When you board a plane, the safety demonstration tells you that in the case of an emergency you should always put your oxygen mask on before you assist anyone else. The same is true for online dating. You need to make sure you’re looking after yourself first. Whether you’re dating, in a relationship, going through a breakup or somewhere in between, it’s important to take small steps to appreciate and create happiness in your life.
I spoke to renowned life coach Carole Ann Rice to get her tips on how to generate joy. Struggling while dating? Here are a few easy things you can do.
- Do something kind.
It’s all about perspective. The easiest and quickest way to get out of your own head and away from your own problems is to do something nice for someone else. “The lovely karmic kick-back starter pack includes but is not limited to buying and sending flowers unexpectedly to a co-worker or loved one, sending a thank you card to someone who has never stopped supporting you, and passing on a compliment to someone. By knowing that you brightened up someone’s day, it’ll help brighten your own, too,” says Rice.
- Move your body.
Exercise is a massive mood booster, says Science. Also, doing something good for your body can give you an extra dose of confidence (which never hurts!) As Rice explains, “dancing, running, swimming, even gentle strolls have a way of boosting the spirit. Try to do so without your phone or going on Airplane mode; go offline to give yourself a chance to not think, just be.”
- Relish in the small things.
Far too often we’re focused on the next date, the next swipe, that we forget to just pause and relish in the little things. It’s important to create memorable moments outside of online dating. “It could be a piping hot cup of coffee before work, a bath enhanced with a lavender bath bomb, the tweeting of the birds, or a good book to curl up and read. Learning to appreciate the little things in life will make it easier to see the beauty in the macro,” says Rice.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
I like to make it a habit to record all the things I’m grateful for. Rice agrees that this is an easy way to boost your overall happiness. Each day, after waking up or before going to bed, jot down all the things in life you’re grateful for. I like to write them on small pieces of paper and put them in a jar. Whenever I’m feeling bummed out by dating (or anything else) I pull out one of the pieces of paper and read it out loud. It always makes me feel better. “It could be your friends, having a roof over your head, or even your new Amazon Prime subscription. Whatever it is, itemising it will remind you daily that there are reasons to smile,” says Rice.
Turn that frown upside down. “Smiling is contagious, and the more you smile at others the more they can’t help but smile back. Even if you’re on the train at 8:30 am commuting to work – that smile you crack to a passer-by might just be the thing they needed to see,” says Rice. It sounds simplistic, but there’s something to be said about faking it until you make it!