Intuitively we know this but rarely do we put it into practice: Doing more of what makes us feel good, adds joy and feelings of love to our lives.
The kind of love and joy I’m talking about is not the passionate type you might feel for your bae, but it’s passion nonetheless. It’s the passion that makes life fuller, sweeter and a lot more fun. We do it by having hobbies, making time for friends, taking care of ourselves, and stepping away from our routines. Sometimes, even simple things can add more love to our lives pronto! If you love it and do it often (whatever your “it” is), you’ll have more love in your life. And if you’re single, I hear one of the best ways to find someone is to start doing the things you love.
Here are some suggestions to bring more love into your life starting now!
Have a hobby
Alexandra Levit, business consultant and author of How’d You Score That Gig? tells us that “hobbies are essential for healthy work and life integration.” Says Levit, “when you have something else important in your world, you will have fresh energy to devote to your career.”
Chances are you have a good idea what type of hobbies you like, but if you don’t, check out inspirations at HobbyHelp or explore this Wikipedia list. As anyone who has one can tell you, the secret to finding a hobby you love is to pay attention to what you lose yourself in. The first clue that I loved interior design was how much HGTV I would watch back when I had cable. Some days I was re-watching episodes of Love It or List It and Property Brothers and it wasn’t uncommon for HGTV to be on for hours while I was doing chores. I would find myself looking for images online of a designer’s reveal that I thought was clever and wanted to remember. Sometimes, walking into Home Depot gave me the same intense high I felt walking into Saks!!! I started attending annual design shows and offering to help friends transform their spaces.
For you, it could be cooking or some type of craft but you know you love it if you show a lot of interest, love yourself in and spend money on it. You definitely want to follow those interests and do them more often.
Add people and pets
Our lives are more interesting when we have healthy social outlets. When we’re out there meeting new people, we build confidence and connections. We also gain new perspectives and may even learn about new work opportunities we wouldn’t have known about had we stayed in the office stuck behind a desk. How does this add more love to your life? Close relationships build supportive networks and increase our sense of belonging. That sense of belonging is an important human need and it is why we crave intimate relationships as much as we do. Remember, you don’t need to sleep with someone to have intimacy with them or to work on developing a connection with someone. When we don’t have meaningful connections outside our relationships, we may be tempted to stay in bad situations longer than we should, and won’t have the support we need to make our relationships better.
As any pet-owner can tell you, pets can also be a great source of joy. They help our well-being and some provide unconditional love.
Make time for fun
If TV is your only source of entertainment, you poor thing, you’re missing out. There is a whole world of entertainment happening around you right now that you may not even know about. Stay in the know with these tips:
- Subscribe to TimeOut for your city.
- Sign up for concert alerts to learn when your favorite band is coming to town. Spotify and some music streaming services provide alerts for the artists you follow.
- Create a “Festival/Vacation” fund to save for big-ticket experiences.
- Hit up the comedy clubs in your area and get on their list.
- Check Facebook events once a week.
- Find the freebies in town. Local museums have free nights and outdoor spaces in large cities have movie nights and other events that are free to the public. Check their websites.
This collage has some of the everyday “treats” that I use as pick-me-ups. They are simple, affordable and easy for me to do.
Mother Moo is a homemade ice cream shop that’s 10-minutes from where I live now. Their 1,000+ Yelp fans and I agree that they really know how to make ice cream!! Two scoops of their corn flakes ice cream makes the kid in me feel comforted and happy. The adult-me loves going to the Design district to browse fancy-schmancy interior design stores. I also have a thing for international fashion magazines, especially French and Italian ones. No, I can’t speak either language, but I love gawking at the fashion and fabulous people. Roots 1 by Pressed Juicery is my favorite pressed juice blend at the moment. When I add lots of crushed ice and a sprig of mint, this healthy drink fills me with joy and plenty of nutritious goodness. And a session at Just Float or giving myself a manicure makes me feel “treated.”
These treats are simple pleasures that I love. I believe everyone should have their own list of everyday joys. They’re so great for helping us forget a bad day. Sometimes, just knowing that in a couple of hours you’ll be enjoying something from your list can help you hold it together when you’re feeling like you can’t.
ASSIGNMENT: Think of at least five things that could elevate your life, spark joy, and be a simple treat. Keep the list on your phone so you can refer to it when you need a pick-me-up.
Tend to your soul
The architect Frank Lloyd Wright said I believe in God, only I spell it Nature. Whether or not you consider yourself spiritual, there’s a part of you that feels a deep connection to something bigger than yourself. Nurturing that part of you helps you experience a profound type of love and connection to others. It can make you feel happier and less judgmental.
Massages, hair cuts, and spa treatments are in my opinion, necessities masquerading as luxuries. If you can swing it financially, this is another area to regularly do what makes you feel good and cared for. Don’t have the funds for regular massages and reflexology? You can practice these and other self-care during your bedtime routine. Self-care also includes non-physical practices like daily affirmations, forgiving yourself quickly, and unplugging at least once a month.
So, yes, having a significant other is important and should be on your to-do list if you want one. But why wait around for someone to give you love when there are so many ways to add it to your life now.
The beauty of living like this, my single friends, is that it opens you up to romantic love in more ways than one. Your heart is perpetually open and you’re out in the world more often where you’re likely to bump into someone.
Christine is a lifestyle coach living in Los Angeles. She believes the way we live predicts our future health and motivation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out about working with Christine.