100 Joy-Bringing Activities You Can Do On Your Own

Joy-Bringing Activities

The pursuit of happiness…it’s something we all seek but can have a difficult time finding — especially when alone. Being stuck at home, especially when you’re all by yourself, can be depressing and lonely, leading to some pretty low feelings. And ironically, spending too much time and effort pursuing happiness can actually decrease happiness levels.

Fortunately, there are solutions. Whether you’re social distancing or on lockdown, your friends and family are too far away, or you’re just staying home a few days, there’s so much you can do to bring joy and happiness into your day, with minimal effort.

Here are 100 ways to treat yourself (in both small and big ways):

  1. Watch the sunrise
  2. Breathe deeply
  3. Make yourself breakfast
  4. Write a handwritten note to a friend or family member (no specific reason required)
  5. Smile at a neighbor or stranger in the grocery store
  6. Exercise
  7. Read or listen to a good book
  8. Explore your own home to find little nooks or comfy spots you may typically overlook
  9. Try a new at-home workout
  10. Spend time playing or cuddling with your pet
  11. Practice forgiveness and compassion (and that includes to yourself)
  12. Be artistic…draw, paint, sculpt, write, make jewelry, decorate furniture or a whole room
  13. Journal
  14. Care for a houseplant (that goes beyond watering..talk and sing to it)
  15. Meditate
  16. Listen to music (pick some of your favorites as well as discovering new music)
  17. Dance
  18. Spend time outside (if possible, in your bare feet)
  19. Take a walk or a hike
  20. Enjoy a good night’s sleep (or take an afternoon power nap—with or without coffee)
  21. Knock several items off your to-do list, especially one you’ve been putting off
  22. Stop and smell the flowers
  23. Pick some fresh flowers (if possible) and set them somewhere you can enjoy them
  24. Diffuse essential oils
  25. Laugh as hard as you can
  26. Sing out loud (with or without your favorite streaming music)
  27. Clear out clutter and get rid of things that make you feel sad or unhappy
  28. Organize your bedroom, closet, and/or pantry (and while you’re at it, tune into to music, sing, or listen to a good audiobook or podcast)
  29. Shop your closet and jewelry and wear pieces you haven’t worn in a while
  30. Smile (even if you have to start by faking it)
  31. Watch a funny, sappy, or silly movie (or re-watch an old favorite)
  32. Try a new online yoga or exercise class
  33. Watch clouds drift across a blue sky
  34. Soak up some sun (just don’t get burned)
  35. Soak in the tub or enjoy a hot shower
  36. Watch a spider build its web
  37. Yawn
  38. List your daily accomplishments
  39. Write down an extended gratitude list
  40. Give yourself a facial, manicure, or pedicure (or, all three for an at-home spa treatment!)
  41. Take pride in your appearance; even if you’re spending the day alone, you can get up and make yourself look and feel good
  42. Turn off the news
  43. Let your imagination go and daydream
  44. Practice good posture
  45. Be optimistic and think positively
  46. Stand up tall and reach for the sky
  47. Relax your body and reach for your toes
  48. Plant a garden (or just play outside in the dirt)
  49. Cook dinner
  50. Bake your favorite healthy dessert or treat
  51. Play an instrument
  52. Knit a scarf, hat, or blanket
  53. Love yourself
  54. Catch up on reading your favorite blog or magazine
  55. Live in the present
  56. Practice mindfulness
  57. Hug yourself
  58. Drink more water
  59. Enjoy the sound of running water
  60. Let it all go with a deep sigh
  61. Eat a rainbow of vegetables and fruits
  62. Treat your home as an art gallery and appreciate the pictures you’ve hung up (or hang the art you haven’t had a chance to)
  63. Call a friend and chat
  64. Let it all go and cry to release sadness
  65. Eat intuitively
  66. Treat yourself like a dinner guest—set the table as if you’re having your favorite people over
  67. Make your bed with clean, fresh sheets
  68. Stay in touch with happy people—by phone, letter, text, email, etc.
  69. Make a list of all of the fantastic things you’ve seen or done
  70. Make a bucket list of things you want to have, be, or do just for you; write down your goals and aspirations
  71. Take one small step toward accomplishing one of your goals
  72. Compliment others and show your appreciation
  73. Sit in silence
  74. Have a cup of tea
  75. Take a big bite of a juicy piece of fruit and smile like a kid
  76. Watch a nature video
  77. Throw a ball
  78. Get lost in some silly YouTube videos
  79. Donate something (like money, clothes, or other belongings you no longer need)
  80. Jump rope
  81. Take an online course and learn something new
  82. Peruse vacation sites and start planning your next big trip
  83. Take a virtual museum, gallery, zoo, or aquarium tour
  84. Practice random acts of kindness
  85. Play a game, put together a puzzle, or do sudoku or a crossword
  86. Take a picture and share it with friends
  87. Help others find joy
  88. Wear your favorite uplifting colors that make you feel confident and alive
  89. Begin a fun DIY project
  90. Stretch
  91. Write a thoughtful, kind, and/or compassionate comment on a social or blog post
  92. Create a list of the ten things you like most about your partner, kids, other loved one, or even a pet (you can even surprise them with the list)
  93. Solve a problem
  94. Enjoy a peaceful, mindful lunch (disconnected from the internet or TV)
  95. Share a hopeful post on social media
  96. Stop worrying
  97. Appreciate the little things
  98. Start planning for a happy future
  99. Create a list of at least ten things that add joy to your life (and repeat them as often as possible)
  100. Enjoy the sunset

Happiness is a spectrum, and levels fluctuate due to attitude, environment, and experiences. No matter what is happening in the world around us, there’s so much we can do to increase our own joy and bliss. What’s the top thing on your happiness list?

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