1. Create Several Playlists. I looooove music! I honestly could listen to it for hours and consider myself having a good time. I am confident that my classmates can attest to the fact that I will almost always be found in between my bright pink headphones. My playlists are composed of jazz, hip-hop (Nasty Nas is most preferred), soul, pop, etc., and I switch it up so that it coordinates with the tasks at hand and/or if I want a shift in my mood. Remember, a good playlist = a good day.
2. Establish a "Me" Day. This may be reaching, especially when we have to endure finals week and things of that nature, but please try it! Saturday is the only day out of the week where I am not obligated to be a certain location. There is not a such thing as not having any responsibilities, because we all know that there is always something, but, it is imperative that we take a significant amount of time out of the week to spend time alone. Maybe we treat ourselves to a movie, take a long walk, or just catch up on some rest. Do whatever it is that makes you happy, because always being "on the go" will burn you out.
3. Identify the Players. By players, I am referring to the people in your life. Distinguish who deserves to play on the field with you, and who must stay on the bench. This does not have to be a negative experience, but it is vital that we recognize if those who we are spending a significant amount of time with are uplifting us or serving as a detriment (We must also evaluate ourselves; we have to be a friend to have a friend).
4. Show Gratitude. We often overlook the things people do for us, especially when they are so close to us. Listen to the things that come up in conversation. If your mentor continuously mentions a certain author, gift them with the author's latest book. You can also just tell them how much you appreciate them. I personally enjoy writing letters to people that I cherish to remind them that I love them. It's the thought that counts!
5. Help Other People. Some years ago, I watched a lecture hosted by Michael Norton on the topic of How to buy happiness | TED Talk. He conducted an experiment where he gave members of one control group $5 to spend on themselves and the other group $20 to spend on someone else. He gathered that people who spent money on others were happier and felt more successful than those who spent money on themselves. Now, what you do for others does not always have to be a monetary investment; It can be helping someone on a class project. Whatever you choose to do, I swear that doing selfless acts makes you feel good. It is rewarding to be the reason why someone smiles!
6. Take Risks. Step out of your comfort zone! Speak to someone outside of your friend group or try a new hair color. Just try something! It is very frightening, but it is worth the risk. In my experience, it usually works out for the best, which is why I feel more confident with each risk I take. Regardless of the outcome, at least you tried! I hope that I did not just jinx myself, haha.
7. Be in Tune. Some people use art therapy or call a loved one, amongst other strategies. Depending on the seriousness of the situation, I talk it out. Another strategy that is a must for me is making sure that I reflect on the events that took place during the day before bed. By this time, I have processed situations I encountered earlier, and I am able to decipher how I truly feel now that time has passed. Sometimes, I just make a mental note, but I aim to summarize these emotions in a journal as well. To each his own, but I am most successful with this activity when there are not any distractions. This allows me to listen to God and my inner voice.
8. Write it down. "If you have a goal, write it down. If you do not write it down, you do not have a goal -- you have a wish." -Steve Maroboli. No explanation needed.
Using my life as the foundation for this article, I have found through trial and error that these methods promote a balanced life filled with happiness and love. I hope this helps!
Written by Bianca Hayes