- Exercise—especially if you're working out in a group
- Music—whether you are listening to it or performing
- Nature—get out into the bush or by the sea
- Volunteer—helping others gives you a natural high
- Laughter—watch a funny movie, have a laugh with some friends.
Let's talk about getting high. Many people turn to alcohol and other drugs to get a high, to find some relief from the stress of life, or to escape. There are other ways to get a high that do not have the same risks and possible side effects. Here are just a few:
I was feeling down recently, even though life had been pretty good. It occurred to me that I hadn't been making time to do things that made me happy. Happiness isn't usually something that happens by accident - you need to make a conscious effort to create it. I know it's hard to make time for fun when you're busy at school or uni and there seems to be no end to the assignments and study that need to be done. But by making time to do things that make you happy, you may find that you are more productive and less stressed.
I know one thing that doesn't make me feel happy - scrolling through Instagram for an hour or more. It just leaves me feeling frustrated and inadequate. It's part of self-care and self-love to do things that bring you joy. Exactly what those things are will be different for everyone. For some people it's singing loudly, for others it is going to the beach. I like to get creative and make things - I'm currently knitting a jumper. I also enjoy reading, eating gelato and getting out in the fresh air. You don't have to set aside a whole day - half an hour watching an episode of your favourite tv show is enough, or soak in the bath or paint your nails is enough.
Spending some time alone each day helps you to unwind and reduces stress. Life can get hectic and noisy so it's important to slow down and take a break from it all. You can create a cozy spot in your room to hang out or get out of the house. My favourite things to do during "me time" are to read, write, get crafty and listen to music.
If you need something to cheer you up or lift your spirits try making a mood board of your favourite things full of photos, magazine cut-outs or drawings of your favourite things. Alternatively, print out our free Favourite Things list and fill in the blanks.