List 3 gratitudes (everyday)
When I was 13 and still a church-going Catholic, I had to write down three things we were thankful for and turn it into our Sunday School teacher. I learned a decent number of things in Sunday School (including basic sex education: “Okay, Mary didn’t have sex, but there’s other ways of having babies, right? Right?!”), but this is possibly the most helpful today. It is and continues to be a powerful tool to shift perspective. For more structure, try using the Secret of Happiness app, which has set reminders.
Subscribe to happy news
I can no longer log onto my Facebook without some mental preparation. Nothing on my newsfeed is ever good (because that’s the state of our world right now #crisismode). But also a line has to be drawn for my own mental health. Join me in subscribing to random “happy” sites, like DIY crafts, baby instagrams, horoscopes, artist drawings, fashionista children, & spiritual blogs (most of which have questionable appropriation practices, but gotta pick my battles). Share some of your favorites!
Listen to some upbeat mixtapes
I’m a sad song kind of person, as evidenced by my most-played playlist titled, Ghost Voices (true story). But it’s good to be mindful of what environment I’m placing myself in. Turn up some happy tunes to tune up your mood!
Schedule meals with your friends, or make a public promise to accomplish something today. Often times, this is how I get myself to eat regularly or stop myself from being isolated when things get really tough. Funnily enough, I keep promises to others better than promises I make to myself (need to work on that).
Imagine a dialogue with a friend
Envision one of your good friends sitting in front of you. Tell them your situation or dilemma. What would they say? How would they react? What advice would they give? Often times, I realize that other people practice way more compassion for my mistakes and challenges than I do. It’s a helpful exercise I do to remember self-compassion.
Get emotional support
This can mean through formal therapy (which is hit or miss) or just by reaching out to your friends. Then when there are those moments when I feel like I need an anonymous ear, I open up my 7 Cups app and talk to random emotional supporters. I’m pretty wary of strangers, but they have been helpful each time I’ve used it.