We all have those moments where our heads are spinning and swarming with thoughts and ideas and to-do lists and calculus notes and we’re running on espresso shots. These moments will consume our entire lives if we let them. In order to stay happy and of sound mind, I concentrate on six simple steps.
- Focus on the positives. Little things can make your whole day—a compliment from a stranger, an afternoon nap, a leggings-instead-of-pants day, sitting down with a jar of Nutella and a spoon. Reflect on these instances of happiness.
- Share the energy. Return a smile, spread a compliment. The flu doesn’t have to be the only thing that’s contagious.
- Treat yourself. A visit to your favorite café or a lazy Saturday curled up with a good book and a cozy blanket are necessary things once in a while.
- Do something unexpected. Change things up a bit—go on a spontaneous late-night adventure, get that pixie cut you’ve been considering for weeks, stop hopelessly gazing at the guy in your English class and just go over and talk to him. All it takes is a little bit of courage.
- Make things happen for yourself. Religiously reading travel blogs and scrolling through Instagram pictures of pink sand beaches and little British towns won’t transport you to where you want to be. If you want to take a trip, reduce your impulse buys at the mall and splurges on shoes, take an extra shift at work, and save up to get yourself there. Hope is nothing without effort and determination.
- Document the moments. Make a running list of things from each day that made you smile. My list includes Skype with old friends, long chats with new friends, packages in the mail, strawberry ice cream, and tea parties on Sundays. What’s on your list?