February is one of the ugliest months for weather but I took advantage of the sunshine today and walked to get bubble tea this afternoon. At the bubble tea shop I wrote a letter to my friend Victorya on pug stationery. In her letter I remarked at how good my mood was, despite it being a Monday. Then I realized that I’d combined a bunch of my favourite things together, and so of course I felt better than usual!
A walk in the sunshine + bubble tea + writing to a friend + pug stationery = Erin in a good mood!
That realization reminds me of something my friend Lisa and I used to do in Grade Seven. We started making these things we called “Happy Lists.” We’d each make a giant list of things that made us happy, mainly small things. Sometimes we’d compare lists after we’d each written like twenty things down. Often we’d hear things on the other person’s list and then say, “Oh, me too!” and add it to our own list.
The idea is hardly unique; remember that scene in The Sound of Music when the kids are afraid of a thunderstorm and so Mary sings that song about “raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens?” You’ve heard the idea of Happy Lists before because it works!
Sometimes when things are really bad we forget all the stuff that we love. If you aren’t in the mood to make a list when you’re sad, try doing one when you’re happy to refer to the next time you’re sad.
Sometimes when I’m in a terrible mood I see a list and think, “Yeah, well bubble tea is okay but it’s no miracle.” Then I read down the list, feeling a teensy tiny bit better with each item. All of those teensy things add up! The longer the list you have the better.
In the past when I’ve been suicidal I think of some of the things I enjoy that I would miss if I weren’t around anymore. Or the next time someone asks you what you want for your birthday, look at your list! These Happy Lists are always helpful!
Click “More” below to read more of my list and feel free to leave some items from your Happy List in the comments! If you get stuck, try thinking about each of your senses: What do you love seeing? Tasting? Touching? Hearing? Smelling?