As a senior in college on the brink of real life (read: paying for college loans, having to find a real job, finding a decent apartment, etc.), feelings of happiness are often pushed aside to make room for stress, anxiety, and worry. Happiness seems like this unattainable state of being that requires a lofty to-do list. But, it doesn’t have to be. Here are ten things you can actually do that will actually improve your level of happiness.
1. Delete your “friends.” There’s no need to have 2,000 friends on Facebook. Keep the people whom you actually communicate with and care about and ditch the girl who triggers body envy, your younger brother’s middle school friends, and that guy you met at that bar that one time.
2. Create things. Whether it’s writing a blog, making amateur watercolor paintings, or just cooking yourself a fancy dinner, there’s no greater satisfaction than knowing you did something yourself, beginning to end.
3. Get moving. Chances are your life gets progressively more sedentary as you get older: longer periods of time sitting in class during college turn into longer periods of time sitting in the office. Rack up some endorphins and pound the pavement.
4. Write thank you notes. When you express gratitude you realize how many people really do help you out each and every day. Knowing you’ve got a good group of people in your corner is always a reason to smile.
5. Invest in worthwhile relationships. As you get older it becomes harder and harder ot keep up with a growing network. Make sure to take the time to reach out to your friends and loved ones that mean the most to you. Put the same time and effort into the relationships that you feel you’re receiving from them.
6. Compliment other people. Reminding yourself that you have the ability to put a smile on someone else’s face often results in a smile on yours. Plus, you might get a compliment in return.
7. Own your space. Make your space reflect you. Whether it be neat and tidy or artsy and inspiring, coming home to a place that you’ve put your own stamp on is a great way to end the day.
8. Get dirty. Go outside, hike, nap in the grass, plant a window box, pick flowers.
9. Read books. This is something that’s applicable to any professional path and always worthwhile. You never regret reading a good book. There are books out there about everything; if you claim you don’t like reading, you just haven’t found the right one.
10. Sleep a lot, but not too much. When your work is done, I guarantee you’ll do more good by hitting the hay than by scrolling through your late night Insta feed (there’s never anything good on there anyway) or watching reruns of Boy Meets World. Go to sleep at a decent time and then wake up at one, too.