heartwise sister circle

How do I get a Happiness Makeover?

I was flipping through magazines recently, collecting images for the SoulCollageĀ® workshop I am facilitating for the next 6 weeks. SoulCollageĀ® doesn’t use any words, only images, and is a powerful tool for personal development and tapping into your own wisdom. I love making the cards and using them for personal readings. But I also love making other types of collages, the ones with words. I collect words like other people collect match books and paste them in my journal, use them as writing inspiration or just enjoy re-reading them. I was struck by a brightly-colored full page advertisement from Sun Chips. The original ad had a woman smiling, wearing bright colors and looking at the camera. She was surrounded by words, some hand-drawn doodles and of course, a bag of Sun Chips (albeit it was small and in the bottom right corner.) I wanted some of whatever she was up to! Written in small text near the doodles was the phrase, “Get a happiness makeover.”

This phrase made me pause, even though what initially caught my attention was the woman and the phrase: Small steps take me from where I am… to where I want to be. You can see that phrase in my collage pictured above.Ā  See how much smaller the phrase “Get a happiness makeover” is? Yet that’s what ultimately grabbed me and inspired this image.

What constitutes a happiness makeover?

Can I go buy one? Make it up? Hire a coach to guide me? Yes, I could probably do all of those things!

The reality is much simpler, I have a short list of activities that I adore that make me happy. I don’t always make time for them but when I need a happiness makeover, usually just a few minutes can move me out of depression, sadness or grumpiness into happiness. We all have activities like this, so why do we forget? Why do we get bogged down by endless to-do lists and overwhelm ourselves? Action and focus are the essential ingredients in a happiness makeover.

My short list of quickie happiness makeover activities:

1. Get creative! Saturday I was grumpy because my daughter and I got stuck taking the car to the shop for it’s oil and filter change. My husband made the appointment but when we got there, they didn’t have our reservation, so we were looking at floating around downtown Santa Barbara with a couple of hours to kill. We went to a new shop downtown called Knit Fit, it’s a crafters paradise! We spent the two hours happily engaged in painting (my daughter) and mixed media journaling (me). I walked out feeling like my happy self again. That fun two hours was followed by one of my second favorite activities.

2. Go for a walk someplace beautiful! In this case, that’s usually the beach or a local mountain trail. Saturday, it was Hendry’s Beach, which we had not visited recently. It was super low tide so there was great tidepooling, cool fog bows and light shining off the water, ahhhhhhh. I relaxed more into my life with each step.

3. Go out for lunch or dinner. I love eating out and trying new restaurants or visiting a local favorite like Holllister’s Brewing Company in Goleta, awesome fish tacos. It’s always a treat when I don’t have to cook. Plus, sometimes the change of scenery is enough to lift my spirits.

4. Listen to music. It might be something that makes me want to dance, or it could be something romantic, something that I know all the words to and love to sing (anything by John Denver, yes I am a geek.)

More dramatic happiness makeover activities:

Sometimes a more dramatic makeover is required. My husband and I relocated from Texas to Santa Barbara, CA last summer to get a happiness makover. It worked for us! Now that we are settling in, we find happiness closer than it used to be. Did moving solve all of our problems? No, of course not! But living in a location, community and house that we adore goes a a long way towards increasing happiness on a daily basis. Other examples of a more dramatic happiness makeover might include:

  1. Hire a coach.
  2. Take a trip.
  3. Sign up for a workshop or women’s retreat.
  4. Spend all day in bed or on the couch with a great book.

I have done all of these at one time or another!

What about you? Do you have a list of happiness makeover ideas? Do you keep it handy? Do you make time for you? Do you ask for help when you need it?

Make 2013 the year that you take care of you! If you want some insight, inspiration and company on your journey, check out my HeartWise Sister Circle, it’s a membership group just for women who are tired of trying to figure it out alone and would like some companionship, a safe place to share and more creativity and happiness in their daily lives. Come play with me!