back to part 1

When it comes to managing your relationships with toxic people, it’s just not always possible to cut them out completely. That might be because they’re family or for any number of reasons. You need to look at what you can be doing to mitigate the ways in which their behaviour affects you. That’s not to say it’s your fault, it’s just something you need to be doing if you want to prioritise your happiness and avoid habitual upset or annoyance. Things like being aware of their behaviours, triggers and simply not engaging with them can all help out a lot, but it’s up to you to find the best response and generally that takes some experimentation.

Nurture Creativity

Nothing is better when it comes to working out feelings, relaxing or simply feeling productive and driven. Exploring a creative outlet, like drawing, painting, writing or music can be a hugely therapeutic use of your time, allowing you to develop new skills while feeling better about the rest of your life in general.

Simply spending half an hour a day doing something creative, just for the sake of it, is always going to be a hugely valuable way to spend your time, but in the current situation, with lockdowns going on all around the world, exploring your creative side has never been more powerful.

Prioritise Sleep

Another extremely simple one. Just make sure that you’re getting enough sleep. But don’t sleep too much. Work out what you need to function optimally and try and stick to it. Give yourself a bedtime and keep with it and you’ll definitely feel better for it.

Stop stretching out the evening because you want to keep chatting to someone online or watch one more episode and simply tell yourself that sleep is more important. Sleep is the basis on which everything else depends, as soon as you start becoming sleep deprived, all the rest of your routine, motivation and happiness become harder to get right.

Exercise is Key, But Don’t Obsess

When you’re stuck in and you’re looking for something to spend your time doing, exercise is always going to be a great option. Not only has it been shown to have a myriad of mental and physical benefits, it also fits in nicely with the idea of routine and scheduling your life. It gives you something positive to be doing and lets you get away from things you might be getting bored of.

Make sure you don’t cross the line and get obsessive though. Obsessive exercise is all too easy to find yourself doing when you’re spending all day at home without much external stimuli.

Don’t Pay Too Much Attention to the News

This might sound kind of ridiculous and I understand why. However, watching the news compulsively isn’t staying abreast of current events. You don’t need to be checking more than twice a day tops. Not that much is happening in the world.

It’s altogether far too easy to find yourself completely plugged into the 24-hour news cycle, continually scanning for new items, and it’s almost never good news. It’s a never ending flow of negativity that you don’t need in your life right now. By all means, check the headlines a couple times a day, but guard against obsessively checking.

Practice Gratitude

It might sound strange, talking about practicing gratitude in such fraught, troubled and unprecedented times. There’s so much disturbing stuff happening the world over and things are hard. However, that doesn’t mean that you’ve not got plenty to be grateful for. Even if that’s just the simple fact of your own existence, but I’m sure you can think of more than just that.

Practice gratitude by meditating on it a couple of times a day. Just gently remind yourself about all the great things in your life that you have to be grateful for and you will feel happier for it.

Have a Reasonable Expectations for Your Own Happiness

Lastly, don’t feel like a failure if you’re knocked out of whack with your previous goals and progress, especially when it comes to happiness. Things are hard for everyone at the moment, so it’s unreasonable to demand complete, unfettered happiness of yourself. Even if you can just be fairly happy, most of the time, that’s going to be hugely better than the alternative. Having a reasonable level of expectation when it comes to yourself and your goals is always going to make things much easier in the long run.

Utilise the app, Analyze.Life to track your goals and happiness, making sure that every day is better than the last. Remember, the only person you should be comparing yourself to is you, yesterday.