Do-It-Yourself Happiness

Its Summer!  There is Less Rain! You can now do things outside and absorb some of that amazing Vitamin D and use those natural “healers” to depression and months of perpetual grey.   While some fun things do cost money there are MANY activities in Portland you can do to help turn that frown upside down on the cheap:

  1. Go to a local dog park, even if you don’t have a dog!  Their funny antics, the ability to pet them and enjoy the outdoors can help you lower your stress, get some of the benefits of pet ownership without the cost (or time commitment) of actually having a dog.
  2. Write someone a thank-you note.  This is a low cost way to show your appreciation to a loved one.  It can also help you focus on what you have, instead of what you don’t.  It is an instant positive shift of focus.
  3. Try something new!  It can be ANYTHING.  Check out free classes from some local businesses, from home brewing, cheese making, glass blowing, borrow a friends guitar, etc.  Many times the class is low cost and not only can help you learn a new skill but also help you meet people who share your interests!
  4. Go enjoy some Oregon Strawberries.  If you aren’t local you might not realize that the strawberry season in Oregon only lasts for a month and these delicious, packed with good nutrients, mouthwatering morsels will make anyone smile.  We recommend Hood Strawberries as the very best.
  5. Head to a local park and play some Frisbee Golf!  You only need one frisbee to start and if you take some friends it will help you slow down, de-stress and get some endorphins pumping in your body!
  6. De-clutter your personal space and donate everything you don’t need anymore.  It will help you feel more centered, less distracted and helping others is always a great feeling!
  7. Get your library card and check out a new book.  It is a very low cost way to ‘escape’ your everyday life for a bit even if you don’t have the funds or time for a vacation this summer.
  8. Turn off your computer, your phone, your ipod, etc and just spend a set amount of time without electronics stressing you out.   If you can’t devote a whole day try just doing this for lunch one day a week.
  9. Set some goals and start working towards them.  If you are in hard place right now then working towards something you ultimately want can help you focus on the big picture and not feel “stuck”.
  10. Find your “Summer 2011” song.  Find something that screams summer to you.  The journey to finding this song is part of the fun and also once you find this song it will be helpful this upcoming winter to replay so you can remember that no matter how much rain, grayness, etc, it will end and help bring up all the fun you had!