As I said in my last post, this is a time of reflection and introspection for me and it is something I greatly enjoy.
I have a couple of projects on the go to help me with this; and I wanted to share the one that I have just completed. Well, started really.
Self help books have never been something that I have been fond of, at all in fact. But I came across this book, not sure how now, and it struck a chord. Once again my library came up trumps and got the book in for me within the week.
The book is The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. It is good. I read it taking notes as I went along as I thought within a couple of pages that I would be able to use what she is saying. One reason for this is that she states that she wants to become happy with what she has. Which appeals to me – we can’t all ditch out lives and head on out to Italy, Indian or wherever, a la Elizabeth Gilbert (although I have enjoyed reading her books). The other reason is that she said that she should be happy and she feels she could be happier.
I totally get this – I think it is years of depression has scarred me in that my natural default mode is several notches below ok – I get angry and wound up easily, I do tend to have black tinted glasses and pretty much always see the negative rather than the positive. I fact not only am I a glass half empty person, but I want to know where the other half went and why I don’t have it.
I know that this can be draining for people around me and so with the aid of this book I have decided to change that.
One of her ideas is to have daily resolutions and mark off how you do at the end of each day on a chart. This really appeals to me as I am a compulsive list maker and I love to tick things off. I also like having a sense of achievement. These daily resolutions are not focusing on big things that new years resolutions are, but small things that I can do daily to help me feel and act happier. I have decided on these after brainstorming what makes me happy and what doesn’t make me happy. Which in itself gave quite surprising results – if you haven’t spent time think what makes you happy and what does make you happy take a piece of paper and spend 10 minutes doing so, I am sure you will be surprised.
I am gong to share these here – mainly to give me a sense of accountability.
Movement so this is any form of movement – a 5K run, 10 mins dancing like a lunatic. 30 mins yoga at home, etc etc it doesn’t include walking to a destination which I have to do such as the train station/uni/work. This is not about getting fit it is about making myself feel good by taking time out to feed my body.
Space I have a strong sense of needing lots of time and space to myself and I often don’t let myself. So this is time to myself to think and relax, to listen to music or read – other than on the train and without a computer (unless it is writing)
Spiritual This could be prayer, meditation, ritual, solitary, with other people or whatever. The idea is that I make this part of my daily life and focus on doing so.
Achieve I like to feel a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day, so this is just a small task which makes me feel like I have got somewhere – writing a blog post, working on a project, practicing a piece of music (I am teaching myself to play the piano from scratch) etc.
Fruit eat one piece of fruit a day. I know this is not complicated, but I am not good at eating fruit, I have oral allergy syndrome, so I am allergic to a lot of them, but there are some I am not allergic to. I am hoping that this will generally help me with my health, because being ill makes me very unhappy. I can eat vegetables, it is just fruit that I have to force myself to eat.
Nagging task There are many things in my life that make me guilty that I haven’t done, many of them are 10 minute jobs at the most, but I just never seem to get around to them. So, if I aim to complete one a day then that guilt will lessen, feeling guilty does not make me happy!
Good person Here I am trying not to snap at people (especially my OH), to apologise when I have done something wrong and you know, generally be a good person! I am not saying I think I am a nasty person, but I do think I could be nicer!
So, there you go, that is my daily resolutions, not new year resolutions, but just a gentle focus on doing things that make me happy and addressing things which make me less so. Phew, rather a long post, but something that I wanted to share with you all. Have you done anything similar? How did it work out for you?