The past few months have shown me beyond a shadow of a doubt that there's more to "getting healthy" than working out, cutting carbs and drinking a ton of water. I'm pleased to have joined a gym in my suburb for the summer, and am taking advantage of great seasonal produce and all, but my major focus in the quest for health is zoned in on a different arena lately.
I briefly mentioned the 100 Happy Days project here, but wanted to expand on it because I've found that it's really been a good way for me to seek emotional health in a really turbulent and unhappy time in my life. Being dumped by the guy I straight-up thought I was going to marry sent me into a pretty intense spiral, but even before the shit with Jon in April, I hadn't been myself for months.
I've always been a relentlessly positive person to the point of obnoxiousness. I'm quick to see the bright side, my proverbial glass is never less than half-full, and the one major character trait others consistently attribute to me is happiness/positivity/joy. How, then, have I strayed so far? A lot of my recent unhappiness does trace back to being in a relationship I think I subliminally knew wasn't healthy anymore. Some of it certainly related to shitty weather, and more to dissatisfaction with myself. In short, I had lost sight of the forest in looking at the trees, and some of my shine had gone a little bit dim.
I started 100 Happy Days shortly after our return from Puerto Rico and, really, I think it's gotten me through the spring and safely to summer. It's the smallest thing: a picture, every day, of something that made me happy. Over the course of the whoooole day...just one thing. And so often for me, it was such a small, stupid little thing, even before my little breakup tailspin...cocktails with my grandma. The Metrodome getting torn down. Sidewalk scenes in St. Paul. Even the very day I got dumped, 100 Happy Days forced me to recognize that crawling into bed in my childhood home and cuddling my teddy bear and stuffed bunny made me happy. It might not have been Puerto-Rican vacation levels of happy, but it was a happy moment that, otherwise, would likely have gotten missed in the miasma of negativity.
These days, I find myself quicker to notice the little things. To appreciate the vista from the top floor of the parking ramp instead of bemoaning the stair hike to the top at the end of the day. To notice that the cafe lights under the deck umbrella are the cutest thing ever. To really focus on a font on a menu, a condensation pattern on a cocktail glass, a weed sprouting a daisy. And I've memorialized such wonderful things: the support from my parents and friends following the breakup, the way spring creeps up on Minnesota, beautiful moments as I hike back toward being myself again.
TL/DR, forcing myself to appreciate the happy, beautiful moments in life has helped me reach a point of emotional health I haven't been at in a long time, despite the fact that I've been pretty sad for awhile, and I highly recommend 100 Happy Days if you, too, need that eye-opener.
Now, for the fun stuff: my 100 happy snaps, in video form!