I get this.  So does Gretchen Rubin.

It’s all in her plan.

She’s the author of The Happiness Project.


Rubin spent a year test-driving studies and theories about how to be happier. On her blog, she helps you create your own happiness project, shares what she learned, and offers liberal doses of advice. Here’s my personal favorite: Indulge in a modest splurge.

So I changed my life without changing my life – by finding happiness in my own kitchen. A built-in drawer that glides, a cook top that doesn’t tilt downhill, a couple of hanging lights. Thanks, Gretchen.

‘Tis the season to be jolly — and also stressed out. If you’re feeling irritable, rushed, resentful, lonely, or overwhelmed, Rubin can help you navigate that slippery slope. She offers these suggestions on her website~

1. Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation is a major disturber of people’s moods.  Making an effort to get to bed at a decent hour really pays off. 11f2af7f8f70770d4d4b26df13536d1e

2. Exercise. Studies show that one of the quickest and surest ways to boost your mood is to exercise. A short walk will help. Even better, exercise outside, where the sunlight will help improve your mood and focus.

3. Stay in control of your eating. Rubin says guilt about holiday binging is a major source of the blues. She decided she won’t have even one sweet during December. (Ouch. #3 is not for me everyone.) christmas-wife-50s

4. Take your time; plan ahead. Try to give yourself plenty of time to do what you need to do.

5. Learn from the past. What has made you unhappy in years of old? Think back. Avoid your triggers. Stay out of the kitchen, stay out of the mall, stay away from (fill in the blank). Don’t expose yourself to known happiness risks.   images

6. Make time for real fun. Sometimes holiday vacations, which are supposed to be “fun,” are actually a huge hassle. Figure out ways to have fun. Include time for things YOU like to do: go to a movie, take a nap, have coffee with friends.  Me, I like to sing along with Dean and Frank.

7. Fill your heart with love. If you’re heading into a difficult situation, take a moment to fill your heart with love. Think of all the reasons that you’re grateful to your family and friends, and the happy memories you’ve shared.

Rubin quotes Goethe in her book.

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration; I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

I love that passage, don’t you?

Toni 12/9/14