I'm a dreamer, and I always have been. I dream about being an actress (that'll make me happy); of winning the lottery (instant happiness for £1, or is it £2 these days? I know, you have to be in it to win it). The thing is that it's easy to dream, but it's harder to find happiness in the here and now. Especially if the here and now is today and you're reading this on your commute to work.
Now, I'm not entirely convinced about January being the bluest month of the year. Sure, Christmas is over and payday is nowhere near, but surely happiness can be in spite of those things? I put a call out on our "secret" Facebook group, The British Beauty Line, for real tips and tricks to feel happier every day, even on this day. (I put the word "secret" in quotation marks because it's not really all that secret, and if you want to join, look it up on Facebook and request to become a member.)
Anyway, I asked our community what they do to appreciate the here and now, and how to be happier in the moment. The answers I received were handy and thought-provoking, and one brought a genuine tear to my eye because it was so downright lovely. We should all dream, but we shouldn't lose sight of the special moments that are happening in our everyday realities. And if you're not happy, find a tip in the list below that resonates with you and make it happen, because we all deserve a little happiness every day.
"I have a journal that I keep by my bed, and every night (unless sleep takes over) I try to write down three things I'm grateful for from my day. It can literally be anything from 'my lunch was amazing,' to 'I got a promotion.' It really reminds me to appreciate the small things, and looking back after a busy week always makes me so happy!" —Alyss
"Making my bed every morning—properly. The Happier podcast gave it as a tip because it means when you get home after work and see your bed all made up, it'll bring you joy. And it honestly works. Also, Madeleine Shaw advised me to pick an outfit the night before so you don't start your day all stressed out. I try to apply this, but I don't do it frequently enough." —Leanne
"Not leaving the washing up until the next day so I don't have to walk downstairs in the morning to a pile of dirty plates!" —Lucy
"Singing in the shower, even if it's bad." —Nell
"Using the 'do not disturb' feature on my phone from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m.! It gives me time to wind down, relax and not be woken up with the comfort of knowing in an emergency people can get me. Also, walking to work or as much as I can, getting a bit of exercise and giving me a chance to think about my day means by the time I arrive I'm ready to go!" —Laura
"Definitely a gratitude list every day, yoga, exercise, coffee, reading on my commute and chatting to my sister on our lunch breaks—that always makes me feel really nourished and happy." —Frances
"I stopped watching Netflix on weekdays, and now it's just a weekend treat. My husband and I are playing board games after dinner, and this is so much fun! We're playing cooperative games instead of competitive ones, so now every evening, we talk and laugh a lot and spending some really good time together instead of staring at the TV. This makes me so happy, and even the quality of my sleep has improved a lot!" —Anna
"Remembering how far you've come already and maybe noticing that some of the dreams that you had as a child have already come true." —Josephine
"A leisurely walk! I split my time between living in Manchester and at my parents' house in the countryside, and I love taking a walk at both locations! In Manchester, I take time to stroll and explore the city, and at home, I admire the gorgeous scenery. I love both just as much, and [walking] clears my head brilliantly." —Kate
"Between working long hours and the daily commute, when there's a chance for some downtime it can be so much more appealing to just slob out on the sofa, solo. However, I rarely feel better after spending hours on my own. Whether it's a quick coffee on a Sunday morning with my bestie or a pot luck dinner at home with a larger crowd, making the time to see people IRL makes me feel instantly brighter." —Mica
Want to join our beauty gang on Facebook? Find out more about The British Beauty Line here. You can either search for the group on the social network and request to join, or send us the email address associated with your Facebook account to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Opening Image: Mango