With so many demands on our time, energy, wallet from work, family and friends, figuring out what makes you happy and going after it can be a challenge. If you don’t prioritize your happiness, nobody else will. These five simple hacks will help you supercharge your happiness so you can avoid burnout, overwhelm, and going to that second cousin twice removed’s barbeque just because you “should.”
1. Schedule plenty of YOU time into your week
Let’s face it, most of our lives revolve around other people. Work, friends, spouses and partners, family, etc., the majority of our day requires us to interact with other people and that can be really exhausting. It’s important to schedule at least an hour a day – and more if you can – of YOU time into your calendar to take care of yourself.
Doing things that you enjoy, whether that’s listening to a podcast, reading, or working out, and doing them alone allows you to reconnect to who you are and have something positive to look forward to every single day.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” – Ludwig Jacobowski
2. Make “no” the most important word in your vocabulary
Making other people happy is something that we all want. It feels good to help someone out or make their lives easier. The problem is that we often sacrifice our own well-being when we say “yes” too much, especially for opportunities, work, or interactions that don’t personally fulfill us.
So whether it’s with friends, co-workers, or colleagues, learning to say no not only increases your productivity, but also your quality of life. When you set clear boundaries for the things that you don’t want and won’t accept, it leaves more room for the people and experiences that do make you happy. And remember: You don’t owe anyone an explanation if you say no to them.
3. Create a “shake the day off” routine
Even the happiest people go through stressful periods. One of the biggest issues that leads to serial unhappiness, burnout, and chronic stress is not having a release to clear out the stress that’s built up over the course of the day.
So once you’ve closed your laptop or walked through the door, it’s important to have a routine that you do that helps you get everything you’ve been bottling up off your chest. Whether that’s playing loud music and ranting for 10 minutes, spending 20 minutes with a partner where you both get to talk about the stresses of the day, or just putting on your favorite playlist and dancing it out, it’s crucial to give your mind and your body the opportunity to let go of stress on a consistent basis.
Having a place to channel negative emotion at the end of the day will help you move through the emotions, honor them, and not dwell on them incessantly. And if you had an absolutely amazing day, flip your routine on its head – spend 10 minutes celebrating.
4. Do a closet purge
Our closets hold a lot of memories – good and bad, and they tend to be where we hoard a lot of emotional baggage, both metaphorically and literally. Go through your closet and find your favorite outfits that you wear currently, whether it’s sweatpants and a t-shirt or a really well-tailored outfit, that’s your starting point.
Everything in your closet and drawers should make you feel that amazing. So get rid of any clothes that are too big or too small, any emotionally-charged pieces of clothing (for example, if you’ve still got your wedding outfit after a divorce, donate it), or anything that doesn’t represent who you are.
Your style is an opportunity to make a statement about who you are and the clothes you wear should boost your mood. Even if you’re a minimalist, you should be proud of the quality of your pieces and how they fit.
“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” – Dale Carnegie
5. Get up close and personal with your bank account every day
Money doesn’t buy happiness, but it does give you options. So many people have a fear of money and they avoid it like the plague. Checking their bank balance is their least favorite to do, they hate paying bills, and they avoid opening mail or screen phone calls to make sure it’s not the bank.
Facing the reality of your money situation, whether it needs fixing or it’s great, will only help you improve it. You can also seek the advice of a financial planner at your bank to help you with this and create a plan to shift your situation. You might have more options available than you know.
Getting clear about the gap between your spending and your income can help push you to start looking for that job or new opportunity that you’ve been procrastinating on. Tracking your finances on a daily or weekly basis can help you come up with creative solutions to make more money and provide yourself with more options for financial freedom.
Maybe you’re paying for cable, Netflix, and Hulu, but it’d be more cost effective to just get Netflix and HBO Go because that’s all you ever watch anyways. You’ll never know where more options are hiding until you get up close and personal with the reality of your financial situation.