Saturday, December 26, 2015

10 Ways I Stayed Happy This Year

2015 was the year of Jessi's rediscovered happiness. 

After a less than amazing 2014, I wanted 2015 to be my year. I wanted to do something for myself that would change my life. For me, that was finding pure happiness.
I've realized that only one person is responsible for my happiness, and that's me. So I took charge and evaluated my life. I asked myself, Where could I improve? What did I want out of this year, and my life? Here's my 10 ways I found and kept happiness in my life this year. 

1. I took "me time." 
Something my husband and I are learning as newlyweds is that it's OK to have our own time. Although we've lived together for a few years, we were always working opposite schedules until the past year. Because of our newfound time together, we were constantly attached at the hip. But we're now realizing that if I want to read while he watches a movie, that's cool. By taking more "me" time for the first time since college, I've been doing more reading, blogging and listening to music. And taking time to do things I love makes me one happy, relaxed girl.
2. I asked myself: 'Is This Worth It?'
It's no secret that I deal with anxiety, and I'm aware that there's not necessarily a "cure" or a good way to stop it in its tracks. However, to help curb my anxiety and stress in situations, I'd find myself asking, "Is this worth it?" As in, "Is it worth it to care about this? To get worked up over this? Will this matter in one year, five years, twenty years?" Most of the time, the answer was "no," and although my worries may not have completely subsided, they did seem easier to handle.

3. I was especially grateful.
I think I realized how grateful I really am during my family's Thanksgiving dinner this year. We were going around the table saying why we were thankful, and I burst into tears. Sure, this isn't completely shocking, since I am an emotional person, but in that moment I realized how much the people around me meant to me. I reminded myself of that often throughout this year, and it made me appreciate each day of my life a little bit more.

4. I worked hard.
It's easy to fall into a slump at work, or to just give the bare minimum day in and day out. But when you give your all, you tend to feel better about yourself. When you work hard, you can come home satisfied with yourself. You'll sleep easier at night, too.

5. I spent more time with family.
If you're not a family person, or if your family stresses you out, I wouldn't recommend this one. But if you're lucky enough to have a supportive family, spending time with them will rub off on you in the best way. 

I also hugged a little longer than usual. (Especially my husband and cats.)

6. And on the flip side, I spent zero time with people I didn't want to see.
Guess what? You don't have to be friends with people you don't like. Seems simple enough, right? It's a hard concept for some people to tackle. Don't waste time on those that don't give a hoot about you! Once you allow yourself to remove those people from your life, your life will change for the better.

7. I tried new things.
I'm not the most adventurous type, so we're not talking mountain climbing or skydiving here, but I did dabble in a few new hobbies to get my feet wet. These things include cooking, baking and photography. (And oh yeah, the biggie: getting married.) Taking time to learn and try new things not only gave me a challenge, but gave me something to look forward to. I've found it's important to have something new and challenging to look forward to when you work in a 9 to 5 atmosphere during the day.

8. I said 'please' and 'thank you.'
Maybe mom was onto something when she drilled this one into our heads all those years ago. It becomes all too easy to gloss over little things that people do for us throughout the day, but when you show appreciation, it will make you and other people feel good.

9. I treated myself.
My husband and I aren't rich by any means, but I was able to do little things for myself as a reward for accomplishing goals or "just because" this year. I spent one long afternoon at the library, I got my hair cut and colored, and I visited a museum with my husband this year. Even if you don't have the means to do something big for yourself, like a luxury vacation, make sure to treat yourself throughout the year in a few ways. It'll feel good to do something for you!

10. I reflected. A lot.
Heck, even reflecting and putting together this post made me happy. By reflecting on my actions, my thoughts and my life, I found appreciation for even the smallest things in life. And when you can appreciate even the smallest things, that's when you've really found happiness.


  1. You're the most amazing person I know. You continue to inspire me to do better every single day. I can't wait to see you on Friday!

  2. You are so wise for your young age. How exciting it is to see all the more you write.