At the end of last year, when I was drowning in depression, I seen an advert for The Happiness Planner, which appealed to me since I desperately wanted to be happy. I am very wary of buying things which claim to improve your life, but after browsing their website I decided to get one – and I am so glad that I did. I have ended up buying three and here’s why…
Strengths, weaknesses and how to improve
Sitting down and actively thinking about what you are good at and identifying what you need to improve is crucial. Sure, everyone wants to be a better person, but without realising how to do so it won’t be possible. This planner really opened my eyes to what I should change in my life and how I can make my life happier and easier, which was amazing for me since I was going through such a hard time. Listing my strengths was also a great confidence booster; giving yourself praise is not a common practice but it should be.
Being positive is essential to be happy, however, I definitely struggled with this when I couldn’t even eat due to my illness. With the daily planner, it forces you to recall your good moments of the day, and sometimes if you have a bad day, the good moment might be a great lesson. The weekly review puts your life into perspective and allows you to think deeply about the challenges you have faced and what you are grateful for.
Last night, I took out the planner I started in January and reading it made me emotional – it proved how far I have come in my recovery. The first few weeks, when I was in acute crisis, my “Good thing about today” would be making it through work without relying on diazepam or making it through the day. These small accomplishments meant the world to me when I was in a dark place, and reading this made me feel so proud of what I have achieved. As a result, on days where you think you can never beat your depression, a quick look at this will demonstrate that you making great progress. If you don’t reflect then how can you learn?
At the start of the year, I made a list of goals as prompted by the planner, including overcoming depression and anxiety with small steps, making a website and having strong friendships. As I wrote these goals out, I was unsure if I could achieve them but yesterday when I looked at them, I have achieved every one – I was in disbelief. Thinking about what you want to achieve, and figuring out a plan of how to do so, makes it so much easier.
The Weekly Plan
As a sufferer of anxiety, I really enjoyed having a planner where I could plan tasks for each day as well as tasks for each week. Studying for a Master’s degree alongside working is intense and requires extreme organisation to ensure I get everything done. Without weekly planning I would panic, forget what I need to do and leave everything until the last-minute. Having your to-do list written down also increases the likelihood of you completing it!
Spending five minutes every night, filling the planner out made me search for positivity in everyday until it became natural for me. Turning the negative situations I have experienced into lessons learned and inspiration for improvement has made me a much more optimistic person. Now, I am well on my way to recovery from depression and this planner has taught me great things about how to view and live my life. I recommend this planner for yourself and as a gift as it’s the closest thing to purchasing happiness. This planner has not been developed as a tool for recovering from depression, but it has been invaluable in my journey.