Over the winter when it felt like the cold and snow were never going to leave my life, I hit a patch where I was feeling unhappy. And it wasn't because anything changed in my life, but I was longing for something TO change. My days all looked the same. Get up after very few hours of sleep (when we were constantly battling Henry's ear infections), get dressed in clothes that no longer felt special, drop Henry off at daycare (which still remains the worst part of my day), go to work for 9 hours where I basically felt like I was just counting down the minutes until I could go home, pick up Henry, settle him in for a nap, try to motivate myself to workout, do our nighttime routine, and then go back to sleep, preparing for just a few hours to sustain myself on. The feeling that was overtaking me was something I hadn't experienced before and it was honestly scary. I didn't talk to many people about how far the feeling really went, but it was there, gnawing at me every single minute of every single day and I was afraid I might snap.
Around this same time I wrote a post on the ten things that make me happy, always. I was hoping it would help me to appreciate the little things in life that never failed to put a smile on my face. And it helped for awhile, it did. Until winter just continued to drag on. But finally, it's over (fingers crossed) and I realize I may have been hit with a case of seasonal affective disorder (SAD), my son is finally feeling better, and we're getting quite a bit more sleep now.
But thinking back on those dark winter months, it makes me think about my recipe for happiness, what it takes to truly make me happy aside from those little things that I so appreciate. There are four keys to my happiness and it seems they are all equally important. My happiness recipe is:
When Henry is feeling well and we get to just enjoy watching him grow and learn. Those days are the ones I hope to look back on someday, that will be lodged in my mental scrapbook forever.
Through those winter days, my mood was also affecting our marriage and we weren't having the easiest time. But I need him in so many ways- I need him as my friend, as my husband, as the person I turn to every single day, and I need to have alone time with him to make sure that we are still us.
It is so important to my mental state to have something to pour my creativity into. And over the years that has taken many different shapes. It's through writing and designing that I am happiest and without that I feel mentally blocked. I always need to have something to let that side of me out.
1/4 Me Time
Until I became a mother I didn't realize just how important having alone time was for me. At the end of the day, I crave time to just sit and read or sit and design or sit and blog. By myself. I feel overwhelmed for the majority of the day because it seems someone always needs something from me. So I need that time to unwind and just be by myself. That also means trying to take time for myself physically. I started going to a Zumba class once a week for an hour and I can't even explain the difference it's made in my mood. I get to just focus on me for one hour and that one hour is so priceless to me.
It's in identifying those things that I'm able to now have a better understanding when I start to feel a little off. I can sit and figure out which of those parts I'm lacking in (the majority of the time it's in the Me Time) and try to fix that.
So, what does your Happiness Recipe look like?