A Happi-NessA Project

A Happi-Nessa Project

Self-love, Reflection, Care + Discovery

The month started off a little rough. I knew I wasn’t happy. I knew I wanted to make a change. And I knew what needed to be done. So I did it.

Since starting this project I’ve accomplished: re-joining and actually going to the gym, mindful eating, daily goals, less social media, and I even started a 90-day gratitude journal. I have also taken a huge step back from my relationship to focus on my happiness project because as the saying goes, “You can’t love someone else without first loving yourself.”

I tend to fall into this slump of just being content with things that are going on in my life. I want to be happy and get excited. I want to look forward to new things. Although, I can honestly say that this was never the mindset I had or even wanted to have. I was OK with being content. As long as I’m not upset, depressed or angry..I’m OK with being OK. But why just OK when I can feel great?! Was it too much to ask for?

This month I’ve focused on doing the things that bring me joy. Reading, writing, reflecting and working out have all played a major role for me this month. Talk about stress relief in the most distinctive ways.

Self-Love

Loving yourself seems easier said than done. Self-love is not just about liking yourself, your appearance or your personality; it’s about caring for yourself in every way possible. Over the years, we’ve been taught that if we are not helping others, we are being selfish. We are not taught that self-love actually provides us with the strength and ability to help others.

Here are 10 ways to practice self-love:

  1. Get some exercise.
  2. Start a gratitude journal.
  3. Try a new activity.
  4. Treat yourself.
  5. Read a book.
  6. Take a walk. Go for a hike.
  7. Have a girls night.
  8. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself.
  9. Stop comparisons.
  10. Smile.

Reflection

Self-reflection is important. When is the last time you sat down and really reflected on your life? Truth is. Many of us are so busy just trying to move forward to get through our day that we rarely take a moment to be with our thoughts.

I believe self-reflection is important because it allows you to carefully analyze and understand your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. When these thoughts are constantly running through our minds, it’s easy to confuse and clash with other thoughts and feelings. When we take time to self-reflect and really get our thoughts on paper, it creates a new, clear way of seeing things.

Journaling has recently become one of my favorite ways to self-reflect. My personal favorite, keeping a journal jar.

What is a journal jar? A journal jar is filled with slips of paper containing simple questions and journal prompts to help guide you in self-reflection or journaling.

Here’s how you can create your very own Journal Jar:

  1. Decorate a mason jar.
  2. Print out the sample journal prompts below or do a quick Google search.
  3. Cut out each prompt so that it is on its own slip of paper.
  4. Fill your jar with journal prompts.
  5. Each day reach for one slip of paper and reflect on the journal prompt.
  6. Try to spend at least 20 minutes writing in your journal.
  7. Write anything that comes to mind as you read each prompt.
  8. Try not to overthink your answers too much and enjoy! 🙂

Journal Prompts

Self-Care

Self-care is similar to self-love but different in many ways. To care for yourself is to nourish your well-being. Keeping yourself healthy, clean, drama free and living life on purpose. It’s about listening more to your body and caring for it in more ways than taking a shower and feeding yourself. It’s about going above and beyond, like working out or meditating.

Here are a few simple ways to practice self-care:

  1. Get a full 8 hours of sleep.
  2. Mindful eating.
  3. Meditate.
  4. Take a bath.
  5. Express gratitude.
  6. Daily exercise.
  7. Check in with yourself. How are you doing?

Discovery

Self-discovery should be an important goal for everyone. Are you clear about what you what in life? What defines you? What is your life’s purpose? If you find that these questions intimidate you, it may be time to slow down and reflect. Not being clear about your goals, beliefs and what you want in life can be tough. 

I will forever discover new things about myself because I am forever growing and changing. It wasn’t until very recently that I discovered a new passion for reading self-help books, which has led me to create this whole Happi-Nessa Project.

Here are some steps that you can take to self-discovery:

  1. Reflection + Journaling.
  2. Discover your passions.
  3. Be honest with yourself.
  4. Embrace change.
  5. Celebrate yourself.
  6. Practice mindfulness.
  7. Find your core values.

I have opened myself to a whole new world of self-love, reflection, care, and discovery just within the first month of my happiness project all because I took the time to focus on myself and my happiness. Imagine all of the things that you can be doing too!

Try this! One day this week, set aside an hour for yourself. Do something you enjoy. When you’re done, reflect on it by answering these two questions:

-How did this activity make me feel?

-How can I incorporate this activity into my daily routine?

Feel free to come back and answer these questions in the comments! I would love to hear about the things that bring you joy and how you plan to make more time for them.

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Vanessa is an outdoors enthusiast, hiker at heart, and the storyteller behind Forever She Wanders; a women's lifestyle + travel blog inspiring all to get outdoors, seek adventure and live an active lifestyle. As an outdoors enthusiast, Vanessa has found passion in being outdoors while backpacking, camping, hiking and creating memories of a lifetime.

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