How I Stay Happy Even in Difficult times

My mother and me     My son and me           My grandson and granddaughter




In 2011 I wrote a tip list on how to be happy at work.  You’ll find it here .  The list starts out with the first tip – Choose to be happy.  That is good advice for both work time and non-work time.  So, what do you need to keep you happy during your non-work hours?  In difficult times it is even more important to have a list. I thought it might be helpful to see my list of 10 things that keep me happy. I don’t necessarily do all of these at once but I know if I start to feel down one of these will cheer me up.

  1. Being with my family – I love being with my family. That includes my children, grandchildren and mother.  In January I went to Key West with my children and grandchildren.  It gives me joy to be with everyone together.  Of course, since I am my mother’s caregiver.  This too gives me a lot of pleasure especially since she is thriving under my care.
  2. Spending time with friends – I have a lot of friends from various parts of my life. This week I reconnected with a friend who now lives in California but I know because we did live in the same town in Massachusetts for about 10 years.  She was here to visit her family that still lives in Massachusetts.  We’ve managed to see each other off and on over the years and of course there are telephone visits too.
  3. Flowers – love to have a bouquet of flowers on the table where I have my meals. I buy fresh ones and especially like it when I get to watch the buds open up. (Flowers last longer when they come closed and open while you have them.) Just looking at the flowers brings a smile to my face.
  4. Watching birds – I have a bird feeder and hang it in my back yard from November to May. I put sunflower seeds inside it and get lots of different birds coming to my feeder.  I am especially fond of the cardinals who come to the feeder but don’t eat from it but prefer the seeds on the ground.  I sometimes see the cardinals in the summer when there is no feeder out.  I put the feeder away in the summer because there is lots food around for the birds to eat in the summer without my feeder and the sunflower seeds attract rodents and I can do without them. (The seeds attract bears too but luckily, I haven’t had one come to my backyard yet!)
  5. Singing – Over the years I have had some wonderful singing groups to sing with. I loved singing with the Gospel choir.  Even though I had to drop out because it was just too much for me I still love the music we sang and sing along with the radio or TV whenever I hear the music we sang. Now I sing once a month with a group from a nearby Synagogue.  I especially like singing religious music and it doesn’t matter what religion.  Singing is something I can go to when I am feeling a bit down.
  6. Getting Acknowledged – Nothing feels better than when someone sincerely acknowledges me for an article I wrote, something I did for them, or an idea I sparked in them.  It is something that stays with me and I come back to it frequently.  It gives me energy.  I keep all written acknowledgements to read during tough times.  It helps!!
  7. Laughter – I love to laugh and so when someone or something makes me laugh I feel good all over. Sometimes I laugh at myself when I do something funny.  When I just want to relax and laugh I watch reruns of Friends, Seinfeld and Big Bang Theory.
  8. Ice Cream – Nothing makes me happier than an ice cream cone in the summer. I like it in the winter too but usually just have a dish then.  I go through different favorite flavors at different times.  Right now I am in my mint chocolate chip phase but who knows what tomorrow will bring?!
  9. My Garden – I’ve always had a vegetable garden in the backyard. Through the years I have posted pictures of my garden in varying stages. Just as I enjoy watching my flowers open from buds I love watching my tomato plants sprout flowers and then tomatoes.  I used to plant string beans which I loved because they grow so fast and it always amazed me that from one little white seed I could grow dozens of string beans.  I’ve stopped planting string beans because there are now lots of rabbits here and they eat the string bean plant before it has a chance to come up more than an inch above the ground.  GRRRR!!  The rabbits are cute except when they eat my string bean plants!!
  10. Reading Fiction – I always have a book to read. In fact, when I don’t have one I feel lost.  Thanks to my Kindle that doesn’t happen for long because there is always a book I want to download or have already downloaded.  My book club keeps me reading with monthly meetings but depending on the month I may finish and need a new book before the next meeting.  This month we are reading The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

Those are my 10.  What about you? I’d love to see your list!

If you found this article helpful you may enjoy reading this  10 Tips to help you in your pursuit of happiness.  This is a list with ideas for long term happiness.  It can help you to develop ways to live that help you to develop happiness.  My list above is for my short term happiness and gives me ideas to go to for a quick pick me up.

Need help creating your list?  Call me at 781-598-0388 or email me at to set up an appointment.  No charge for the appointment.


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