Lately, I have been on a mission to find a way to live my life more fully. I was overwhelmed for sometime after moving to Serbia. Getting my “Sea Legs” has taken more time than usual. I think having a child pull your attention does that.
Now I have found some purpose just looking for one. Ironic right? But I know that won’t last long. I must find something to do here besides the farming bit that I love.
In the mean time, I have found that one must choose to be happy. One must look for the things that will do that. Here are things I have found super helpful to me as an expat but would do for anyone anywhere. Really.
They are in no particular order. Lots of them will work in tandem with another!
Take a walk and enjoy the scenery. This can be difficult in some places. But it can be done if you are dedicated. I do this all the time in my “new” small town. I find gorgeous sites locals don’t even notice. They ask me, “where is that house?” Of course they have passed it a ton of times, but have forgotten the beauty around them. I found the same to be true when i visited the U.S. last winter. We really do become immune to beauty that is all around us.
The walk will clear your mind. New ideas or solutions will come to you. Being outside is good. Get out of the house! You don’t know what or who you will discover.
Make friends with your neighbors if you can. But really. Make friends. It is important to your well-being.
It is important to have good friends. Sometimes that friend is a dog or a cat. That is o.k. Chances are, you will find someone. Be open. and make some friends!
Helping others can do wonders for you. It really makes you feel good to do things to help others. it could be just listening to an old person who is lonely. It could be opening a door for someone. Moving a snail from the sidewalk to the grass. Whatever! just help someone!
Give Giving is like helping. It really does make us feel good. Even if it is just a smile, give your smile to a stranger.
Smile. Even if others don’t smile back. Living in Eastern Europe makes this a bit challenging at times. People don’t smile back. They don’t even wave back at my little girl when she waves. But she keeps on waving. And I keep on smiling. I hope that the smile does something to brighten someone’s day. If not, it gives some sour old coot something to wonder about. “why was that weird lady smiling at me?”
Adopt an animal. Animals bring an immeasurable sense of joy. An animal friend can limit loneliness to nothing. It can ease culture shock to a minimum. I know this from experience.
If you live in a place where you can have an animal and there are street animals. Adopt one of them. Take food with you when you go for a walk and share with your homeless furry friends.
Listen to music! It is medicine for the soul. Find some fun stuff. Upbeat Dance music always does it for me. and Dance it out!
Write! This blog is a huge bit of therapy for me. It is an outlet, a diary, a chronicle of my life that clears my head and gives me purpose. I hope sometimes that it helps others. But there is no doubt, it helps me beyond belief. I am happier because I write.
What makes you happy?