Happiness, in the truest sense, is a lofty goal. Little steps—smiling more, keeping a gratitude journal, or simply taking a deep breath, for example—can add up to make a big difference. However, looking at a longer timeframe lets you see even more of an impact. In a month, you can complete a do-it-yourself 30-day challenge for happiness by implementing some activities and alterations to feel happier. From taking advantage of therapy to getting crafty, here are some “challenges” to give yourself in order to feel happier.
Spending time outdoors is linked to reduced stress and anxiety, and improved health overall. Resources like Site for Shore Eyes can help you to find nearby spaces like beaches and national parks (in this case, in the Coos Bay, Oregon area) for you to take advantage of fresh air and beautiful views. However, if you aren’t lucky enough to be able to head to the beach or other picturesque spots, don’t worry: simply standing outside and looking up at the sky for a short time can let you reap the same benefits.
Experts agree that the arts make us happier. To take advantage of this happiness boost, order some supplies from Paint Loose and unleash your inner Bob Ross. The options are limitless—with kits for creating a DIY piece of art or supplies to create a design all your own, there’s an option for every experience level. Whether you start with painting rocks, follow a tutorial, or just see where the brush and colors take you, your stress levels will dissipate as you create something crafty.
Make sure your space sparks joy
You spend a lot of time in places like your bedroom or workspace. Why shouldn’t they help make you happy? You don’t need to utilize the Kon Mari method if you don’t want to, but it is an option. Smaller steps, though, can also help you to feel happier over the next month. If you’ve taken up acrylic painting as a goal for the month, display your favorite masterpiece over your desk—or purchase one from an artist like Paint Loose’s Amy VanHoy if you aren’t a burgeoning Van Gogh. Buy yourself a bouquet to keep on your bedside table. Incorporating the tiniest details can be just enough to bring a smile to your face when you enter these spaces.
Give yourself a break
Balancing work, home, your social life, and even your goal of feeling happier is a lot for one person to balance. Take a day off if you can, or set a firm boundary that you won’t check your work email over lunch or once you’ve clocked out. Let yourself have that night in front of the television once in a while. For even just a few minutes, do something that makes you happy and watch your overall happiness increase as a result.
Talk to a professional
If you know or suspect that a more serious issue, such as mental illness or trauma, is causing you to be less happy than you could be, talking to a mental health professional is one of the best steps you can take. Even if you’re not contending with mental health issues, scheduling an appointment with a therapist or psychologist can help you feel happier this month. Resources like the Therapy Group of NYC are dedicated to helping people with challenges like relationship struggles and career changes as much as they would someone with a diagnosable mental health condition.
Whether you choose one of these ways to feel happier, come up with your own, or some combination of the two, you’ll undoubtedly see results. In just one month of meeting with a therapist or making your home a place you want to be, you’ll start to feel happier—and, chances are, that month will have gone by in a flash.