Yesterday I uploaded my final #100happydays post, much to my own disbelief. Had it really been 100 days already? Did I really actually completely finish a lengthy instagram challenge I decided to do on a whim? And, most importantly, did some of those rainbows-and-butterflies type of side-effects that were promised actually occur? Yes, yes, and yes. What even.
I decided to try this challenge simply because so many people I follow on instagram were already doing it! I'm a copycat. But also, honestly, because I am someone who battles anxiety and depression. I'm always seeking proactive solutions to make my life better and happier despite those struggles. Knowing that my depression always kicks me hardest in the summer, I wanted a head start to encouraging myself to seek out and create happiness. This was a perfect way for me to do so and to document the daily journey — I'm already taking far more pictures than necessary anyway! And because I like experiments, so why not :)
I wasn't expecting magic by participating in this challenge, but it would be silly to not acknowledge some changes and happy things that occurred over the last 100 days. I've shared, sort of in list format, some of my thoughts below — now that I can reflect on the challenge as a whole.
#HAPPYEMORIE: MY EXPERIENCE WITH THE #100HAPPYDAYS CHALLENGE
+ Posting every single day was SO HARD for me. I'm not the type to share daily on any social media account. But I pushed myself to do it. At first I told myself I was just doing it for documentary purposes. But the more I shared the more I became comfortable with it. I mean... I enjoy scrolling through instagram on a daily basis just to see little glimpses into other peoples' lives, to see beauty from someone else's perspective, to share in other peoples' happiness, and to grasp a bit of inspiration from the everyday of another. I realized I am just as much a part of that community as the people I follow and the people that follow me do so for a reason. I should feel no shame in posting anything. Instant confidence boost!
+ Spoiler alert: I'm not happy every single day. I stopped expecting myself to be. I realized it was okay to be angry or sad or hurt or sick and still have happy moments. For goodness sake, people are not one dimensional. And days and life have many ups and downs. But, it's still okay to pick out the happy moments to share — and it feels really good to, too. Sometimes that just meant lots of pictures of food, because come on yes.
+ I did notice my perspectives switching very early on. It is empowering to be in control of your own happiness. I remember having a really bad interview at the very beginning of this challenge, but not by fault of my own. I remember being upset that I wouldn't get a job at this company, but then consciously deciding to not let it effect me. I suddenly felt grateful that I had the opportunity to find a better job. Did I handle every bad situation this way? No. But, I do feel I am more aware of my reactions to things now. That's always a good thing.
+ Trying to find something to be happy about everyday actually made me happier. And somehow, I started feeling a little more confident in my skin along the way, too. I became happy with myself, I suppose.
+ So much changed over the last 100 days! It is so great to be able to look back through these pictures now and see how much happiness I experienced through all that change! We had just moved when I started this challenge, now my apartment feels like home. Spring was rainy and lovely and I spent all my time outside. Will and I celebrating 3 years together. I got a DSLR and have been spending time improving my photography. I got a job at Anthropologie. I got the courage to chop all my hair off again. I've started a of bunch projects I never seemed to have time for before. I've started to really take my health seriously. And I'm feeling really happy.
See all of the images from my #100happydays challenge up close by looking up #happyemorie on instagram.
Did any of you complete this challenge?
Want to read more about making happiness a priority? Read my post about Practicing Self-Care.