14 Jul Happiness Habits, Part Two: Weekly, Monthly and Yearly Habits
Happiness looks different for everyone. For you, maybe it’s being at peace with who you are, having a secure network of friends, or having the freedom to pursue your dreams.
Regardless of your version of true happiness, living a happier, more satisfied life is within reach. A few tweaks to your regular habits can help you get there.
In Part Two of Two in our series about achieving happiness, we’ll look at the weekly, monthly, and yearly habits that can help you along the way. (In case you missed it, Part One focuses on daily habits — check it out!)
Weekly Happiness Habits
Decluttering sounds like a big project, but setting aside just 20 minutes a week can have a big impact.
What can you do in 20 minutes? Lots.
- Set a timer on your phone and take 15 minutes to tidy up a specific area of one room — say, your closet or that out-of-control junk drawer. Put everything in its place and toss any extra clutter that’s not serving you anymore.
- Keep a designated box for giveaways to make things a little easier (and avoid creating more clutter).
- Use the remaining 5 minutes to do a quick walk through your living space, putting away whatever stray items end up in your path.
You can do this trick once a week, once a day, or anytime you feel like your space is getting out of control.
Get in touch with friends
Humans are social beings, and having close friends can make us happier.
Who do you miss? Reach out to them. Make a Zoom date and chat virtually, or go old-school and talk on the phone.
In adulthood, it can feel next to impossible to make new friends. But it’s not about how many friends you have: it’s about having meaningful relationships, even if it’s just with one or two people.
Plan your week
At the end of every week, try sitting down and making a basic list for the upcoming week. Even if you don’t stick to the plan, blocking out time where you can do laundry, go grocery shopping, or tackle projects at work can help to quiet your mind.
You can get a fancy planner, but even a sticky note on your computer or piece of scrap paper in your pocket can do the job.
Ditch your phone
Turn off all the electronics and put those ear buds away for at least one hour, once a week. They’ll still be there for you later — if you still want them, that is.
If you haven’t unplugged in a while, you might be surprised at the difference it makes. Let your mind wander free for a change. Read. Meditate. Take a walk and pay attention to your surroundings. Be sociable. Or be alone. Just be.
There are many methods of meditation to explore. They can involve movement, focus, spirituality, or a combination of all three.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as sitting quietly with your own thoughts for 5 minutes. Even the deep breathing exercises mentioned earlier can serve as a form of meditation.
Find a self-care ritual
It’s easy to neglect self-care in a fast-paced world. But your body carries your thoughts, passions, and spirit through this world, doesn’t it deserve a little TLC?
Maybe it’s unwinding your workweek with a long, hot bath. Or adopting a skin care routine that makes you feel indulgent. Or simply setting aside a night to put on your softest jammies and watch a movie from start to finish.
Whatever it is, make time for it. Put it in your planner if you must, but do it.
If you find that giving daily compliments provides a needed boost to your mood, considering making a monthly routine of giving back on a larger scale.
Maybe that’s helping out at a food bank on the third weekend of every month, or offering to watch your friend’s kids one night per month.
Create a thought list
You arrive for an appointment with 10 minutes to spare. What do you do with that time? Pick up your cell phone to scroll through social media? Worry about the busy week you have ahead of you?
Take control of your thoughts during these brief windows of time.
At the start of each month, make a short list of happy memories or things you’re looking forward to on a small piece of paper or on your phone.
When you find yourself waiting for a ride, standing in line at the grocery store, or just with a few minutes to kill, break out the list. You can even use it when you’re just generally feeling down and need to change up your thoughts.
Take time to reflect
The start of a new year is a good time to stop and take inventory of your life. Set aside some time to catch up with yourself the way you would with an old friend:
- How are you doing?
- What have you been up to?
- Are you happier than you were a year ago?
But try to avoid the pitfall of judging yourself too harshly for your answers. You’ve made it to another year, and that’s plenty.
If you find that your mood hasn’t improved much over the last year, consider making an appointment with your doctor or talking to a therapist. You might be dealing with depression or even an underlying physical condition that’s impacting your mood.
Reevaluate your goals
People change, so think about where you’re heading and consider if that’s still where you want to go. There’s no shame in changing your game.
Let go of any goals that no longer serve you, even if they sound nice on paper.
Take care of your body
You hear it all the time, including several times in this article, but your physical and mental health are closely intertwined.
As you build habits to improve your happiness, make sure to follow up with routine appointments to take care your body:
- Call a PHMP Health Coach! (1-855-498-4643)
- see your primary care physician for an annual physical
- take care of any chronic health conditions and see specialists as recommended
- see your dentist for an oral exam and follow up as recommended
- get your vision checked
Let go of grudges
This is often easier said than done. But you don’t have to do it for the other person.
Sometimes, offering forgiveness or dropping a grudge is more about self-care than compassion for others.
Take stock of your relationships with others. Are you harboring any resentment or ill will toward someone? If so, consider reaching out to them in an effort to bury the hatchet.
This doesn’t have to be a reconciliation. You may just need to end the relationship and move on.
If reaching out isn’t an option, try getting your feelings out in a letter. You don’t even have to send it to them. Just getting your feelings out of your mind and into the world can be freeing.