Try This to Feel Happier

Whatever your daily routine, none of us are immune to a daily roster of chores or activities that we don't enjoy but have to get done. Whether it’s laundry, dentists’ appointments or replying to a growing inbox, these everyday tasks consume so much of our time that it doesn’t often leave much for any of the things that matter to us like seeing friends or getting out into nature. When that happens too frequently, it can feel like we're spending our lives doing more of what we have to do than what we actually want to do, things that don't just bring us fleeting pleasure but that are so important for our long-term mental wellbeing.

Figuring out how to use your time efficiently and wisely is key in making sure you fill your days with enough of the things that bring you happiness and fulfilment and contribute towards a more positive state of mind. One way of doing that is to structure the day into 30-minute time slots, jotting down as you go  how you filled each one, how each made you feel and what you enjoyed about every slot. At the end of each day, take time to evaluate how you have spent the day, what activities you enjoyed and why and which you didn't and why. As you continue to do this, you’ll probably begin to notice a pattern emerging as to what scenarios you find yourself feeling happiest in. Once you know that you can structure your day in a way that prioritises those things and gives less weight to the things that don’t bring you joy.

Of course, laundry still has to be done and emails still have to be answered but knowing why you don't enjoy them might help you figure out ways to make them more enjoyable – can you answer your emails in the park for instance – or restructure your days so that your least favoured tasks are sandwiched between two others that do make you feel great. Knowing you can can head out on a walk or go for a jog after you've tackled your inbox will give you something to look forward to and an impetus to get it done.