11 Ways to Get a Happiness Boost: Shopping NOT Included
Good afternoon and happy Friday sweet people!
I've had some heavier topics on the blog lately, so I thought it would be nice to get a little light and fluffy for this week's Friday Listicle. I decided to resurrect an older blog post I wrote a few months ago because we have a ton of new readers who might have missed some of these older gems.
I know that many people, myself included, find it very tempting to spend money when we are feeling low, sad, or unaccomplished in our day. That quick hit of dopamine and excitement from buying something can be addicting, but it is NOT beneficial to the goal of frugality.
If you're a homemaker, housewife, or ASPIRING homemaker, it's good to learn the art and practice of frugality. Shopping for a "happiness boost" is bad for your bank account and even worse for your brain. Being dependent on spending money in order to feel better is just as bad as being dependent on food to boost our happiness! It will leave us feeling gross, unfulfilled, and upset.
The idea with this list is to focus on things that will improve our happiness momentarily AND also over a longer period of time. The momentary pleasure of swiping, spending, and purchasing cannot be compared to the happiness we receive when we nurture ourselves, our relationships, our homes, and our gifts. Breaking the habit of recreational shopping is KEY for budgeting families and anyone living on a single-income.
In our consumer culture, we are sold the lie that if we could only get another outfit, accessory, or piece of home decor, all our problems will feel better. So today I want to encourage you to begin rethinking the reasons you shop: do you NEED another sweater, or do you shop recreationally? Is it a hobby? A way you distract yourself? Why do you shop? Write down the answers and reflect.
Once you figure that out, you might be feeling like you need a new way to boost happiness other than shopping, and I'm right there with you! So let's dive into the 10 ways you can improve your happiness that do not include shopping.
1. Clean your kitchen
If you feel unable to control the circumstances in your life or if you feel unaccomplished in your day, a simple clean-up and tidy can boost your confidence, sense of accomplishment, and overall happiness. You guys KNOW how much I love to make my space tidy!!
So clean your kitchen. Or clean your bathroom. Basically, clean the "problem" area in your life. For me, that is usually my laundry room. I KNOW this works because I do it all the time for a boost. I have also heard from others that this simple trick has really improved their life and always delivered a lasting happiness "hit."
2. Take extra time on your look
When you look better, you MIGHT feel better. Whenever I felt depressed or really anxious, it felt like an impossible task to get prepared for the day and look nice. But often what we don't feel like doing is the best solution in times of frustration. Don't forget your smell: put on a scent that makes you remember a nice time in your life.
Just last night I updated my toenails and put self-tanner on my whole body, dyed my eyebrows, and gave myself a little exfoliation. You better BET your girl is feeling gooooood today!
3. Send 2 people an encouraging message
Spreading love to others can make your OWN happiness increase. Send some messages via text, social media, or snail mail. Put some thought into your words and really focus on someone else's needs for the moment: it WILL make you feel better.
Try voice-messaging your friends. My new friend and I are constantly sending huge voice messages to each other over text, and honestly, it has added SO much joy to my day. And that's coming from your friendly neighborhood introvert LOL!
4. Talk to that friend who CARES about you
Avoid the other friend that only talks about herself, or responds to your pain with a "that sucks." Choose the sympathetic friend or the straight-talking friend that really cares about you. The art of the phone call has been lost, but it is a really good way to get a bit of a "face-to-face" feeling in a short period of time.
Pick up the phone, or set up a coffee date: you won't be sad you did.
5. Trade in the Netflix for a library book
There is something so DRAINING about streaming services. The way that as how can just suck you in and take hours of your day is seriously concerning. Netflix and streaming services tend to suck the life out of people, AND they don't fully capture your attention because usually you're also scrolling on your phone. Pick up a book and enter into a different way of information consumption: the beauty of reading is that it REQUIRES you to build the world in your mind and actually THINK about something else. I love reading anything fantastical, magical, or mysterious. I feel like I enter into a new world, and it truly captures my whole attention.
Watching a show gives you all the information, dialogue, words, and imagery you could ever need, but reading makes your brain work a little more, and this can be extremely satisfying.
6. Try a new recipe
Trying new skills, growing your talents, and challenging yourself are all ways to feel more accomplished in your day and yourself. Build your confidence in a "low" time and begin to feel better. Better yet, try the recipe and SHARE it with someone.
Now, this isn't always advised, but I love chewing on some cookie dough, shaping some new dough, and just working with my hands. Working with your hands is seriously one of the best ways to feel accomplished and have fun.
7. Play a game by yourself or with others
This may not have occurred to you, but sometimes the activity of sport, play, and competition can trigger the "happy" part of your brain. I used to always turn down the opportunity to play games with people because I was so shy and unconfident. Now, I realize that games can be REALLY fun and it doesn't matter if you win or not: it's about competing and bonding with others.
Competition, challenging, and playing can make us feel connected to others and confident in our own talent. Pick up a controller, go online for a game of Chess, or challenge your partner to some cards, you won't be sorry you did.
8. Do some exercise
I know that moving isn't always the thing you want to be doing when you don't feel great, but it is a scientifically proven way to feel better. Sometimes I find the silliest Bollywood style YouTube video and dance along, or just do a simple walk around the block with my pup.
This could also mean walking around your house while you purge out your closet, or gardening your flowerbeds. Whatever it is, it doesn't have to be a conventional exercise. Getting your heart racing will help your brain feel better AND your body look better!
9. Go to a local social event
My preference in this category is church events. If I'm feeling crappy, I definitely don't avoid church. Being in community, connecting with my friends, and feeling like I'm part of something bigger all make my happiness increase.
Even if you're shy like me, it can be really comforting to be around other people and to feel like you identify with a group. Tap into your instincts to find belonging, community, and friends by connecting with a church, running group, theater program, or volunteer opportunity.
10. Work on Your Hobby
Find a hobby and stick to it: my hobbies are art, baking, cooking, writing, and sewing. I encourage you to begin exploring a new hobby that doesn't include your phone or a streaming service, and get down to business learning how to craft, use your hands, and enjoy your talents.
It might be music, organizing, drawing, knitting, or whatever! When you are done, share the hobby with others or join an online forum to discuss. All of these things will help you feel connected, accomplished, and fulfilled.
11. Go Outside
Seriously. Go into nature, out into the sunshine, or whatever you can to get outside. Our ancestors spent most of their days outside, and we sure haven't lost that instinct for connecting with nature. The sunshine will make you happy, the smell of the trees will make you smile, and I guarantee.. if you take enough time to pause and breathe in the fresh air... you're going to have a happiness boost.
There you have it friends! 10 ways to improve your happiness that DON'T include shopping. We will revisit this topic at a later date, but in the meantime, I encourage you to bless your home, your body, your relationships, and your talents. Learn about the world and feel refreshed in your daily activities.
And have a happy weekend! See you for the Sunday Series! xoxo,