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C’mon, Get Happy:: Low-Cost Ways to Boost Your Mood

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”-Dalai Lama

joy

Happiness takes a little work, but the rewards are worth it.

Being happy is priceless. When you are happy your day goes better, and when your stress levels are low, you have a better outlook on life in general. Parenting, while rewarding, can be one of the toughest jobs around. Add that to everyday life (work, school, spouse), and it can make you stressed if you don’t take the time to slow down. But there are little things that we can do everyday to enrich and enhance our lives without spending a single dime.

1. Hugs and kisses

Everyone loves a good hug and kiss. Showing and receiving affection are ways to let someone know (as well as letting yourself know) that you are loved and appreciated. A good hug, and even a good cry, can make you feel better.

2.  Out with the old

Or at least the completely unnecessary. Cluttered spaces usually equal a cluttered mind. The less mess you have around, the less overwhelmed you will feel.

Miss C.J. / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Having a hobby can give you a chance to unwind and focus on something that makes you feel happy. Photo credit: Miss C.J. / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

3. Get a hobby

We all need alone time. Whether you enjoy reading, sewing, scrapbooking or photography, having something to do during your downtime usually can help you feel productive.

4. Yoga

Without a doubt, yoga or some form of meditation always seem to lift my spirits. I enjoy being able to sit in a quiet space and free my mind from all the cares that I have. For those 90 minutes (the length of a standard Bikram yoga class), I am reducing my stress and allowing myself to “re-boot” my brain.

A handwritten letter from you will make Mom's day -- and it only costs a stamp.

There’s something about putting pen to paper — and then receiving an honest-to-goodness letter in return.

5. Pen pals

Who doesn’t like mail? Yes, we have email now, but with good old-fashioned snail mail becoming a lost art (or at least it feels that way), it’s a great way to connect with new friends or even old ones.

6. Picnic in the park

This has been one of my favorites as of late. We don’t always bring food; we may just take a blanket and lie in the sun. Either way it is definitely relaxing, plus it is a fun way to connect if you decided to take along your spouse or kids.

6. Dance

My ten-year-old can attest to this one. Dancing just makes you happy. Couple that with a good song playing (even if it’s just in your head), and it’s an amazing way to let lose and just be silly.

KFoodaddict / Foter / CC BY

A quite picnic either alone or with a friend can be a great way to connect with someone or just catch up with a good book. Photo credit: KFoodaddict / Foter / CC BY

7. Picnic in the park

This has been one of my favorites as of late. We don’t always bring food; we may just take a blanket and lie in the sun. Either way it is definitely relaxing, plus it is a fun way to connect if you decided to take along your spouse or kids.

8. Take a walk

I enjoy walks around the neighborhood with the kids. As a family we cherished our weekly Friday evening walks when Dad got off of work. It’s a little harder to do now, but we always try to squeeze one in.

9. Take a trip down memory lane

Have old home movies or pictures to look at? Why not take some time and just flip through or watch them. Being able to rehash the past can at times make you feel better. But I do caution you … you can spend hours on end doing this and not even realize it.

meditate

Give yourself permission to do nothing. Whether you use that time to meditate, daydream, or listening to the birds, you’ll likely find that doing nothing adds up to something truly relaxing.

 

10. Just sit

Pretty weird, huh? Well, sometimes just sitting and doing nothing can bring happiness.  There is honestly nothing I enjoy more than relaxing in complete silence, and just being. Maybe with a good cup of coffee or even a glass of wine.

Sometimes the best things (and moments) in life are truly free.

What are some of your low-cost happy moments? Share your favorites in the comments.

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One Response to C’mon, Get Happy:: Low-Cost Ways to Boost Your Mood

  1. Hilda
    Hilda April 28, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Natasha, I love these simple yet great tips. I definitely do these too, to lift my spirit on Days when I seem to struggle with depression and anxiety more. I love going outside in this weather. Thanks for reminding me that free stuff can be just as good of a therapy!!

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