What things make you happy?

Q&A With Shay Each Sunday

When feeling down and anxious and stressed out, it’s important to have areas of your mind, and even physical space, to go to in order to find joy. Most things that bring happiness can be seen as a pretty temporary happiness, the overall picture takes much more time, but finding things to do for ourselves is important. I think we all sort of have an idea of what could bring about a more stable happiness in the long run, and knowing what we need to work on about ourselves is the key to getting there, but temporary happiness along the way is just as important!

Q: What things make you happy?

A: The key word here is “things.” So, first, I’d say animals make me happy, especially my personal pets. I love pretty much all animals and I’d go hangout with any of them, but it’s hard not to find happiness when staring at my dog’s giant smiling face, and listening to him snore, of course. I found that same happiness with all my cats over the years. Pets are the greatest.

Coffee brings me a lot of joy. Sometimes at night I look forward to the next morning just so that I can have my coffee again. I know, that’s a little weird—not sad though! There’s nothing like a really good cup of coffee, but it’s also disappointing when it’s bad coffee, which can happen a lot when in search of a good non-dairy creamer. In the summer, I love my iced coffee with almond milk creamer, and of course soy lattes at Starbucks.

Along the same lines of coffee is really good food. To be honest, junk food doesn’t really bring me joy. I mean, I love eating it. There’s nothing like a good slice of NY pizza, and ruffles with French onion dip is like my favorite snack. But, the food that brings me real happiness is good vegan food because it’s delicious AND I feel good about myself while eating it. One of my favorite restaurants of the moment is Beyond Sushi in NYC.

The ocean. When I’m stressed or anxious, it has usually been my response to go sit at the ocean. The salt air is so cathartic and I love the sound of the waves crashing, so it’s hard for me not to live near the ocean right now. I grew up on Long Island a mere few minutes from tons of beaches, and it has always reminded me of home and peace.

My house in NY. Very calming and “safe” feeling.

Traveling to new beautiful places. I love experiencing new places even though I don’t do it that often. The actual traveling part gives me anxiety leading up to a trip, but once I’m there experiencing it, it’s amazing.

Also, new experiences or thrilling experiences in general, whether it be in a new place or not. Things like parasailing, zip-lining, sky diving, white water rafting have all made me feel very alive—but also sometimes a little scared.

Shopping. I love shopping—clothes, makeup, jewelry, skin care, hair care, decor, love it all.

Any sort of pampering service—whether it be a massage, facial, getting my hair done, etc. It feels nice to take that time for myself and just relax, though I can’t spend too much time doing those sorts of things because I get really bored or restless, but especially in the beginning it makes me very happy.

And of course, WRITING! I wouldn’t necessarily say that writing always makes me happy. A lot of the time it feels like a job (because it is) but when my writing is going well, I get a sense of relief and enjoyment, and especially when I finish something and put it out there. Speaking of which, I am very happy about my new poetry book Bleeding Flowers! I’d really appreciate your support with it. Find it here.

What “things” make you happy?