Happiness Helpers

Anyone else ready to hop off the war/pandemic/political drama/inflation/WTF is happening train? Yeah, me too.

I picked a hell of a time to build out a tiny house. Between supply issues and the INSANE inflation rates, war mongering and division, I’m definitely feeling it. The stress, impending doom, constant political bickering and a severely pinched wallet is really getting under my skin, like a splinter I can’t get out. I’m sure everyone else is feeling it too. It’s enough to make me want to scream into the void. So what can I do to find the joy again? How can I hold onto happiness in these weird times?

I’ll tell you below, after the disclaimer of course.

[DISCLAIMER] I’m not a certified psychologist or counselor and it is highly recommended that you speak to one if you’re experiencing strong feelings of anxiety, thoughts of suicide or depression. This article is for entertainment purposes only and to discuss the authors (my) experience in dealing with stress from current events.

I can’t tell you what will help you, but I can tell you what I do to help myself.

Leave the news for another day: Yes, being informed is important, but drowning myself in current events day in and day out was making me miserable. I’m doing limits. I give myself five minutes to check the headlines and read an article that will keep me informed and that’s it. If it’s still too much, I’ll skip the news for a couple days. Skip days are pretty great because I can really focus on other things and my mood is improved with little effort.

Skip social media for a while: Yep that’s a huge cause of stress. You might not even realize it because we all just aimlessly scroll through sites without thinking about it much. What you’re seeing can seriously affect your mood every day. I get irritable when I’m done scrolling. I’ve realized it has to do with my self esteem dropping because of all the filters I’m watching. Other times I get frustrated because I got caught up and wasted an hour looking at literally nothing of any substance. Skip it or limit it. It’s like a cleanse of the brain. Social media is great but it’s such a superficial waste of energy sometimes… in my opinion of course.

Go outside: I have to go outside and get fresh air or I get cranky. I like to wander around the property or go for a walk or hike. It really resets my mood. It’s harder in the winter or when it’s pouring rain, but even a short walk isn’t out of the question for me. Not a nature lover? That’s fine, go for a walk around your neighborhood or through a mall, but get out of the house and breathe some less stagnant air.

Explore a new area: I know, that’s my thing if you’ve read my other articles… but in all seriousness, go somewhere you haven’t been. It doesn’t have to be far away—I know gas is expensive—but it has to be new to you. Maybe you’ve never been to the block behind your house, or to the new park in town. Just find a new place and have yourself an adventure checking it out. Go on, be a tourist in your own town. It’s fun!

Turn off the TV and pick up a hobby: I’m biased because I’m an author so I think everyone should read. I swear there is nothing like the feeling of falling into a new world and getting lost… *sigh… Not a reader? Pick up a hobby that sends you into a meditative trance and leaves you feeling fulfilled when your done. Paint, knit, draw, make cookies, write a song, kick a soccer ball… whatever it is, go do it and let your mind fall into the bliss of your hobby. Is watching TV a hobby? Absolutely, but make sure what you watch is really feeding your soul and not dragging you down—that goes for anything really.

I hope these help, I know they help me when I need it the most. Happiness isn’t something just given, it takes a bit of effort but it’s grand when I find it in the littlest places. I always look for it in ‘big moments’ but the truth is, happiness lies in the small bits. The day-to-day mundane can be blinding, but if you look a bit deeper, tidbits of joy are hidden in the mundane.

Until next time wanderers! Keep them boots wandering!


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