Right now is the time to do more of what you love.

Do it for yourself, do it for those you love. (Hot tip: You might already be doing it!)

We’re all kids at heart. Pic: Mi Pham.

Your mental health matters. Pandemic or not.

You might have noticed I didn’t say do more of what makes you happy. That’s because happiness is fleeting and we all know that deep down. And nothing and no one else can ‘make’ us happy, only we can do that.

I’m keen for us all to do what we love. Often. And to acknowledge we’re doing something we love. If we take more time to simply to do what we love, happiness then ensues.

And I’m not talking about radical actions like leaving your job or your partner or anything remotely like these. I’m talking about the often small and what might seem insignificant things, things that spark joy.

I’m reminding you of how important they are to your mental health and ultimately to your relationships – with yourself and with others.

Make time for it.

Is there ever enough time? Yes. Of course there is. Doing what we love and acknowledging we’re doing what we love, can and often does happen throughout your day. Fact is, you may not even notice you’re doing it!

Reading (oh joy!), listening to your favourite music, walking outdoors, exercising, laughing out loud and for some, even working(!) sparks their joy. There are so many things we do, places we love being, people we love seeing and hearing, foods we love cooking (and eating), simple things that we far too often don’t acknowledge as ‘tools of feeling happiness.’

Yet these are what we need right now. These are what we need every day for even just a small percentage of the day.

How doing what you love makes you feel good.

This is easy. I’ve mentioned acknowledgment a few times already. If you’re used to snuggling in with a book or a show you love for example, then it’s a no brainer you’ll feel better as a result. The key is to acknowledge your experience. Positive acknowledgment is what will deepen the experience and you’ll ultimately want more in the future. Let your feel-good hormones flow with some positive acknowledgment.

Say it quietly to yourself or say it out loud. Tell others how much you enjoy xxxx (whatever your thing is).

I love to trail run!

And when I do (almost every day if I can – even if only for 30 minutes) I yell out loud “I love being in the bush! I’m so lucky to be able to run every day”. Super simple yet as a result, I feel even more amazing. What an endorphin rush!

I’m then calmer, happier, and nicer to be around. I know, as if I could be any nicer!

So please, ask yourself what you love, seek out what you love and give it your energy. Do it and you’ll be happier more often because of it.