A List of Things That Make Me Happy - How to Manage the Sunday Blues
I have a confession to make. I don’t do Sunday afternoons well. Come mid-afternoon and I can feel that sickening feeling creeping in. If I'm not careful it can spiral downwards rather rapidly until we get a movie or watch our favorite series.
This year, we've also started a "Sunday evening" gathering of close friends. We meet up at one of our homes, enjoy each other's company, indulge in scrumptious food, and chat about random stuff! It's really is one of the best ways to beat those Sunday blues!
I thought it was just me who battled with this feeling on Sundays. Until I did some research. It’s actually quite common for many people to experience this feeling which often feels like your tummy has a load of unhappy butterflies fluttering around inside!
So, when I sat down to write my blog, I thought I would write about the Sunday blues.
Adding to My List of 50 Things That Make Me Happy
But, guess what? It didn’t appeal to me to wallow (and make you wallow in my Sunday blues either!). I also didn’t feel like writing an educational post about why we suffer from the Sunday afternoon “downs”.
I could have written about useful tips for dealing with those Sunday afternoon feelings but instead, I suggest you read this blog by Robert Half. Still wondering what to write, I thought I could write about a number of emotional topics that came up during the week but I also didn’t feel like that today.
Then a happy thought came to my mind. Why not re-hash my List of 50 Things That Make Me Happy? So much has changed in the past year and I’ve found new ways of bringing happiness into my life while facing a changing and uncertain world.
What is Happiness?
Think of those times when you feel happy. How would you describe those feelings? Words such as joy, light-heartedness, lightness, free, contentment, satisfaction, and even fulfillment may spring to mind.
I know when I am truly happy, I laugh freely, my world seems brighter and more cheerful, and I feel invincible.
Happiness is a state of being positive. It’s seeing the world with a whole different perspective. It’s not letting the external get you down because you know all is right inside of you. It's also about not letting the fear of happiness get in the way.
What I know, every time I'm happy is that nothing has actually changed externally. I still have my beautiful home, my partner I love, and our crazy, adorable dog.
However, when I am unhappy, nothing feels right. My dog is still crazy and adorable, and my partner is still the same guy he was yesterday. So, what changes when I’m feeling the blues? I guess all those niggly little fears that surface when something is not going according to plan (my plan).
Of course, there are a lot of very tangible things that can make us unhappy. Someone we love has just died or is battling a terrible illness. Or, you’ve just lost your job and you don’t know what to do next. Maybe your marriage is coming to an end. These are all very real things that can make you and me unhappy.
But what I am talking about now are those moments when all is well around you but you’re still feeling the blues. It’s most often a temporary feeling but not nice all the same. This is why I thought I would re-hash my list of things that make me happy.
After all, so much has changed in the past year.
What I Do to Deal With the Sunday Blues
When something is not sitting right with me, I decide to:
- To clean the house
- Read a book
- Eat junk food (I know...)
- Watch my favorite series (which is “The Big Bang” in case you’re wondering)
- Write my blogs
Or, I look at my list of 50 things that make me happy which I wrote many years ago. Everything on that list still makes me happy but life has changed since way back then. We’re living in an uncertain world with constant reports of people dying, jobs being lost, businesses we know closing down and, the global economy barely holding it together.
Which made me realize how much my life has changed in the last couple of years. And, that what once made me happy has changed in many ways. The ordinariness of life enforced by a life of isolation during the COVID-19 lockdowns has made me relish a whole lot of other things that make me happy.
My List of 25 New Things That Make Me Happy
Here’s a list of 25 new things that have made me happy (and still do) in the past year even when all around me chaos continues to reign. I've added these things to my list of 50 things that make me happy, making it even a longer reminder of the joys that I'm so blessed to have in my life.
1. The stunning sunsets I can see from my kitchen window. They remind me of my father who always quoted that famous saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning”.
2. My daughter’s chatty videos and messages from China. She’s happy and every mother knows, “When child is happy, mother is happy”.
3. FaceTime calls with my daughter. She inspires me, makes me laugh, and she’s happy. Ditto above.
4. Messages from past clients who continue to achieve and do so well despite all the challenges of today’s changing world.
5. Interaction with my current clients who show determination to not give up despite the challenges (ditto above).
6. The delicious meals my partner magics up every day.
7. Walks with our rescue dog who thinks he’s bigger and meaner than every other dog, bird, and rabbit in the park (he’s a little Fox terrier in case you were wondering).
8. Walking in our garden and marveling at how much the plants have grown since we moved into our home over two years ago.
9. Flowers blooming in our garden – think flame lilies, pelargoniums, erythrinas, tree orchids, and stapelias.
10. Getting a new orchid for the home.
11. Enjoying a square of chocolate.
12. Having a yummy slice of cake.
13. Sleeping in on the weekend.
14. Getting up earlier than everyone else in the neighborhood and enjoying the peace.
15. Going for walks at our local farm nursery.
16. WhatsApp messages from the people I love.
17. Our monthly online Wednesday shaman sessions with my favorite shaman teacher, Lionel Berman.
18. Soaking in a hot bath before going to bed.
19. Having our crazy dog nestle into my hair at 2 am in the morning!
20. Reading, reading, reading.
21. My first cup of coffee in the morning.
22. Clean bedding.
23. Sheldon and the team on “The Big Bang”. You can get the full series of “The Big Bang Theory” on Amazon.
24. Online coaching sessions with my clients.
25. The peaceful, hot, lazy weekend afternoons when all I have to do is laze on my couch and watch the birds in the garden.
And, then I realize, life is still good. It’s simpler in so many ways and harder in so many other ways. But, there are still a lot of things that make me happy and all I have to do is to remember these wonderful little moments.
I am reminded of a book I read recently. A book about hope despite the horrific events of WW2. This book by Edith Egar, “The Choice: Embrace the Possible” reflects this amazing woman’s tenacity to hold onto hope and joy. Her book once more reminds me of the human mind and our ability to choose how we want to view the world.
It’s a simple exercise but writing down a list of things that make you happy is a powerful way to highlight what is going well with your world. So, if you’re having a bout of the Sunday blues, go easy on yourself. Pull out your list of happy things and spark some joy again. It’s not too much to ask of yourself, is it?
PS: Read Richard Carlson's book, “You Can Be Happy No Matter What: Five Principles for Keeping Life in Perspective”. This book helped me to focus more on the present moment which resonates deeply with my belief that “NOW is the moment of power”.
This post was originally published on January 31st, 2021, and updated on March, 16th 2022.
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