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 the little things we do can add more love to our lives pronto! By doing more of what we love, we can add some of that passion we may be missing in the relationship department. 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 of my suggestions:
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. The story of how I developed my interior design hobby is a good example of how anyone can find a hobby they love.
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 in how much HGTV I was watching (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. Then to try out some of the decorating techniques I was learning, I was a regular at Home Depot for a while. I realized that I felt the same intense high walking into Home Depot as I felt walking into Saks!!! From there I was buying tickets to design shows and helping friends transform their spaces.
For you, it could be cooking or some type of craft. Even gabbing could be your hobby.
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 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’s why we crave intimate relationships as much as we do. For many, and for a long time in my life, my relationships were my only source of deep meaningful connection. When we don’t have meaningful connections outside our relationships, we may be tempted to stay in bad situations longer than we should.
Pets also add joy and well-being to our lives so add them too.
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 is a short 10-minute drive from me. 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 that’s part of the appeal. Roots 1 by Pressed Juicery is my favorite pressed juice blend at the moment. With lots of crushed ice added and a sprig of mint, this healthy drink fills me with joy and plenty of nutritious goodness. A session at Just Float is like therapy and giving myself a manicure makes me feel “treated.”
These treats are simple pleasures that I have to go out of my way a little for… but only a little. If you’re having a bad day, just the thought of enjoying something from your own list of “treats” at the end of the day can keep you from losing it.
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.