Last year I suffered a concussion, and it sidelined me for a few months. While the recovery process was slow, the hardest part was struggling through the depression that came along with it. To lift my spirits, I made a short list of things that make me happy — and I tried to do at least one of those things every day.
At the beginning of 2019, along with a list of intentions for the year, I also expanded on my happy list. As I was making my list, I got curious about what others would put on their list, and if any themes would emerge.
I wrote about two dozen letters to friends and included a sheet of paper titled, ‘Things That Make Me Happy’. I asked all my friends to fill out their list and send me a photo.
While everyone’s list was unique, most of the lists were strikingly similar. Here are the top 5 themes that emerged and some examples.
- Sharing a meal and laughing and sharing stories with family or close friends
- FaceTiming or calling to catch-up with family
- Meeting someone new
2. Traveling and the Outdoors
Watching a sunrise or sunset or taking in an amazing view
Traveling and exploring new places and road-trips
Being in the mountains, on a warm beach, or under the stars
- Warm drinks, comfy socks, wine, coffee, fireplaces, fresh sheets and warm blankets, freshly baked goods, candles, cuddling and quality time with that special someone, receiving hand-written letters
*Hygge, pronounced “hoo-ga,” this Danish concept encompasses a feeling of cozy contentment
4. Being creative and engaged
- Writing, making music, creating art, learning something new, reading a good book, cooking
- Running, biking, or backpacking
My happy list is taped to the back of my bedroom door now, and it’s a good reminder to do these things more often :)