This weekend I went to a gas station and the person scanning my items looked at me and said “You look very nice, you look so happy.” Naturally I smiled and thanked her, because being complimented by strangers is one of the best feelings ever. She then went on to say “I bet you and your boyfriend have been together a while.”
“How would you know if she has a boyfriend?” her co worker asked. She said, “Anyone who looks this nice and this happy is because someone is making her that happy!” I said thank you and smiled, and even though I was still flattered, a part of me was disappointed too.
My happiness can only stem from another person? I never thought of it this way. Considering that the last two months of not being in a relationship have proven to be very difficult, I have managed by myself. My happiness has stemmed from things I have done for myself, by myself. This story couldn’t have come at a better time for me, because I can not only remind myself but remind all of you that it IS possible to grow, be happy, and thrive on your own. And you can still look amazing, even with no one to impress. Here are 8 simple ways you can do this, and be happy while doing it, too!
1. Treat yourself. Every now and then, make sure you set aside some cash to do something that makes you feel pampered. A massage, facial, pedicure, maybe even just getting your hair shampooed! It is so important to take time and relax. Even if it is just once a month, treating yourself to something that makes you feel good will help you cope with daily stress. And you deserve it!
2. Travel. I cannot stress this enough! Traveling is not only good for feeding the curious mind, but feeding the soul. I learned more about people, culture, and even myself in 3 weeks of travel than I ever did in over a decade of grade school. The greatest part about traveling is learning through experiences. There are so many beautiful things to learn about the world, and so many ways you can enlighten yourself. And it does not need to be a luxurious, passport-style destination either– even if it is a state you’ve never visited or a city 3 hours away you’ve never seen, traveling is good for your mind and your soul! So book now.
3. Spirituality. There are numerous studies that prove that a sense of spirituality being present in someone’s life is extremely beneficial to their health. This does not necessarily have to correlate with a specific religion, but having a belief system does tend to strengthen the mind and body! Whether it is meditation, prayer, attending a service, or simply studying on your own time, there is a great chance your mind and emotions will benefit!
4. Learn about money, and how to save it. It is extremely important to learn how to handle your money as soon as you start making it. As young adults, we really aren’t prepared for the stress that comes with finance until we are put in a situation that causes stress! Learning how to save, invest, and plan with your money will save you a lot of headache in the future. Also, being comfortable financially definitely can give you that extra push to do more fun things!
5. Stay active, stay healthy. Okay, I am 100% the person that eats 20 pizza rolls at 11pm if I really want them, maybe even have ice cream for lunch if I feel like it. And that’s okay! It’s okay to indulge. It’s okay to eat whatever the hell you want! BUT, we need to remember that we’re only human, and we need to treat our human bodies with care if we can help it. The important thing to do is find a regimen that works for you. Don’t diet, don’t kill yourself exercising, do things you like! Dancing, hiking, yoga, even WALKING, are all forms of exercise that are good for your body. There are even tons of exercises such as running, kickboxing, and weight training that can help with releasing intense forms of stress, such as anger, and leave you feeling much better after your workout.
Oh, and if you can, eat some carrots. Something from the earth. Our bodies need more than just bread and cheese if you can believe it.
6. Have a social group or friend that supports you. Growing on your own does not mean you need to be alone! It is great having a couple of close friends you can trust to be there for you. You don’t want to get caught up in friends that are only in it for the benefit of themselves. You don’t want to get caught up in friends only interested in partying the weekend away either. Be with people that you can have fun with, go out with, but also sit and cry with over a tub of ice cream if you need it. It is important to have people in your life you can trust, even if it’s only one person. You don’t need to do your healing alone!
7. Find a hobby you like, and stick with it. Even if it’s something you’ve never done before, something you’re completely uncomfortable with. Just try it out! Recently I tried writing poetry, something I was convinced I hated. Then I found it to be a pretty good outlet. Painting, playing an instrument, reading, knitting, baking, there are countless different things you can try! And yes, this is a form of growing. Opening your mind to things are new and different is how you grow individually!
8. Learn to laugh, and let that be the best medicine and outlet for you. Not saying that crying is bad, because sometimes it’s great. And sometimes you feel better after a good cry. But laughing is better. Laughing until you cry? EVEN BETTER. I understand that only so many funny things come around when you’re stressed, sad, or angry, but even finding one thing that makes you laugh can take away some of the pain, even for just a minute. And that is good for you and your heart.
Hopefully we can all try to do more of these things! And if you are in a relationship, and completely, beautifully happy, take pride in that. Love is a beautiful thing, and it should make you happy. But remember to love yourself first, remember to make yourself happy always.