How To Be Happier

How To Be Happier

Over the past few months, I have made taking care of myself and my mental health a priority. In my first year of University, I was doing a lot of things that contributed to me feeling unhappy and unmotivated all the time. I was not sleeping well, my diet consisted of a lot of fast foods, I was not working out or drinking enough water. Once I got back home, I realised just how much my mindset had changed. I was sad and snappy, things that I loved doing did not make me happy anymore.

Here are some of the things I have started doing to make a positive difference for my mental health :

1. Working Out

I’ve always been someone who’s played a lot of sports and who’s been relatively active throughout my teenage years. When I started college, I didn’t dedicate a lot of time to fitness and working out and surely enough, I lost touch with my athletic self. I’m slowly starting to incorporate fitness into my daily life and have started seeing a big positive change in my mental and physical health.

2. Gratitude

Writing down at least three things that I am grateful for every morning has made a huge difference in my life. I always take out 5 minutes out of my day to write about the things and people that I am grateful for and also list down what I can do to make my day better. I highly recommend buying The 5 Minute Journal that I use every single day and night to write down daily affirmations and gratitude lists.

3. Going to Bookstores

If there’s one thing I learnt this year, it’s that I will never order books online again. Why should I if I could simply go to a bookstore and spend an entire afternoon being surrounded by a room full of some of my favourite paperbacks? Just the idea of walking to a nearby bookstore on a cloudy day and being able to spend hours browsing through volumes gives me am insurmountable amount of pleasure. It’s one of my favourite things to do.

4. Spending More Time In Nature

Going out for walks and hikes and getting some fresh air will make you feel so much better and clear headed. Whenever I’m feeling anxious or stressed out, I always make sure to go outside and walk a little and I always end up feeling a little bit better after.

Glowing Up During Quarantine

Glowing Up During Quarantine

Glowing up is the act of working on your physical and mental self to show up as an improved and happier person. You essentially dedicate a number of days, weeks, months, or even years to solely focus on yourself and your needs. Whether it be reading more, meditating, working out, eating healthy – glowing up is when you take good care of yourself and prioritize your needs and wants.

Since we’re in lockdown now and have so much free time in our hands, it makes sense that we dedicate our time and energy on doing things that we’ve been wanting to do for the longest time. It’s the best time to focus on taking care of ourselves and work on our physical, mental, and emotional needs.

Working Out

One of the most important things you could do to improve not only your physical but also your mental health is moving your body every day. You’ll feel better about your body, be less stressed, and feel more accomplished at the end of the day. Instead of focusing on the physical benefits of working out, I try to focus on the mental satisfaction that I get at the end of a good workout.

Drinking Water

It’s good for your skin, your organs, your brain, and it also helps improve your mood.

Sleeping Enough

Getting a good night’s sleep is necessary so that you don’t wake up tired and groggy the next day. Sleeping for at least 7-8 hours helps improve concentration and productivity and also helps prevent depression.1

Meditating

It’s important to take care of your mind during this uncertain time. Meditating everyday even for just 5 minutes makes a lot of difference and over time you’ll be able to notice how mentally strong you’ve become.

Reading Books

Reading books is one of the best habits a person can have. It helps stimulate the brain, reduce stress, and also helps improve your memory. Not to mention also the fact that you’re learning new words and new ways of thinking and also gaining more knowledge about the way our world works.

Self Care

Using face masks, hair treatments, and taking supplements is going to make such a big difference in your appearance. When I was in college last year, I had a phase where I wasn’t really taking care of myself. I’d forget to do my daily skin care, take my supplements, and I was just generally not putting in much effort to take care of myself. As a result, my appearance worsened and I was looking dull and tired all the time.

When I got back home I realised just how poorly I was treating myself and decided to never make the same mistake again.

In the end, we should think about how lucky we are to be able to use this time to grow, improve, and better ourselves. It’s all about being kind to our bodies and minds and doing something to live a happy, more fulfilling life everyday.

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25133759/

June Recap and July Goals

June Recap and July Goals

I feel like I’m getting more used to being at home everyday, not being able to go out and do the the things that I would usually do if I wasn’t in quarantine. I’ve learnt to make time to do things that will help me feel better mentally and physically – things like working out, drinking tons of water, and talking to friends everyday.

I did a lot of fun things this month like celebrating my mum’s birthday by going out for a picnic, going on hikes, and discovering new places in the city during my daily walks.

For the month of July, I have set three main goals for myself.

Meditate Every Morning

I use the app Headspace for meditation but lately I haven’t made time to do so. I had a phase in college where I was waking up early to fit in 30 mins of meditation and stretching and it helped me improve my mindset so much. Just seeing how my mood improved and changed (for the better) throughout those weeks made me want to keep continuing to wake up 30 mins earlier to practice this habit everyday.

Make Time To Journal Everyday

In addition to the 5 minute journal that I use everyday, I recently bought another book from Papier that I want to use. It’s basically a book where I put up pictures of my favourite memories and write about it.

Do A Workout Challenge

There are a bunch of workout challenges you can find on Pinterest and I want to start doing these every month. This month I’m starting with the POPSUGAR 30 day squat challenge that I came across recently.

My Quarantine Essentials

Since quarantine began, I have made sure that I use this time to improve myself, develop ‘systems’ to achieve my goals, and take care of myself. I have been doing certain things to keep myself busy whilst also making sure that I have fun. Using this time to do things that make me happy while also doing other important things such as schoolwork, has helped me stay busy and feel good.

Here are some of the things that I consider my ‘Quarantine Essentials’:

Books

I honestly don’t know what I’d do during this quarantine without books. I’ve always loved reading but in the last 2 years, I haven’t prioritized doing so and I feel bad about not having taken out the time to read. Luckily, now I have so much free time in my hands that I can easily read one book in about a week or two. I am currently reading Atomic Habits by James Clear; It has been a while since I’ve read a book about forming habits so I am especially excited about learning more about the subject and inculcating his practices.

TV shows

Surprisingly, I was never a person who would watch TV shows or anything of the sort. Mainly because I never had the time in high school, but also because I was not very fond of shows (shocker, I know). I usually spent my time watching Self-Help youtube videos or actually going out to watch movies. Right now, however, I have discovered some great shows that I have rewatched already (and plan to do so again in the future). Some of these shows have literally transported me into a whole other world and made me feel as though the characters are real and that I am actually part of the show. Some of the shows that I currently am binge-watching – and am absolutely in love with are:
  1. Elite on Netflix
  2. Normal People on Hulu
  3. Rick and Morty on Hulu
I’ve also discovered a newfound love for Marvel movies and I’m rewatching of the films in order – it’s been great. Other TV shows that I’m watching on the side are Ozark and Vampire Diaries.

Skin care

I religiously use face-masks twice a week and treat myself to a bubble bath once a week. I typically use skin-care products from TheBodyShop, mostly because they’re not very expensive and also because they actually work.

Fever And Nostalgia

I don’t have the coronavirus, but I have a fever – great! I was so scared about the whole deal, so I read up all the symptoms and I was thankful to find out that I don’t fit into the category. Anyway, yesterday I was thinking about how being sick makes me overthink about all the other times I was unwell. The last time I was sick, I was in Mumbai and I was exactly as miserable as I am now. I was in bed, watching YouTube videos, talking to my friends, and doing all sorts of things, (drinking hot lemon water, sleeping for 16 hours a day, taking medication), to make myself feel better.

For some very odd reason, I feel weirdly happy about feeling so under the weather. The thing is that, it reminds me of being back home in Mumbai – where I lived 5 minutes away from my best friends, where I was so close to my family, where I grew up and learnt everything about myself and the world. I realised that I feel this way, simply, because I miss Mumbai and I miss my friends and I miss being home. It might be very strange, and trust me, I’m still unsure about uploading this draft on the internet, but this is how I feel and I guess it’s okay to feel this way sometimes (it also just might be my sick brain thinking all sorts of bizarre things).

Recently, I’ve also been reminiscing about my high school days. I used to hate waking up at 6am 5 days a week and I absolutely detested high school drama, but in the end, the last two years of high school were really one of the best and most enjoyable years of my life. I feel so grateful to have such a wonderful support system, friends who’ve always been there for me and always cared for me. I’ve made some of my most favourite memories with these guys and they’re the biggest reason why I miss being back home. I’ve learnt to really cherish my friendships and be appreciative for all the people who care about me. I’ve learnt to be patient and selfless, because I know that my closest friends have done the same for me.

Moving to a new country has been difficult for me. At first, I really enjoyed being in a completely new place, where there’s loads of new places to see and new friends to make – but it still doesn’t feel like home to me…yet. However, I’m so thankful for all the things I learnt since I’ve moved here. I’ve discovered a lot of things about myself and the world, I’ve met all kinds of people, and I’ve travelled a lot.

I remember my first month of college – I was so homesick, so depressed, and just very unhappy, but a few weeks down the line, I met some of my closest friends, made amazing memories, learnt so much, and truly had a lot of fun. I guess in the end it just takes time to adjust and fit into a new place.

How I’m Spending My Time

How I’m Spending My Time

When the lockdown began I was very sure that I would spend my days lounging around the house, being bored at all times of the day, but surprisingly enough I haven’t been nearly as bored as I imagined I would be. I’ve been doing a lot of things to keep myself busy and also use this time as a self-improvement period. Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to stay happy, be busy, and not get bored.

School Work

Yup, that’s right. In the beginning of quarantine the last thing I wanted to do was open my book and do math, but eventually I made a schedule and included schoolwork into my daily routine. Getting work done makes me feel much better about my day and helps keep the stress at bay.

Face masks, bath bombs, and moisturisers

I ordered a bunch of bath bombs and face-masks and you best believe I’ve been making great use of them by pampering myself on the weekends and really doing my best to treat myself with tons of kindness and love. I also cut my hair off really short recently and one of the reasons why I did it is because I wanted to get rid of my damaged hair and, this time, really nourish my hair with oils and supplements to make my hair grow back thicker, stronger, and healthier.

Engaging in my favourite pastimes

I’m so grateful to be able to spend my free time by reading, drawing, cooking, and baking. I’ve also discovered a lot of ‘booktubers’ and bookclubs online and just being part of a community has made me feel great. Luckily, my university has also been organising a ton of Zoom workshops such as the Weekly Bullet Journalling Workshop and it’s great that I’m able to use this time to learn new skills and improve old ones.

Journalling

I’ve never been big on journalling but recently I decided to give the The Five Minute Journal a go. I’ve had all sorts of journals in the past – from bullet journals to The Happiness Planner – but when I found out that Emma Watson uses the The Five Minute Journal I knew I just had to try it out.

Overall, I’ve been making sure I keep in touch with my friends and family by Face-timing them, texting them every so often and also engaging in activities together such as watching movies through Netflix Party. I’ve also been watching a lot of shows on Netflix (I Am Not Okay With This and Ozark are my favourites) and movies (currently rewatching all the Marvel movies).

taking care of yourself during quarantine

taking care of yourself during quarantine

With so much going on in the world right now, it’s important to take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. However, it’s also essential that we don’t use this time as an excuse to “take it easy”. This is the perfect time to build long-lasting habits that can possibly change the way we live our lives. Use this time to work on yourself, work on your hobbies, and really “glow up” and become the best version of yourself.

Here are some things I’ve found have been really helping me take care of myself during the lockdown:

Drinking 2-3 litres of water everyday: Now this might seem like a lot, but trust me, drinking tons of water has been such a game-changer for me. I also drink warm lemon water first thing after waking up in the morning.

Reading some good books: This is by far the best way to spend your time if you’re bored. I’ve been finishing books faster than ever and I feel so happy about finally having the opportunity to read all the books that I’ve always wanted to read. If you don’t know where to start you should check out Zoella’s Book Club on her blog – she recommends some of the best books I’ve ever read and I’m so excited to finish all the books on her list. Some of my favourites are : One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. Mcmanus, The Secret History by Donna Tartt, The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak, and the Harry Potter series by J.K Rowling (of course).

Sleeping for 8-9 hours: Some of us are doing a bad job by sleeping for either 4 hours or 14 hours per night. Being disciplined about your sleeping schedule is so important. It’s okay if we sleep in, or stay up all night on the weekends. But during the weekdays, maintaining a sleep schedule is essential and will save you so much time and stress.

Home workouts: Working out is so important during this time. Something that made the idea of working out every day easier for me was thinking of the mental benefits of working out, rather than exercising to look a certain way. I started viewing working out as something that makes me feel better, happier, and calmer. Exercise and movement is a good thing and your body and mind will thank you so much for it.

Work on your hobbies: It could be cooking, painting, singing, playing an instrument, writing, dancing, reading – this is such a great time to do whatever it is that you love and enjoy. Personally, I’ve been reading, cooking, and baking and it’s been helping me keep myself busy.