A curiousity that most of us have, with the day dreaming, what ifs and possibilities. But are we actually trying to advance to a practical destination around the preface statement, My life will change if? The day my life changed for the better was the day I sat down and thought to myself “what actually makes me happy?”. I started a list: it was slow process and actually a great deal more challenging than I had anticipated. It involved a lot of scribbling and crossing out: I kept finding myself writing utterly cliche ideas that after a little contemplation, I realised weren’t actually what I liked at all… it was what I thought I was supposed to like because it’s what everyone else liked. “Nights out with friends” ? Really ? ? I think’s it’s no secret that I utterly DESPISE ‘clubbing’. I just don’t see the appeal of a rowdy mass of heavily intoxicated people crammed into a sticky, sweaty, dark room with ‘music’ (if you can even call it that) booming at a volume that makes it physically impossible to actually have a conversation. Don’t worry, the purpose of this post isn’t to talk you out of going to night clubs: if it makes you happy than it more than deserves a place on your list, I’m just using this as an example to illustrate personal preference. Needless to say, it was crossed out. Another one, baths… I don’t see the attraction to essentially posing as a human soup for an hour whilst simultaneously shriveling up when there’s this wonderfully refreshing (more hygienic) contraption called a shower. I crossed that out too. What I’m trying to say is that I finally realised that I don’t actually like these things, I had just convinced myself that I did because it’s what everyone is supposed to like. Following this astounding realisation, I disregarded the old list and started afresh, filling my new page with things that to most people may seem painfully mundane: tea (I really do love tea), painting, films with happy endings, hugging teddy bears, colouring, making timetables, car karaoke sessions, pinterest, watching movie trailers on youtube and other such bizarre activities. My life will change if I stop doing what they want, what they like, and I start doing what I enjoy.
Once I finished my list I began to consider how much time I actually devoted to these activities: the answer was not a lot. How can I expect to be happy when I spend so little time doing the things that actually make me happy? From then on I decided to make my first thought every morning “What do I want to get out of today?”. I made my priority taking care of myself: this involved not only factoring in time for at least one component of my list every day (so for those of you who looked puzzled on seeing me wondering around the GSAL corridors with a pink fluffy bunny under my arm, there’s your explanation) but it also meant making sure my more basic needs were taken care of.
Every day I ask myself “Have I had enough water?”, “Have I spent too much time working?”, “Do I need to go for a walk and some fresh air?”, “Did I get enough sleep last night?” and so on. You need to take care of yourself, just as you would a child; you wouldn’t neglect a toddler just because you were too busy with school work. If you take the time to tailor your day around your needs then I can promise your body will function a lot better and you’ll be a great deal happier!
So take the time to sit down and make a list, review your daily routine, take yourself on little days out and make yourself your priority. Take life one day at a time and give yourself something to look forward to on the next. Celebrate every tiny victory, even if it was just making it through another day, because the days add up and before you know it you’ve carried yourself through that rough patch and achieved something much greater. Take care of yourself and believe in yourself and you will make it through this! (And I seriously recommend a “car karaoke session” on your morning journey… A heartfelt rendition of ‘Let it go’ [complete with actions] prepared me for a day of sixth form in a way that no amount of coffee ever could).
Pretty wild to believe, that once you think,
My life will change if I focus on what actually makes me happy.
Olivia In Wonderland