4 Simple Things To Keep You Smiling

These days it's way too easy to get depressed about stuff we can't really do anything about. Thankfully things like The Cure help all of us focus on the things we can change for the better. Jump below for 4 simple ideas for channeling the burst of energy and happiness that comes with the onset of spring into the rest of the season, despite what the news is saying:

1. Get yourself some happy fabric (this one is from Ikea and is inexpensive) and go outside! Use it for picnics or as a tablecloth or something to lounge on. Plan to spend an afternoon in a park or go to the beach or go for a hike and then lounge around; just get outside. These kinds of activities are pretty close to free and you can invite friends along to really enjoy the season. I bought an Orla Kiely tablecloth from Target just to motivate me to make plans to sit on it outside all spring and summer.

2. This Optimism Spray might not automatically jar you out of a funk and it may be a little airy fairy, but the sentiment is a good one. Take a moment, take a deep breath and smile. Good smells remind us of good times and deep breaths help shake a darker mood. Is there a smell you can bring into your home that will make you smile? Like finding islands of silence in your day, focus on the small pleasures in your home like identifying your favorite things.

3. Send a letter! I recently started corresponding by handwritten note with a couple of friends and it boosts my mood every time I send one off or receive one. Fancy notecards can get expensive so, instead, invest in some fun retro looking airmail envelopes and regular lined (or graphed) notebook paper. It was one of my Resolutions this year to keep in better touch with people--by letter and also by inviting people over, so this makes me feel good and keeps me connected to a wide circle of people.

4. All In Good Time. Since I moved in with my bf, the house hasn't really looked like what I want it to. This can cause oceans of dissatisfaction that really only patience can dissolve. Along the lines of Rome wasn't built in a day, making a home takes time, building a comfortable nest takes time. It helps to visually be reminded to take it all in stride.

What are simple and/or cheap ways that you switch yourself out of a funk or keep the focus on the things you can do something about instead of all the fear that swirling around? Do you media fast? Play boardgames? Indulge?