HAVE A GO
When you are unhappy your world narrows down to getting through each day and going to bed before you get up to do it all again - over, and over, and over, ad nauseum. It's hard to motivate yourself to get out of that rut and the thought of trying something new (for me at least) was just too hard and I really couldn't be bothered.
Once I started pulling my socks up and looking for a way to change my mindset, I started thinking about what I'd like to do - and over the last 18 months or so I've tried a few new things that have made big and small changes in my world and all have made a contribution to regaining and retaining happiness.
One of the first things I did after quitting my job was to go out and buy a bicycle. It had been many, many years since I'd ridden a bike, and it doesn't get as much use as it should, but it marked a point where I had time to do something fun and feel the breeze and the sunshine as I cruised around the neighbourhood. It might be good for exercise, it might make me feel like a five year old, it might make me smile because it has a little woven basket on the handlebars, but really I have it for no purpose other than to make me happy.
Leadlighting (stained glass making) was on my bucket list but I never imagined actually doing it. I'm not remotely crafty or creative and yet it turns out that I loved it. I found an ad in the local paper offering lessons and before I knew it, I was cutting glass, molding lead, soldering, cementing and generally having a great time. I now have a stained glass stairway and it makes me smile every time I look at it - more happiness!
The thing about happiness is that it often comes from investing in others. Once I stopped working I had more time to myself and wanted to do something as a volunteer. The best fit for me has been mentoring a boy at our local primary school. He and I spend an hour together each week and it's so easy but makes a real difference in his life. It makes me happy to see him gaining self confidence and I love that he looks forward to me coming each week especially for him.
My latest "new thing" was getting my daith pierced. (First up I had to convince my mother that a daith wasn't something rude!) There's a lot of anecdotal evidence that points to a daith piercing helping with migraine relief. I get headaches several times a week - some awful and some not too bad, but I was sooooo tired of them. I thought "what the heck, let's give this a go!" and my daughter decided that it sounded like fun so she'd do hers too. So a couple of weeks ago we went to a professional piercer and did the deed. I think it's reduced my headaches by at least 50% but that could be a placebo thing???? Regardless, it is a cool piercing, it was a mother/daughter bonding time.....and it was something new and out of my comfort zone.
In the future if an opportunity comes my way to try something new or to tick something off my bucket list, I'm going to do it. I feel like I need to travel some time soon - even if it's not far away - it's just another little box to tick in stepping out of the comfort groove. Same old, same old is good in many ways - I love the security that gives me, but it can lead to being bored or discontent, or unhappy. Sometimes you need to shake things up and stretch yourself and see where life takes you. It is fun and we all need more fun in our lives at times.