Goodbye winter!  It is time to say goodbye to all those horrible mornings where you wake up to nothing but gloom and cold outside of your window.  Finally you can start to feel real positive energy return to your body as the sun comes out, life and greenery return and that cold bitterness of winter starts to fade.

There are millions of people throughout the world who are affected by seasonal affective disorder – increasing feelings of depression, anxiety and sluggishness when the sun decides to take a few weeks off.  For these people, spring can’t come soon enough.

For others, spring is a chance to start fresh.  Life seems to reenter the city as patios start opening up and people start frequently parks and taking afternoon strolls.  The country is full of endless wonder with new life arriving daily.  So, why not get up off the couch and start something new as well?  Take that rediscovered energy and do something productive with it!  Why not change a few of your habits in a way that is going to increase the happiness of you and those around you?

I am sure that you know by now that there is no magic formula to finding happiness – it is different for everyone and, honestly, there are some people who have an easier time finding it than others.  Here are some things that you might want to try if you’re looking for a little more positivity this spring

1. Be More Accepting of Others

I could preach to you all day about how we should treat each other as equals – I mean that is what we do here at Stand Up, Speak Up!  But, this is about more than just believing that women should have as many rights as men (because duh!) or that you shouldn’t discriminate against someone based on their religion or race (because that makes you an asshole!).

This is about giving your significant other a fucking break when they don’t do the dishes right after dinner and instead want to play a game on their phone while mindlessly sitting in front of the TV.  Or,  staying calm, cool and the friendliest fucker in the room when that jerk from work takes the last cup of coffee without making a new pot.

You can’t change anyone’s behavior but your own.  When you don’t like someone else’s behavior, either talk to them about it in a sensible and respectful way or move on with your day and forget about it!

2.  Own Your Own Mistakes

With us all trying to live up to the “perfect lives” that we see floating across our social media feeds today, we have gotten too fucking hard on ourselves!  We fear failure more than we fear a life of going down a path that we know deep down will never lead us to a fulfilled existence.

So – whether your next mistake is big or small – don’t just let it go.  CELEBRATE IT!  It is a piece of your life and proof that you still have choices and possibilities for your life.  Figure out why the mistake happened and allow it to make you closer to the ideal person that you want to be than you were yesterday.

3.  Don’t Hide from Sadness

It might seem a little counterproductive to allow yourself to be sad in order to be happier but it really is true.  Think of sadness as if it were a splinter.  Yes, it’s going to hurt to go through the process of taking it out.  But, it’s going to be a lot more annoying to live with that dull ache in your foot for the rest of your life.  And, if you don’t deal with it, it’s likely going to get infected and be more painful in the future. (Has this metaphor gone too far?)

Letting yourself be sad when you need to be can be a great release.  Whether you’re going through a breakup, were denied a promotion at work or are dealing with the loss of a loved one, allow yourself to take the time that you need before moving on.

4. Stop Whining About the Small Stuff

We could all use a good vent session every once in a while.  There are 10,000 things that are unfair in life and sometimes we all need to just express how much it sucks to be in our shoes.  But, when you’re feeling negative, you can start to pile on the things that are not going well in your life instead of focusing on fixing bigger issues that you do have control over.

If you are going out for drinks with a friend after work, stick to talking about the good things that happened to you during the day or ask for advice about things that are real problems that you need to solve rather than just trading whiny comments about little things that pissed you off in the last 24 hours.  You will find that the more energy you spend on positive things, the more positive you will feel.  This will take those little annoyances out of your mind without any extra effort from you.

5.  Get Organized

Most of us have more things on our to-do list than we could possibly get done.  On top of our jobs, family and other regular responsibilities it is likely that you also want to squeeze in some time every week to hang out with friends, indulge in a hobby or just completely shut off your brain in front of a little Netflix.

If you want to make reduce the time that you spend on the necessities to maximize your “me time” one of the best ways to do that is to keep everything that is predictable in your life as organized as possible.  If you’re someone who doesn’t like organizing, just start with one thing that you waste time doing.  For example, if you’re someone who spends 15 minutes before every meal deciding what you’re going to make, make a list of meals before heading to the grocery store every week.  Then, do as much prep as possible all at once.  If you want to go one step further, put a list on your fridge of all of the options that are available at home to make.  Suddenly, dinner will be almost as easy as pulling out a takeout menu.

Now, will doing all of these things make you 100% happier?  Probably not.  But, trying a few might lead you to something that does reduce your stress or help you to start seeing things in a more positive light.  Try one or all of them this spring and see if they have made a difference once summer comes around.


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