When I was in middle school, I always sat with the same group of friends during English class. One of the girls, who had Aspergers syndrome, usually had an aid sitting with her as well. When we got bored in class, the four of us (including the aid) would pass around scraps of paper and take turns writing down things that make us happy. It was extremely wholesome, and I still have all of those little scraps somewhere in my closet. Today, I wanted to recreate that idea with an updated list of things that make me happy. Enjoy!
Panera Broccoli and Cheddar Soup
The Sims 4
Fluffy, squishy dogs
Flemish Giant Rabbits
Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
My beautiful mother and (soon to be) stepfather
Strawberries and bananas
The Golden Hour
Laughing until you cry
Kissing pretty girls
Snuggling with Duke and giving him big, smooshy kisses
Being busy + managing my projects
Writing handwritten letters
Pastel lined paper
Strawberry frosted donuts
When Eli’s cat sits on my lap
Brand new books that still have that booky smell
Getting paid & putting money into my savings account
Collecting eyeshadow palettes
Downloading CC for my sims
When little kids come up to me and tell me they like my makeup
At the time of writing this, we’re in the odd transitional period of daylight saving time and my mood is feeling a bit…off. I occasionally go through periods where I’m just in a bit of a funk, and this is just one of those times. And no, the sky getting dark at 4pm is not helping!
Anywho, with that being said, I wanted to write something cheerful today in an effort to lift my spirits. This isn’t my typical how-to post or informational piece, but I thought it would be nice to do something a little light-hearted, especially in the season of being thankful! I hope you guys enjoy.
Throughout my entire life, I’ve always felt an extremely strong connection to animals. I do consider myself to be an empathetic person, and my warm feelings towards others extent to (almost) every living thing. I say “almost” because I’m not the biggest fan of creepy-crawly bugs. Besides that, though, I’ve always felt an extremely strong sense of respect towards animals. I am fortunate enough to have my sweet family dog, Duke, and I’m looking forward to adopting my own animals once I graduate college and get my own apartment. The first animals I’d like to adopt are fancy rats, then I’d like to rescue cats and possibly birds. Once I move out of the city and (hopefully) start my own farm business, I want to rescue dogs, goats, chickens, and cows. Whenever I ponder my perfect life, I always see tons of animals in the picture. I hope someday I can live a simple life surrounded by my sweet animal friends, from teeny-tiny rats to giant bulls and cows.
This is partially related to animals, I suppose, but I’ve also always had an extremely strong connection to nature. Being a New England girl, I’ve grown up surrounded by farms, mountains, snowy winters, beaches, you name it. There is so much diversity in New England, I’m grateful that I get to experience it all. It sounds cheesy to say, but I’ve always felt like the flowers and the trees were my friends, especially when I was growing up. I didn’t have a lot of friends, but I did have my imagination and my flowers. To this day, I’m still so fascinated by plants and animals, and I love getting out into nature to take all the beauty in. It’s a really great source of anxiety relief for me.
Like many people, music has always played an enormous part in my life. Not only do I love listening to music, I also love expressing myself through singing. I remember first getting into music in the fourth grade, when my class sang “Wide Open Spaces” by the Dixie Chicks as our elementary school graduation song. That experience alone sparked my passion for singing, and since then, I’ve sung in two a capella groups and taken voice lessons outside of school. I don’t sing much anymore, but it’s still a huge part of my creative identity. And, of course, I love listening to music as well. I love to take walks around campus with my headphones in and pretend I’m in a music video.
I talk about my mom a lot, but I still don’t think I give her enough credit on here. I feel very fortunate to have an amazing relationship with my mom, and I love her more than anyone else in the world. She’s been through some really tough things that could have knocked her down, but instead, she became stronger than ever and built an amazing life for herself. She’s a maternity nurse, and she’s loved by so many people for the amazing work she does. She’s also very accepting of me as a person, and remains open-minded to the decisions I make for myself. Above all, she takes great care of me. Whenever I’m sick, anxious, sad, or something in-between, I can always count on my amazing mom to comfort me and help me through adversity.
Lastly (but certainly not least), writing is a substantial form of happiness and peace for me. I write when I’m feeling down, when I’m flying high, when I’m bored, or really anything in-between. I would say I spend between 2-4 hours of my day writing, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Being an introvert who has always struggled to express myself, I cherish having my writing skill as an outlet to communicate with the outside world. It’s a very freeing experience to know I have a talent, and it gives me comfort to know I can always rely on my voice to get me through the hard times.
Anyway, those are the top five things that make me happy, but there are so many more things I’ve left out. I’m planning on publishing the “50 Things That Make Me Happy” tag sometime later in January, so be on the lookout for that! I’ve had a really lovely time writing this, and fills me with gratitude to reflect on all of these beautiful gifts in my life, especially my family.
My morning routine came out last week, and genuinely had such a good time putting it together, it seemed right to make a nighttime routine as well! Just like my mornings, my nighttime routine can vary daily depending on the day. Sometimes I like to pamper myself with bubble baths and movies before beds, and other times, I’m out late with my friends and the only thing I bother to do before getting into bed is just taking off my makeup.
Taking off my makeup, actually, really is the only task I will do FAITHFULLY. There is absolutely no way in hell I will get into bed with makeup on my face, no matter how tired I am. I also absolutely cannot go to bed until I’ve taken all my pills, because even forgetting them for one day can give me really aggressive side effects. If you’d like me to put together a complete article all about Lexapro and how it has affected me, let me know in the comments!
Anyhow, like I said, removing my makeup and taking all my pills are the two most essential steps in my nightly routine. My current favorite makeup wipes are these Crystal Melon ones by Pacifica, which is a vegan beauty company based in Oregon. The wipes smell truly amazing, like some kind of fruity smoothie, and they remove even the toughest mascara and full-coverage foundation off of my skin. After that I’ll do just normal bathroom washing, like brushing my teeth and washing my face. And if I discover I have a pimple, hey, I’ll probably mess around with that for ten minutes or so.
Something I did tonight (Tuesday the seventh) that I usually only do once a week is straighten my hair. Like I said last week, I only wash my hair on Tuesday nights, and after letting it air dry for a few hours, I give it a really solid flat ironing. I have a lot of hair to flat iron, and it usually takes around 30-60 minutes, so I like to pass the time by listening to audio books and podcasts. I talk a lot about self-care and pampering on this blog, and for me, doing my hair is just another relaxing way for me to take care of myself.
The next thing I’m doing tonight, and what I do on many nights, is fill my oil diffuser with water and essential oil- usually something relaxing and sleepy, like lavender. Surprisingly, even though I have an anxiety disorder, I actually sleep very well throughout the night and can fall asleep very easily. I partly (mostly) attribute this to having ASMR/Bob Ross videos on, but additionally, I think aromatherapy can really help in aiding with sleep. Tonight I used Silver Fir essential oil in my diffuser, because I’m feeling very nostalgic for the winter months. If you’re interested in getting an oil diffuser, I’ll leave the link to where I got mine below.
I don’t do this every night, but I try to sit down with my crystals and cleanse them at least a couple times per week. If you are an avid crystal user like me, then you know that stones need constant cleansing to restore their energy and help deplete them of any negativity they may have picked up. You can do this by using water, sunlight, moonlight, or just focusing positive intentions on your crystals. Depending on which stones I’m cleansing, I like to use a mixture of all four of those methods. I also occasionally like to set up crystal grids, and hand-pick the crystals that I think will particularly aid me for that week. If you’re unfamiliar with crystal grids, I’ll leave a link to a great video below that describes the concept very well. The crystals I have chosen for my grid this week are selenite, citrine, emerald, clear quartz, smoky quartz, hematite, and black tourmaline, which will harmoniously work together to detox and energize me. At least, I sure hope it will, because I’ve been needing energy to get through the intensive new workout regime I’ve started this summer!
The last thing I do before bed is water my plants, assuming they’re dry and they need a drink. My newest sprouts, which are tomato, sage, sunflower, and silver daisies, get generous water every night. My succulents only get watered once a week, because over-watering those types of plants can effectively kill them. I’ve been absolutely obsessed with plants lately, as you may have guessed, and I truly get excited when I see them growing with my love and care. I’ve heard people say that positive reinforcement can help plants grow, so while I water them, I like to remind my plants how beautiful they are and how big and strong they’re going to grow. Am I a weirdo?
That’s more or less everything I like to achieve in a calming, restorative nighttime routine. Every night is a little different, like I said, but my main goals are to take care of everything around me, like my crystals and plants, and most importantly, take care of myself. I have four favorite channels that I rotate listening to before bed: Bob Ross, WhispersRed ASMR, Vsauce, and The Buddhist Society of Western Australia. I think tonight is going to be a Bob Ross kind of night, and honestly, I think my plants feel relaxed by his voice, too.
That concludes my average nighttime routine. Goodnight, sleep tight, and I’ll see you all on Thursday!
(Note: I don’t think I officially announced this yet, but my summer posting schedule is going to be Tuesdays and Thursdays, with a few extra articles sprinkled in!)