It’s a cosy Sunday evening here in Brighton and I’m sipping on a good cup of Nutella-chocolate served in the most wintery-festive mug.
It’s December, which means my birthday is close. YAY! – not really, I’m one of those people who hate their birthdays… But December is a good month, lots of cosy nights, quality time with family and friends and presents to unwrap.
December is also the last month of the year and, for those of us who didn’t particularly shine in 2017, it gives hope for a great new year ahead.
This year has been a tough one for me and it left me feeling very unsatisfied with my life and – most of all – really lonely. I woke up every day feeling like I had to carry the weight of the world, all on my own. I could feel the people I loved getting further away from me with every week that passed by…
Then one day I woke up and I was tired of carrying the problems of the rest of the world and I decided to focus on me. I thought ‘do I really have nothing going for me anymore?’, ‘do I really have a reason to feel so lonely?’… And for the first time in a very long time, that heavy weight was magically gone and I felt free.
Of course, it’d be amazing if there was really some magical power that makes all the pain go away. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. But it can be.
No. 1 – Choose to be happy.
I now have reason to believe that the first step in the journey to happiness is to choose to be happy.
The moment you stop beating yourself up thinking of all the things you could’ve done differently, you’ll also stop focusing on the past and you’ll open your eyes to the present. And what does the present tell you? Look around you. Are you really that lonely?
I looked around me and I was completely alone in a room as messy as my life was. The immediate thought was ‘yes, I’m really lonely’. But then I got a text from a dear friend who’s been my biggest support these past months, and I smiled.
I’m not alone and I have no reason to feel lonely. The only reason I felt lonely was because I wanted to feel that way. I closed myself up to the people around me because I wanted to sit in my own pain, but really all those people were right there and I couldn’t see them.
Even loneliness, then, it’s something we choose.
No. 2 – Pamper yourself.
Every time I looked in the mirror I didn’t see the bright and happy person I always was. My skin was dull and my eyes tired and sad.
So I decided to invest some money on some new skincare products to change my regime a little bit. After a trip to Lush I went back home… A nice bath, the Sand & Sky Brilliant Skin Purifying Pink Clay Mask (comment below if you want a review!), a hair mask I DIYed myself, some relaxing candles and ‘Notting Hill’ on the iPad.
I felt new and ready to conquer the world again. But it was past 10 pm then and I had to wait until the next day…
No. 3 – Keep an ‘ideas journal’.
I didn’t want to wake up feeling like I had to start all over again. So, just before I went to sleep, I sat down with a cup of tea and wrote all my thoughts in a journal my mom and step-dad had bought me a while back.
Most of those thoughts made no sense at all, but I didn’t care. I just wanted to make sure I had something I could pick up from the next day.
And it worked. The next day I woke up fresh and early, took my journal and went out for breakfast at one of my favourite places in Brighton, The Trading Post.
No. 4 – Bring those ideas to reality and do it now.
I went through all the non-sense and ended up finding some really good starting points.
Some of them were business ideas. I had no idea where they would take me but I knew I didn’t want to wait around to find out. I had to make it happen, I had to do it now.
I finished my breakfast and I went to the library to do some research.
By the end of the day I had written a full business plan.
No. 5 – Don’t stop there.
I had taken my first step towards happiness… Now what?
Losing touch with reality is often very easy and it’s hard to stay focused on the good things. But once you’ve turned a thought into something real, all you have to do is carry on.
Whether it’s a business idea or deciding to physically reinvent yourself with a new hairstyle, the secret is the same – don’t stop there.
Whenever if you feel like that heavy weight is chasing you again, start from Number 1 again. Choose to be happy every day of your life and, if you forget, read motivational quotes or stories every morning.
There’s no receipt for happiness or a magic spell that makes everything go away. Find what works for you and stick to it, don’t ever stop. Whatever is bringing you down will also give you the strength to get back up. You just need to choose when.
Giving up is never an option. It’s not simple, but you can make it easier for yourself. Choose to be happy and happiness will be waiting for you around the corner.