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Adulting, cooking, and playing the ukulele: These are my 19 happiness hacks from 2019

Updated on:3 January 2020, 14:16pm IST
Transitioning from college to office is hard–especially when you’re living away from home. So how do you keep yourself afloat and happy? Well, this millennial has 19 answers to that question.
Shreya Gupta
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Going with the flow is my mantra to stay happy- go-lucky. GIF courtesy: GIPHY

The end of the year always tends to be a time for some self-reflection–a time when we look at what we’ve accomplished or learned over the course of last year. The year 2019 was a year full of opportunities and learnings for me. I got a chance to evolve–both personally and professionally. And finally, at the age of 20, I can proudly say that I’m winning at adulting.

Not to toot my own horn, but there are 19 things that I am the year 2019 taught me–and that I am gleefully taking with me in 2020.

1. I am stronger than I thought I was
Living far away from my family isn’t easy and saying goodbye to them has always been the toughest part. Yet, when I left home this year after two long vacations, I did so without shedding a tear! I want to carry that emotional strength to 2020 as well.

2. My support system
In 2019, I realized they’re the best guides–and they’ll stick with me through thick and thin. You call them best friends? I call them my cousins! Whatever happens, I know they’ve always got my back.

3. I need to go to more concerts
I went to my first concert early this year. It was in a small stadium, which was choc-o-block with people–yet, I enjoyed every moment of it. It made me feel alive and exhilarated–and I am pledging at least two concerts to 2020.

4. This was the year I come out of my shell
Life is all about trial and error–and thanks to that very process you end up bumping into great people. I met some of my best friends this year, and they made me realise that opening up to people isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it can be very rewarding.

5. Long-distance friendships are totally worth it!
When you’re struggling in life and there is someone sitting in another town, rooting for you–it’s hard not to feel gratitude. This year, LDFs (long-distance friends, guys!) made my birthday beyond special–never once letting me feel that they’re not around.

Friends are always there for you.

6. I’m damn good at handling group politics
That’s the beauty of adulting–controversies and politics are part and parcel of it. Group projects with not-so-friendly classmates taught me how to handle difficult and stressful situations like a boss. Thank god for that!

7. You’ve got to make the best of whatever opportunities you get
I’ve realized that hating your job no matter how miserable you are there, won’t do you any good. So why not make the best of it? Making friends at work and creating an environment for myself where I’m comfortable has changed my mindset towards work. This, in turn, made me more productive and confident.

Also read: 3 alternative therapies for times when work stress gets too much to handle

8. Being grateful is very important
This the biggest learning I’ve learned this year. The moment I started being grateful for the moments and opportunities I got, my life became better! There was a time when a very important assignment got rejected by my teachers. But I didn’t lose heart–rather, I decided to turn the project around, use the second opportunity to give the best possible output, and came first in class.

9. I also learnt how to manage exam stress
Now I can confidently say, this year I’ve matured! When you start managing stress better, life gets a whole lot simpler. For my exams, I started prepping in advance unlike the night before–and that little planning saved me from unwanted anxiety.

Yoga for brain
Breathe in, breathe out. GIF courtesy: GIPHY.

10. Books are my safe space
Books are the best escape from reality and carry immense knowledge. But you know that already, don’t you? Even when I read fiction, it teaches me so many things! So that’s one habit I am not doing away with in 2020–or ever, for that matter!

11. I LOVE COFFEE!
Like most adults, I might add. And while it might sound silly to you, there was a time in the not-so-recent past when I used to even hate the smell of coffee, And now, every week I find myself sitting in a coffee shop and reading, while sipping on my caramel coffee!

Also read: 4 benefits of coffee for your skin that are just too good to be true

12. Helping underprivileged kids makes me feel fulfilled
We decided to celebrate my parents’ wedding anniversary with kids who are underprivileged. We went to an orphanage, played games with them, spent the whole day there, and trust me–it’s the best thing ever.

Helping them made me realise how powerful we are and how we can influence certain lives. It is rightly said, with great power comes great responsibility! And our power is to be kind because it takes little kindness to make this world a better place.

13. I can’t live without home food
Sometimes in this past year, I decided to ditch Zomato and Swiggy. Instead, I started cooking at home. Although I started because I was gaining weight, I have now reached a point where home-cooked meals are bae.

14. Making your loved ones feel special is a must
I took a dear friend for dinner one evening. The time we had and the moments we shared is what makes my life extraordinary!

how to quit smoking
GIF courtesy: GIPHY

15. Paying attention to mental health is key
Everything is achieved through our mind, so taking care of our mental health and thinking positive is really important. I figured out that life doesn’t always go the way we want it to. So, when things get far too overwhelming, taking a break and doing what makes me feel good really helped my mental health.

16. Waking up early in the morning is hard!
It’s difficult for a night owl like me to wake up at seven in the morning every day, especially during winters. Yet, I’ve somehow disciplined myself–all thanks to my job. And truly speaking, I’m really proud of that! Guess who’s adulting now?

17. Sanitary pads are the worse
This year, I made the transition from sanitary pads to menstrual cups. And boy, I’m glad. I no longer suffer from rashes or have to worry about staining.

18. Teamwork makes the dream work
Working in a team is never easy, more so when you’re working with people don’t go along. The simple thing that I’ve learned this year and which has benefitted me is focus on the job and ignore the rest. This has not only saved me from unnecessary complications, but also helped me give my best.

19. I learnt to play the ukulele
I’m a lazy learner, so when I decided to learn a new instrument–it wasn’t easy. I challenged myself to learn the basics of ukulele before the year ends and I am glad that I did!

happiness hacks
GIF courtesy: GIPHY

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Shreya Gupta Shreya Gupta

Finding nirvana in good food, Shreya also loves reading books and is a die-hard Potterhead. Confident and motivated she's fun to be with. Plus food. Always.