7 Ways To Be Happier at Home.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day.

This Wednesday: 7 ways to be happier at home.

In my new one-minute video book trailer, I list “Ten ways to be happier at home.” Some of those suggestions are serious, and some are goofy (to my surprise, my suggestion regarding purple has turned out to be fairly controversial).  Here’s another list of ways to be happier at home–or, at least, they’ve made me happier at home.

One of these items is important enough to be listed in both places. Can you guess which one?

1.  Get enough sleep.

2. Embrace good smells. No cost, no calories, no energy, no time–a quick hit of pleasure.

3. Cultivate a shrine.

4. Accept yourself, and expect more from yourself.

5. Give warm greetings and farewells. I was surprised by how much this resolution changed the atmosphere of my home.

6. Abandon your self-control. Well, this one really works for for my fellow abstainers, not moderators.

7. Remember the Sixth Splendid Truth: The only person you can change is yourself.

What else would you add to the list?

The photo above is included in Happier at Home. As a confirmed under-buyer, I almost never make impulse purchases, but last fall when I saw this Christmas ornament, a tiny model of the “Play Family” Fisher-Price house that my sister and I played with for years, and that my daughters play with now, I had to have it. I love miniatures, and it seemed like the perfect memento to keep in my office, as a reminder of the time I spent writing this book. Plus, the doorbell actually rings! Who could resist?


The book give-away continues. If you’d like to win a free copy of Happier at Home, I’m giving away one book each day until publication. Enter your name and email in the sign-up form here, and every day, a name will be picked at random. U.S.Canada, and U.K. only–sorry about that restriction on the give-away.

If you’re wondering about the book, you can learn more about it here or…

–-read a sample chapter on the subject of “time” here

watch the new one-minute book trailer on “Ten ways to be happier at home”

pre-order the book here (buy early and often!)

  • Sleep? I know that when I get a seriously good night’s sleep, I feel and behave much better.

    • gretchenrubin

      That’s not the repeat – but it bears repeating. I am a SLEEP NUT!

  • Accept yourself, and expect more from yourself. Love the trailer!!!

  • Laurazolotorofe

    I’d add pause each day and notice something beautiful about your home. Could be the way the sun hits a certain room, or anything. I tend to focus so much on what needs to be done around the house, that I forget the positive aspects.

    • gretchenrubin

      That’s a great suggestion.

    • abby/bailey

      Love this suggestion! Both my husband and myself are so busy “doing things” that we don’t ever just sit and enjoy the special things about our home!

  • Accept yourself, and expect more from yourself. Love the new trailer!!

  • Watching the trailer made me feel happy and peaceful – thanks and cheers!

    • gretchenrubin

      Thank you!

  • Sarah Bauer

    Have at least one blanket that you just love to snuggle up with….in my case three. One in my bedroom, one in the living room, and one back up! 🙂

  • arati

    Its not like I really want the free book … but since i have followed your blog from the beginning from india and totally love it …I just feel bad that we are not eligible to take part in the giveaway contest …its more a feeling of not being part of the club than the free book …but having said that i love your blog and your posts on FB totally make my day 🙂

    • gretchenrubin

      I’m so sorry that I can’t include everyone in the give-away. It’s because of shipping costs and different publishers in different countries. I’m very aware of this (I got Canada and U.K. added!) so will keep you posted. I really appreciate your enthusiasm and support. If you’d like a signed bookplate, those I can mail ANYWHERE, so email me if you’d like one of those.

  • peninith1

    I enjoy the trailer so much that I actually have watched it several times. It’s charming and inviting. I so look forward to receiving the book in a couple more weeks. While your blog gives me things to ponder and act on every week, your first book ‘put it all together’ for me in a different way. I’m sure I can expect more inspiration from Happier at Home!

    The suggestion to have something purple in every room puzzled me. And then I looked around my house and realized–there’s a lavender Chinese vase in my living room that a friend brought back from a conference in Beijing. I have a quilt in my bedroom that has lilac as one of its main colors (I don’t use it every week, but . . .) Butterflies in many colors, including purple, adorn my shower curtain; a big ironstone bowl in my kitchen is painted with purple grapes. I can even find touches of purple in my guest bath and guest room-and in the sewing room? Well, it’s a rainbow. How fun to notice that splashes of this color are scattered around my house, even though it is not the main color in any room.

    • gretchenrubin

      Thanks so much for your kind words – and your thoughts on purple! I hope you enjoy the book.

  • shaeon

    # 6 reminds me that I’ve been putting a lot of thought into your theory of abstainers and moderators. I’m mostly an abstainer. In fact, there are situations in which I encourage myself to resist temptation using the mantra “I am made of abstinence”. However, I find that abstinence is most difficult for me when it comes to eating and exercise – I’m bad at staying on an exercise routine and tend to exercise moderately at best. I’m also bad at resisting foods that I find tempting, although they are unhealthy. Does anyone else have this problem of being only partial abstainers?

    • gretchenrubin

      This is interesting. I find abstinence EASIEST when it comes to food. What are the occasions when you abstain? What kind of thing?

      • shaeon

        I should note that I can abstain from foods that I don’t bring into my house, and that require even a small bit of effort to acquire – if I never put cookies and snack cakes on my grocery list, I will never eat them. Fast food and restaraunt food are my temptations, because they are easily acquired and they can be very satisfying emotionally. Getting food out feels like giving myself a break, because I’m giving myself permission to not cook that evening. Once I’ve permitted myself to let someone else do the cooking, it’s very easy for me to choose an unhealthy option because I’m already in “treat myself” mode.
        As far as the situations in which I abstain:
        I’ve never had a problem with temptations like shaking my Christmas presents or looking up spoilers for an upcoming movie. It’s very easy for me to simply resist when I believe that I will enjoy a thing more if I permit myself to be surprised by it.
        I’m also very good at situations where all the leading advice is that you should abstain from a certain behavior, as that is simply the best thing for you to do. My best example of that is that I’ve been through a breakup somewhat recently, and any advice you read about how to get over that person says you should never drive by your ex’s work or home. She works across the street from where I live, in the same shopping center where I do my grocery shopping, but I haven’t once driven by her work to see if her car is there. She lives very close to my mother’s house, and I haven’t once used a visit with my mom as an excuse to drive by her place. I occasionally do find myself leaving my mom’s place thinking “huh, she should be home from work now” but then I immediately banish the thought from my mind. At the point that I tell myself that it’s the wrong thing to do for myself, I don’t even feel tempted.
        I can’t think of any other examples of this right now, but there have been a number of those situations in which a friend and I are talking about that kind of thing, where you would be better off if you resisted the temptation to do something that is ultimately going to make you feel bad. Often, the friend will say “but we all do that!” (whatever temptation we are discussing), and I find myself thinking “not me.”

  • I thought the video was very cute. Sometimes it is overwhelming to try and do everything you are supposed to be doing. Or to even think about it. it is good to just stop once in awhile and simply be, even for as little as 5 minutes.

  • Heather

    Gretchen, thanks for the picture of the Fisher-Price miniature house! That made me happy. I played with it when I was young and loved it – hadn’t seen it in probably 20 yrs or more, but recognized it immediately, then couldn’t figure out why it was so small…. 🙂 But I thought you might like to know that it made someone really happy to see it.

  • alice

    My “happier at home” tip is earplugs. I find my husband’s guitar practicing annoying, so I am happier at home when I can hear him only very faintly.