Finding Your Sources of Happiness (…And Unhappiness)

coffee-latte-croissant-coffeehouseThis morning as I was listening to the radio (big fan of talk radio over here), the hosts were chatting about sources of unhappiness – and the main one being comparison to others. Due to the nature of my career (blogging), let’s just say that small bit of information hit home for me because I am immersed in the strange world of social media daily – at all hours of the day – “social media never sleeps” they say…and it’s absolutely true. I’ll admit, even when I feel really great and full of confidence (which I actively have to make an effort to stay in this mindset), simply seeing someone else’s gorgeous, perfectly cropped and filtered Instagram photos immediately goes to my head and that confidence level (already in constant limbo) drops to the floor. Anyone else get this way?

As you know if you follow my blog and Instagram, I was out of the country traveling for the past two and a half weeks…and it was so incredible to have spotty internet (like…reaaaally bad internet, so I could barely even load any app on my phone) because I was totally disconnected from that usual comparison game and seeing what everyone else is doing (…which is also a reminder of what I’m not doing…haha…as I sit here in my pajamas writing this post, which is generally how it goes on most days!). As soon as I dropped my luggage down in Austin and sat back down at my desk, a cloud of sadness loomed over me the past few days since I’ve been home. I’ve been really trying to figure out what’s up..I am generally a happy human (emotional, of course haha as Blake would tell me, but happy nonetheless) – and I think it finally hit me that I was out of this comparison whirlpool for a couple of weeks (…and seeing the world certainly helps shed perspective on life, too) and my mind and body felt so healthy and happy again…and it was because I wasn’t living in the world of social media, but rather being present in daily life without that little voice in the back of my head reminding me that someone else is doing something “cooler” than me, that there’s something more I should be doing to keep up.

Okay so that may sound totally lame and here and I am displaying my insecurities (not to mention this is very much a first world problem)…but it’s 100% the truth. I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love that it’s a photo diary of life, a way to encourage women and share style tips and inspiration, a place to connect and build relationships with likeminded people, a source of fitness motivation, and a place to build photography skills (love that aspect!)…but I really do hate that it can ruin your day, make you rethink your life’s choices and never feel like you’re enough..(if you let it get to that point, that is).

Thus, after coming back from a two week semi-social media break, I want to make a conscious effort to not be so involved with social media on a deeper level – as in, not let those perfectly crafted, “beautifully captured” moments get me down. But rather, be able to appreciate them for the few seconds of entertainment and inspiration they’re meant to provide, and let that be it. Easier said than done, but I’m all in on this one!

Soo, back to that talk radio show this morning – it got me thinking about focusing on sources of genuine happiness in my life and really putting forth effort and energy in those places. Making this list really helped me to re-center and pay attention to living in these moments and appreciate them more – I highly recommend making a list of your own sources of happiness (it’s such a good reminder!).

1. Being present with those I am with: when Blake and I were in Europe, I made a big effort to be fully present with him and soak in that time without phones, cameras, laptops…and it was the absolute best thing for our relationship! I thought I was already madly in love with him, but we grew even closer on that trip and I really attribute a lot of that to me making the conscious effort to relish in that time together and appreciate each moment – in the moment.

2. Do something active: Though I didn’t expect my bachelorette trip to Costa Rica to be such an active trip, it was actually SO motivating and inspiring! We woke up at 6am to surf in the morning, then walked all over town, ate fresh fruit and local fish, attended outdoor yoga sessions and then finished the day with sunset surfing. By the time we all were packing up our suitcases, we realized we never stopped being active throughout the duration of the trip – and everyone felt so good! At home, I often get sucked into my laptop vortex and forgo getting up and taking a stroll outside to making another cup of coffee and spending time on Pinterest. Hey, it’s all good in moderation, but it really felt so amazing to have an active lifestyle while in Costa Rica – I look forward to continuing that in my daily life here in Austin.

3. Family first: my family makes me so happy and have always been a huge part of my life (…hence, why I’ve never left Austin, we’re all still here!). It’s as simple as paying attention and realizing it’s time to put down my phone and go spend some quality time with my sister and her kiddos, etc. At the end of the day, these relationships matter most of all and are most important to me.

4. Eat the croissant: So yesterday when I was in a super funky mood (ya know, that weird looming cloud thing I mentioned earlier), I decided to get dressed and go to my favorite coffeehouse and treat myself to a large latte and chocolate croissant (it was seriously GIANT!) and I ate every. single. bite. Sometimes you just need to treat yourself or indulge in those “down on yourself” moments. I popped in my headphones, read some of my favorite blogs and dined with that croissant…and it was pure bliss.

5. Read a book & take a bubble bath (wine optional but probably add wine): As I’ve mentioned, I’m trying to be less connected when I’m not “working,” and each night when I take a bubble bath, that’s my “okay Liv, let’s turn this off – ‘me time’ ” where I actively make an effort to leave my phone on silent in the other room, grab a book and just soak in the tub. This is a healthy habit I’ve worked hard to build into my daily routine and it’s helped me to de-stress and stay balanced.

Okay gals, sorry for my novel of a post today. I just felt the need to express myself and writing has always been therapeutic for me. Perhaps you can relate to where I’m at with this whole social media thing – or if not, then perhaps I’ve shed some light on focusing on things in your life that bring you true joy, because that’s really what we should be doing. Life is short, so I’m going to eat the croissant & enjoy every bite. 😉


14 Comments

  • Erin says:

    I know that usually when I come back from a amazing trip, I’ll usually feel blue a few days after. I miss the freedom of doing what I want when I’m on vacation and also getting to explore new places.

    This post was really refreshing. There are times when I get on Instagram and feel disheartened because I see so many pictures of people doing cool and inspiring things, and I wish I was doing something as cool and inspiring. It’s a fleeting moment I have, but it still happens. It’s like Theodore Roosevelt said, “Comparison is the theif of joy.” I just have to remember that I am a fortunate person who gets to do a lot of things that other people don’t.

    • livvy says:

      I could not agree more! Exploring new places and being exposed to new cultures is definitely exciting and different from the monotony of everyday…it’s a tough thing to get back into the swing of things once you get home! Definitely feeling that now, for sure.

      And yes! I love that quote and think there’s so much truth behind it. Ohh social media, it’s so helpful to spread information quickly and has helped to progress society, but like anything, it has it’s downside, too. Good to stay aware of that as I jump back into blog-mode! And totally, we are SO fortunate, always a good reminder to count our blessings!!

      Thanks for your comment, glad to see I am not alone in this – I find it’s not necessarily talked about a ton online, but that so many people feel the same way.

  • Torey Beerman says:

    Thank you SO much for being open + sharing this wonderful post about finding your happiness! I totally agree about social media and trying to create the perfect person and lifestyle. As a new blogger, I sometimes find it frustrating and difficult but have to remind myself of what I value in life, and just move on! A huge latte + croissant definitely would do the trick for me as well 🙂

    http://www.toreystreasures.com
    @toreystreasures

    • livvy says:

      Amen, sista! I love blogging but sometimes being so immersed in the world of social media is simply not healthy – these past few weeks were a good wakeup call for me to remember life outside of my phone/laptop/camera, etc. And yes – coffee + chocolate cures all haha! 😉 If you ever need to chat, I’m always here! Nice to have a network of blogger friends who understand each other! Thanks for your comment, sweet lady!!

  • Mary powers says:

    Everything you said is so true and so timely. Thanks for sharing your heart ❤️

    • livvy says:

      Thank you for the kind words and encouragement, Mary – I really appreciate it! Glad it resonated with you, too – we’re not alone!

  • Sakeenah says:

    I really enjoyed this post and how candid you were about such a relevant topic. I think being a blogger is about creating picture worthy moments. But many people don’t realize the sweat that goes into making those picture perfect moments. Unplugging becomes a necessity.

    • livvy says:

      Couldn’t agree MORE! We are connected 24/7 to social media – so we really do have to actively make a conscious effort to “turn it off” – it’s definitely a necessity in this industry! Love it, of course, but always healthy to be aware!

  • Paula says:

    This is exactly how I feel a lot of the time. I love how you put it in words. I think you have such a good head on your shoulders that you can realize you can pull yourself out of the slump! You’ve got this girl!

    Paula- http://www.livingpaula.com

  • LOVE this so much Livv! It’s so true that everyone experiences some sort of the comparison game in our world of social media, but as bloggers who do social media for a living, it’s even more difficult to not get caught up in the comparison game. Thanks for sharing this truth about the seemingly glamorous/happy-all-the-time life of blogging/social media. 🙂
    Love you!!

    xx,
    -Lauren

  • Kelsey says:

    Olivia, this is such a well crafted post and spoke to me on a deep level! Thanks for having the words to share all of these things to which SO many of your readers can relate!

    I’m doing a bit of a Facebook cleanse…not deleting it, but I’m just being more mindful about when I’m opening it, why I’m there, and how long I’m snooping around. 5 minutes easily turns in an hour for me, and then I realize that all I’ve been doing has been staring in jealousy at someone’s seemingly perfect life and feeling worse and worse about my own. And then I have to take time to cheer myself back up and convince myself that, “you know what? NO ONE’S life is that awesome!”

    We’re all just people 😉 Thanks for your post!

    P.S. which shop in austin did you have the giant croissant? I’m always searching for the perfect pastries here 🙂

  • Val Bach says:

    Olivia,

    Thank you for the courage to share these thoughts! Comparison definitely gets the best of me at times, so it’s good to know I’m not alone.

    Totally unrelated, but what coffee shop is this? My husband loves chocolate croissants and we haven’t had great luck finding them in Austin.

    Thanks again for this post!

  • Sarah says:

    Olivia – I just encountered your blog for the first time today, and I’ve been reading for an hour already! Your posts – especially this post – make my heart warm and I love your writing style. Thank you so much and Im gonna go enjoy my life, and a chocolate croissant! Keep going, Cheers!

    • livvy says:

      Hello Sarah! Ohh you’re SO sweet, your comment just made my day!! Love to hear that and am so happy you enjoy my posts – I’ll keep on’ keepin’ on!! 😉 And YES, totally eat that chocolate croissant, ha! <3

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