Authors Bernard Berkowitz and Mildred Newman wrote a book titled “How to be your own best friend”. In that book, they concluded that as humans, we need to choose to learn how to be happy just the same way we choose to learn a new language or a new habit. Simply put, the choice to stay happy is a personal decision we all have to make.
I have had people ask me how I manage to stay happy since I come across as a lady who has nothing to worry about ( as if I don’t lol). So I decided to highlight ten (10) simple ways I stay happy as a person. These points might defer from yours. My first point is “Love yourself and express/show it”. Many people love themselves, but their actions don’t show it or better put, they don’t know how to show themselves that they love themselves (hahaha). One way I stay happy is loving myself and expressing it. Remember, this is from a personal perspective. I broke this down into a few more points:
a. Appreciate yourself with your words: This is pretty easy, do it often and get used to it. Sometimes when you make an evidently good decision, say to yourself, “Titi, that was so smart of you”, look at yourself sometimes and admire yourself; Smile to yourself and say things like “Lola, you are beautiful”, “Ada, you are a fantastic mum!”, “Dayo, good job, you did it!”. Give yourself compliments. Don’t wait until someone sends you a broadcast message to reassure you that the person reading this message is wonderful. Learn to appreciate yourself and express it.
b. Buy yourself gifts: Yes, buy yourself gifts. When drafting your monthly budget, remember to write at least one thing that will be solely yours. This gift needs not be unnecessarily expensive and if once a while it has to be very expensive to make you happy, WHY NOT? Everyday is not Christmas, please go ahead. A dress, a pair of shoes, a book, a gadget, a lip stick, a jewelry etc. Buy it, if possible, wrap it, address it and present it to yourself. It is not madness, you are simply creating your own happiness.
c. Pamper yourself: I will explain this point since it can be mistaken with buying yourself gifts, they overlap. There are ways to pamper your self without spending a dime. Preferably a weekend, just choose not to do the dishes, choose not to do the laundry, these things can wait. On this particular day or weekend, choose to do only the things you enjoy doing the most. Listen to good music, watch a movie, lazy around if you wish. Sleep, wake up and refuse to do anything, then sleep again hahaha (if you are married let your spouse know it’s your pamper day). Let your body rest. Drag yourself to the salon and get a massage, get your hair done, go back home and sleep again. For the guys, you can decide to sit down all day watching NFL or EPL. Every other thing can wait. Making your self priority is a way of pampering your self, which simply means you love yourself. However, just so that people and things around the house and family don’t suffer be considerate on the frequency.
d. Focus more on your strength/good side: Nobody is perfect, physically, behavior wise, name it. Now that we know, can we focus on what makes us thick? What would you consider your strength? Focus more on these things. Don’t dwell on your weakness. Don’t dwell on past failures. Don’t dwell on the things you don’t like about yourself; could be your height, color, weight or size of eyes. It will only make you unhappy. Your marriage might have failed but are you a fantastic mum? Focus on it. You are not so good at cooking but you are good at singing. Focus on it. You are not very tall but you can dress to slay. Focus on it. Remember the topic is ways to stay happy.
e. Spend time alone to rediscover yourself: If you are single, good for you. Another way to show that you love yourself is to find ways to be alone to rediscover yourself. I understand that it can be tough for parents (both husband and wife), especially mothers with younger kids. If you have a very understanding spouse, agree with him/her and find time to take a break. Go to a place all alone. Reminisce. Meditate. Sing. Pray. Look at yourself in the mirror and see what is changing. Don’t wake up one day to discover your hair has turned grey and you had no idea when it all happened.