I must admit I am feeling decidedly unsparkly tonight. I have the sort of cold that has exhausted me and left me with a comically squeaky voice to boot. However, I had a lovely weekend in which D and I spontaneously went to Country to Country (a country music festival) in London. Which got me thinking, while watching literally thousands of people having a whale of a time, of small things to consider doing to boost your happiness over the next few weeks.
1. Sing. There has been much research into the impact of singing on your mental health and happiness. I started doing musical theatre again a couple of nights a week and my mum has joined a community choir in my home town. More than once we have discussed how singing is relaxing and makes you think of something beyond the stresses of work and daily life. So sing your heart out, even if it’s just you when you’re home alone in the living room dancing to Taylor Swift.
2. Go to some form of live entertainment. Whether it’s a gig in the back room of a pup, a festival, theatre show or whatever; look into going. If you see your favourite musical touring, or that your favourite band is playing, bite the bullet and book tickets. It gives you something to look forward to and once you’re there the atmosphere is wonderful. There’s something wonderful about hearing something you love live on a stage. So get it organised, rather than wishing you were going.
3. Take up a new form of exercise. Release those endorphins and make yourself feel great. There’s something so great about how fantastic you can feel after a great workout. If you’re feeling daunted about going to a new class or joining the gym, try to remember that everyone in the class has been the new person at the class once. As a lazy participant of several exercise classes I have never once observed people eyeballing a new person.
4. Invite your friends to your home. Going out with friends is nice, but there is something lovely and cosy about sitting on the sofa (or in the garden on a nice day) drinking a glass of wine and having a great catch up.
5. Make the most of where you live. Go on walks in the local countryside, go to the beach or just go to the local beer festival or food festival. It’ll make you feel fortunate to live where you do and you’re likely to randomly bump into people you know while doing it.