admit that something was wrong with me, but I knew that it was time for me to take action and get out of this vicious cycle.
You can read more about it in this article.
2. Changing my work hours
The second thing that I did was to rearrange my schedule. I am working in the tech industry so as long as I get my hours done, my boss is pretty flexible.
One thing that was stressing me out was starting my day stuck in traffic for an hour. I would get out of bed, take a quick shower and rush to work to be there at 8 am.
Most of my coworkers only come between 9:30 and 10:30 am, so I decided to give it a try.
Now I take the time to have breakfast and work on Hello Peaceful Mind before getting ready to go to work. By the time I leave my home it only takes 30 minutes to commute. I stay later at night but get home in 20 minutes. So I am completely relaxed.
You can read more about my new schedule and create your own in this article.
3. Traveling more
I used to avoid taking vacations because I am not paid when I take time off. But then I realized that it was one of the reasons why I was feeling stressed out.
Honestly, who could work for years non-stop without taking a break?
So this year we saved money for plane tickets to go visit friends in New York twice and go to see my friends and family in France.
The last time I went back to France was 4 years ago when we got married.
We found a way to get cheaper plane tickets to France by taking the bus to Vancouver and take a plane from there. Then we stayed at my friends’ and families.
I can tell you that I needed this time off work.
4. Starting a diary
One of the first things I did was to start a diary. I realize now that writing is therapeutic for me.
I don’t write every day, only when I am in a good mood or when I am feeling stressed.
If you need help to write, I create a workbook with 56 lists to make when you are feeling down. You can find it here.
If you are not convinced about starting a diary, you can find out why you should in this article.
5. Improving my sleep
This year I’ve learned a lot about the importance of sleep for physical and mental health.
This is one of the reasons why I am obsessed with my Fitbit Charge 2.
Every day I check my sleep data and make sure that I slept at least 7:30 hours.
I also blocked my phone with QualityTime and my computer with Freedom at 9:30 pm to force me to disconnect in the evening.
You can find out at what time you should disconnect with this FREE sleep time calculator.
If you have trouble falling asleep, I recommend you to read this article.
Also a few weeks ago we painted our bedroom to make it more peaceful. Now, every time I am in there, I feel relaxed and proud of our work 🙂
6. Creating a workout routine
This is one thing that the doctor recommended, I needed to workout more. In the article The One Thing That Motivated Me To Change My Life And Be Happy, I explain why working out is important to fight depression.
It took me months to figure out what would be a good fit for me. I first started by going to the gym and simply watching Once Upon A Time while being on the elliptical for an episode, but then realized that I needed a more social environment to be motivated and started to take barre classes and Zumba. You can read more about it here.
In February, we did the Minimalism Challenge (you can do it to by clicking here). It really opened my mind to the minimalist lifestyle.
Honestly, I don’t consider myself as a minimalist but I try to implement it as much as I can for so many reasons:
- Save money
- Make money
- Reduce stress
- Become more intentional
- Spend less time cleaning
- More space
- Become more confident
- More focus
- Be happier
- and more
8. Becoming more confident
This year I colored my hair unicorn style twice! Honestly, I would have never believed that I would be a 30-year-old purple hair woman. But guess what? It felt amazing.
For one, I loved it. But then I also started to take the time to take care of myself. I got a few manicures and pedicures this year, which I NEVER do. Now, I am having a self-care routine for my hair, which didn’t happen in years. I also spend more time during the weekend and in the morning to take care of myself.
All of this to say that becoming a 30 years old unicorn woman is totally worth it.
It’s never too late to do something that you were always scared of!
You can read my experience in this article.
I also started doing a capsule wardrobe for each season. Believe it or not but having only clothes that I like in my closet helped me feel amazing every day.
I have a dress that people always love when I wear it. And it feels amazing!
Find out how to create a capsule wardrobe here.
9. Having some me time
It’s hard for me to slow down and take care of myself. But this year I have been working on changing that habit.
Here are a few activities that I like to do by myself:
- A beginner yoga practice videos from Yoga with Adriene
- Coloring a page on You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds
- Reading a magazine
- Writing in my diary
10. Learning how to meditate
This is still a work in progress but I really want to make meditation a habit. I started with yoga to learn how to focus my mind on the moment.
But it gets easier every day. For example, I find myself more aware of small things like the heat of the sun on my skin, the wind dancing with my hair or just the feeling of a bright night sky.
In this article, you will find more tips to help you start a meditation practice.
11. Taking breaks at work
One thing that I now do every day is to go for a walk during lunch time and a shorter one in the afternoon.
Sometimes I ditch my coworkers for lunch, grab a sandwich and walk to the lake to spend a bit of time away from the office. It feels so good.
You can find more tips to relax at work in this article.
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- The Best Tools To Improve Your Life And Be Happier
Over to you
What did you change in your life to become happier?