5 Ways to be Happy Now (even when I’m exhausted)
Today I ran from meeting to meeting. I used my lunch breaks to catch up on emails. Then I used my travel time to catch up on phone calls.
I have a feeling that I have forgotten to do something important…
I know that I’m just going through a busy period. Things will settle down soon. But tonight, I’m tired. Very. Tired.
Still, if I think about it, I know that I can come up with some ways to be happier right now.
1. Make sleep important
Yes, I know that when I get enough sleepI’m happier. I know that when I get enough sleep I get more done, I live longer, I’m healthier and I’m more likely to develop intergalactic superpowers.
But it’s like eating fresh vegetables. Of course I know it’s good for me. It’s just not always possible. But, to be fair, even an extra 15 minutes a night would be a win. I can start there.
2. Practice being amazed
10 years ago I broke my foot. It is a long story (okay it’s not long a long story, I just don’t want to tell you because it involves a pair of high backless heels and me running to borrow a library book).
Anyway, while my foot was broken, everything in life was so much harder - public transport, walking, showering. The lot. And, when my foot was finally better, the little things were amazing again. Running. Getting dressed. Swinging my hands by my sides because I didn’t have to hold crutches any more.
To quote Maryanne Williamson “I didn’t know that a miracle is just a shift in perception”.
I can shift my perception and find miracles right now.
3. Listen to a mindfulness app
When I’m properly in the present moment, I’m happy. Simple.
But when I’m very busy and under stress, it is hard to find the time and motivation to practice.
What can I do? Before I go into a meeting, I can listen to my mindfulness app. My favourite mindfulness meditation lasts 9 minutes. If I’m desperate, I can do a 3-minute meditation. I know the results are always worth it. I just need to make my goal achievable.
4. Plan a holiday now
Everything is easier when there is something to look forward to. Yes, I’m going to book a holiday. One that I look forward to (not a fancy schmancy holiday to somewhere exotic that will impress others and leave me more exhausted than when I left).
Of course, right now, there is so much going on that I don’t have the energy to plan a holiday. That’s okay, I can book the dates and take it from there.
5. Celebrate saying “no”
I’m not saying that I try to do too much myself, but... Okay. That’s exactly what I’m saying. How much of my busy-ness is my own fault? Some of it.
The great thing about saying “no” is it gives me fewer reasons to be tired. Immediately, it frees me to do what matters to me.
The problem with saying “no” is it can take a lot of courage and energy – hard to do when I’m already tired.
But, I know that I can always turn it into a game. If I manage to say “no” five times this week, I will buy myself a present, a nice one. Oh, I like the sound of that.
Even when I’m exhausted, I can find plenty of ways to live a full life right now. I don’t have to wait for later to be happy.
BUT, the last thing that I need is even more things that I have to do. So I’m going to choose only one thing on this list to work on.
Everything else can wait until I have had a chance to relax and catch up on my sleep.
Justine Figot is an experienced Human Resources leader with a Fortune 500 company. She develops great leaders and teams who then achieve great results.