[By Letitia Tan]

Number 1: Feed your imagination.

In other words, channel your inner child. Children are innately creative, curious and happy. Think about your days in the sandbox or your fingerpaint masterpieces. The best way for me to find inspiration is to think back to my childhood when creativity was second nature. I search for pictures of fairy tales, watch cartoons on netflix, grab some crayons to color and go outside to play with my dog for a little while. I think that all of my favorite people have a childlike quality about them. So lose yourself in your inner play room today.

Number 2 : Focus inward.

You are the one person in the world who knows exactly what you need. Your body intuitively knows what you require and all it takes is for you to stop and listen. You are only at your best when you are meeting all of your basic needs and taking care of yourself. Do all of those little things you know are good for you. Get enough sleep at night, drink plenty of water throughout the day, and take some time to think or meditate. Focus on both your physical and mental needs.

Number 3: Eat healthily and often.

I know this sounds quite simple, but you would be surprised how often people in my life go without eating. Drudging through your day with low blood sugar is a terrible, awful, and horrible way to live life. What we put into our bodies fuels us, and we desperately need that fuel in order to be at our best. A lot of my hangups about food started to disappear when I began thinking about food as fuel for my body. I don’t think there needs to be an extreme diet in place with stern restrictions in order for one to be healthy. I believe that a healthy diet is one of moderation.

Number 4 : See the big picture.

It is important to maintain a balanced perspective and a positive attitude. Many times, we tend to over-analyse the situation and lose the big picture. When that happens, we are caught in a downhill spiral of panic and worry. It is useful to consider the positive aspects of any dire situation. I have always lived frugally so when I lost my job last year, I didn’t sweat it so much. It has taught me how much money I really need to live. I have less stress, more exercise. (I no longer drive; I buy a bus pass that takes me everywhere.) Because I take a bus, I shop less. I can only buy what I can carry. … I am fortunate. I can live on my unemployment (mortgage, etc.). Being unemployed has helped me to stop and take stock of my life. You can also take the opportunity in any crisis to take stock of your life. Like they say, every cloud has a silver lining, it’s just that not everyone sees it. So open your eyes to the possibilities today.

Number 6 : Do something nice for someone else.

This is probably the most important for me. I feel that the people in our lives make us who we are, and we need to take the time to make them feel important. I have always been a gift-giver. I absolutely love going shopping to pick up a few little gifts for my friends or baking a big batch of cupcakes for my family. I write little cards to all my friends once a month and mail them out via snail-mail.  It’s the small gestures of love that mean the most. When you make the people in your life feel important, they become your support system. I absolutely cannot live without my family and friends. They make my life happy.

Number 7 : Stretch your legs and get some fresh air.

At times when the going gets tough, get out and get some fresh air. It will clear the head and give you much needed breathing space. Exercise has been shown to get your heart rate and circulation going and helps your body release endorphins which are important to keep your spirits up. Exercise does not have to be s tructured regime you do at the gym, there are many ways you can incorporate some mood-alleviating activity in your daily life. Here are some suggestions:  Take the stairs rather than the elevator. Walk to a co-worker’s office. … If possible, walk or bike to work instead of driving.

Number 9 : Stay organized.

On my worst days, I’m digging through a big pile of clothes for my outfit, rummaging around my desk for my books, and fishing through my bag for my phone. I absolutely hate being unorganized. When your mother told you to set out your clothes for the next day and pack your bag the night before, she really did know what she was talking about. Being unorganized can become stressful and frustrating. I am happiest when things are organized, clean, and clutter-free. I also think that everyone needs some type of organizer or planner. I have a time.mine planner myself (although I’m considering a switch to a Moleskine or Filofax).

Number 10 :  Focus on what makes you the happiest…

and make those things the most important part of your life. Make a list of the things that you are thankful for every week. If someone makes you happy, let them know.

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