What Are You Doing To Make Yourself Happy?
It's a question Joey posed to me the other day and it's a question that has been looming in my mind ever since.
"What are you doing to make yourself HAPPY?" Notice how that question differs from just staying sane or healthy? Just plain, old happy.
If you don't immediately know the difference, I am right there with you.
My only response after a very long pause to ponder was "I take naps sometimes" to which Joey responded "That keeps you sane, what makes you happy?"
Then I realized, at a time where we have been talking a lot about "self care" and mental health, I really think we have forgotten how to just be happy.
I get it, believe me, there is a lot happening in this world right now. A lot to be uneasy about, a lot to be passionate about and a lot to fight for and fight over.
Even in a world where things are slowed down, things are shut down, plans are being cancelled, obligations to other people never really went away. Trying to make other people in your life happy, while putting yourself and your happiness on the back-burner, never went away.
You know what makes me happy? Baking, dogs, spending extra time on my style (makeup/outfit), travel, getting outdoors and kayaking or fishing or hiking, spending a day running errands with a friend, and more that I will spare you from reading.
You know what I haven't been doing lately? Any of that.
No, lately, I have found myself in a bit of a slump and just doing the easiest thing I can to give myself some peace or relaxation...lay on the couch and binge-watch comedies.
Sure, they make me happy. I love comedy. But as I sit there watching people do all the things I wish I could but tell myself I don't have time for, my anxiety rises.
This isn't meant to be a big, emotional, inspirational post but as I sit there I wonder, "what is really stopping me?"
I never thought my dream of being a radio host would ever come true but here we are. I'm now free from chasing a dream and can finally just live in it and enjoy it...so why am I not doing that to the fullest?
Why don't most of us get out and try the things we always think are too crazy or "too hard"?
For a while, as I've sat and watched endless hours of stand-up comedy over the past few years, I have always wanted to try it. Why don't I? Why don'[t I start that podcast I've been wanting to try for three years now? Because they are both something for me that would take a lot of time away from other obligations, take away from making the other people in my life happy.
I'm terrified of confrontation and I'm even more terrified of letting people down. I'm learning you can't make everyone happy until you at least try to make yourself.
On my birthday Joey told me his wish for me was that I would start just doing more things for the sake of doing them for me.
I can't tell you how much it meant to me, it was like I have been waiting for "permission" from someone in my life to be myself. Isn't that crazy?
So if you have been in the same rut as I have and you've been searching for your own Joey to remind you and pull you out of it, let me be that for you now.
Let's all take this fall, a transitional period, as a way to transition our lives into a happier place before the sun goes away for six months and everyone gets even grumpier.
Here are some ideas on why fall is such a good time to take care of yourself and why it is just overall good for your mental health and happiness: