1. Decide to decide. Stop putting off tiny decisions that end up cluttering your life. Respond to the text. Recycle the junk mail. Subscribe or unsubscribe. Decide now.
2. Promote someone else’s work. Anna Deavere Smith has said, “To make your own mark on the world, you must see the mark of others.” Choose to see how others are influencing the world for the better, then throw them your support. Shout their praises from the rooftops. Let yourself be inspired.
3. Stop using the term guilty pleasure. Pleasure is an underrated thing, and there should always be more of it. Don’t cast a shadow on your happy place by feeling guilt. If you love something, own it.
4. Love your mistakes. Mistakes are your best teachers. Allow yourself to be a student of your failure. Appreciate the guts it takes to acknowledge when you were dead wrong, and use those less-than-perfect moments to help you grow.
5. Make family a priority. Call your mother. Hug your kids. Kiss your spouse. Family, for better or worse, is your history. Spending time with the people who know you and love you will keep you grounded. If there is one, bury the hatchet.
6. Build up your friends. Use the extra energy you’re gaining from all these choices to build up your friends. Don’t assume they know how much you respect and love them; tell them.
7. Work out. Endorphins. Duh.
8. Spend time outside. Being out in the sun not only gives you a dose of Vitamin D, it lets your perspective open up. Seeing amazing landscapes or even just being present among others is an immediate mood-booster. Go for a walk. Take the long way home from work. Ride your bike.
9. Put meaning into your work. Choose to make the world a better, brighter place no matter what you’re doing for money.
10. Say no. Building a practice of saying no means you are actually in tune with your mind/body needs. You are giving yourself space and time when you need it. It also gives others permission to slow down, too. Saying no can be uber generous.
11. Say yes. On the other side of that coin, let yourself be open to adventure. Say yes to the unexpected. The basic rule to good improv is saying “Yes, and…” and it’s the basic rule for an adventurous life as well.
12. Connect with your community. Humans are social by nature. We thrive off of community. So connect with yours, whether it’s at home, at school, at bari, wherever. Get to know people’s names, engage in conversation, step out of your bubble to connect.
13. Get a playlist. Music is a huge mood booster. Get the tunes that you love and turn them all the way up.
14. Go to sleep. 7-8 hours every night.
15. Meditate. Can’t quite get to sleep? Turn off the electronics and meditate for 10 minutes before bed. Not only does it help you wind down, it has been proven to decrease stress.
16. Learn how to do something new. Learning something new can be scary, but it can be invigorating. Remember the first time you stepped into bari and how exciting it was? Keep your brain active and happy by being a perpetual student.
17. Get in your flow groove. Flow is that sweet spot where something challenges you just beyond your skill level so you have to rise to meet it. Flow is a natural high. Get in your groove to get happy.
18. Make your commute a mental sabbatical. Our minds race day in and day out, and it’s hard sometimes to slow down. So make your commute your mental break. Decide that when you’re traveling, you’re just going to stay present. You might just show up at your destination with a little more mojo.
19. Drink more water. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: is your pee clear? No? Drink more.
20. Affirm yourself. At the end of the day, the only person who can make you happy is you. So put some love into yourself. Say the kind things that you would say to someone else who needed a boost. Put a smile on your own face, and see how much better you feel.
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