100 Little things (that make life worth living)

My CAMHS notes make semi-frequent reference to the fact that I had “thoughts of LNWL” during the time I was with them (LNWL being short for ‘life not worth living, I came to realise).

One particular night when struggling with thoughts of LNWL, I googled ‘things to do when you’re sad’ and found a website that suggested writing out 100 things that make you happy- the idea that by focusing on the things that make you happy, you’d feel better after it. At the very least, it would pass the time and give your brain a bit of a distraction.

It worked, and it’s an exercise I’ve done a few times since- sometimes just for the hell of it, and sometimes because I really did need reminding that there are things in life- no matter how small- that are worth sticking around for.

So here’s a (non exclusive) list of little things that make me happy, that make me feel good and alive and content, and give me a lil bit of hope when all I can see is GREY.

lit things

  1. Those winter mornings where it’s freezing cold, the sky is clear and bright blue, there’s a little fog or frost on the ground and you can see your breath whenever you breathe
  2. An ice cold glass or bottle of coke on a roasting hot day
  3. Cosy/knee length/men’s sports socks
  4. Washing my face with lukewarm water and lemon face scrub and Original Source shower gel (lemon flavoured, obviously)
  5. Laughing til you cry
  6. Doing something nice for someone
  7. The drive home after being away for a while
  8. Talking to someone about something they’re really interested in/passionate or excited about
  9. Gingerbread lattes in the build up to Christmas
  10. Sitting by the Christmas tree and the smell of pine needles as you walk into the room
  11. Hugs- especially when they’re exactly what you/the other person needs
  12. Scrapbooking/painting/creating
  13. Catching a stranger’s eye and smiling/laughing at each other
  14. When a good song comes on the radio or in a nightclub and you and your friends start screaming and jumping in excitement. Even better when it’s an old song you haven’t heard in a while
  15. Buying new pyjamas
  16. Getting nice messages or cute texts or encouraging winks
  17. When lil kids tell you something they’re proud of
  18. Getting into bed after a really long/busy day/week
  19. Not having to set an alarm after days of having to get up early
  20. Skiing down a wide, empty slope in the Alps
  21. Sunsets in the Alps
  22. Banter with my mum/sisters/cousins/aunties/fam in general
  23. Late night, deep chats with good friends
  24. Pizza (and gossip) dates with people I haven’t seen in a while
  25. A cup of tea when you’re feeling rubbish (it’s like a warm hug)
  26. Clean body, clean hair, clean pjs, clean bedsheets (am I right???)
  27. A good inspirational quote
  28. Getting really into a TV series and looking forward to each new episode/season
  29. The hustle and bustle of European cities- there’s something about the heat, the buzzing tourists, the language, car horns, sirens, church bells, traditional old buildings, cobbled streets- the whole atmosphere in general, that I just love
  30. Walking the beach with my granny
  31. Paddling in water on a hot day. Feeling the waves crash against your feet
  32. Driving over the back (country) roads at night and looking at the lights of the town
  33. Looking up at the stars on a clear night
  34. Crepuscular rays and crescent moons
  35. A Really Good Song- one that makes you feel buzzy and happy and infinite
  36. That high you get after doing something stressful/intimidating (like a job interview, an exam, err…phonecalls?)
  37. French radio (I don’t know, it just sounds cool)
  38. Staying up late reading a good memoir
  39. Dry autumn evenings, when the setting sun leaves an orange hue and leaves crunch beneath your feet
  40. Swimming in the sea, bodyboarding and jumping off the harbour pier (and wrapping up in a huge towel afterwards)
  41. Ticking off things on the to-do list
  42. Lighting incense/scented candles/essential oils
  43. Plain coloured fairy lights
  44. Yoga
  45. Post yoga/swim/gym zen
  46. Christmas jumpers
  47. Dark evenings in winter, when it’s cold and wet and miserable and you’re tucked up under your duvet or curled up on the sofa. Falling asleep to the sound of rain
  48. Malteaser meringue from a restaurant near home
  49. Getting interesting letters in the post
  50. Road trips with good music and good friends
  51. Stepping outside of my comfort zone by seeing/trying/doing new things…like feeding and milking cows, going for walks in new places, eating at a vegan restaurant, holding a boa constrictor round my neck and making pom poms from balls of wool (err, yeah)
  52. Kittens!
  53. A well deserved, but refreshing nap
  54. Days at uni that reminded me why I loved and was studying nursing
  55. The relief of getting something off your chest- especially when it’s with someone you trust and is reassuring, validating, and can give a lil’ tough love
  56. Being able to tell people who’ve helped me good things, and that I’m doing well
  57. Surprising people with something they’ll really love
  58. Compliments about my writing
  59. The view from my house on a clear or snowy day
  60. Wearing something I feel comfy in
  61. The build up to christmas and starting to listen to Christmas songs the minute it hits November
  62. Terracotta plant pots and mini cacti
  63. The freedom that comes with having a car full of petrol and being able to drive
  64. Taking a good picture
  65. Trains n’ trams (including the subway, but not the tube)
  66. My crescent moon earrings, my helix piercing and my serotonin tattoo
  67. Experimenting with homemade smoothie flavours
  68. Banoffee pie
  69. Afflecks palace, Manchester
  70. Walking around New York City
  71. Clean hands
  72. Learning cool new facts (like why you sound different when you talk out loud than you do on a recording!)
  73. Learning cool healthcare/body/nursey things and being able to put that knowledge into practise
  74. Hearing/reading spanish and understanding it. And when I’m drunk enough, being able to speak it
  75. Ukraine’s 2007 Eurovision entry. Eurovision memes. Eurovision in general. Being European
  76. Meeting interesting people, meeting people who own who they are and aren’t cocky about it
  77. People watching
  78. Irony
  79. Black humour, dry humour
  80. Getting up early, and feeling productive because of it (even if I wasn’t)
  81. Going to the cinema
  82. Sunset colours
  83. Popadoms and mango chutney
  84. Random acts of kindness, and when people pull together in times of need
  85. Wrapping up in huge woolly scarves that I can hide my face behind
  86. When my sister asks me for a hug. When my dad smiles so that his eyes crinkle. When my youngest sister gets excited about something
  87. Exploring a new city
  88. Learning important things from wise people
  89. Being around positive people- whether you know them personally, or are just in their company
  90. That post concert, post musical, post talk feeling that leaves you feeling all excited and inspired by something
  91. Watching those cute lil time lapse videos of cooking or someone making hella cool art
  92. Waking up in the middle of the night and realising you can go back to sleep
  93. The butterflies you get on a theme park ride, or going up a tall building in a lift, or driving fast over a series of small hills
  94. Flirting
  95. Book shopping. It’s cool on Amazon, but even better going into Waterstones and spending a Long Time reading blurbs
  96. The anticipation before your favourite meal or dish on the menu. And that satisfying feeling afterwards
  97. Sneezing
  98. Sitting in the sun
  99. Thinking about cool things- like modern medicine, modern technology, space- all the things that make your mind boggle
  100. Being told someone was thinking of you



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