Did you know that August is “Happiness Happens Month”? I have to admit that I had no idea it existed until I checked out the Days of the Year (a website that keeps track of obscure holidays) for August, but it’s a thing! This year’s theme is “Be the Reason Someone Smiles”, and the Secret Society of Happy People has a calendar to guide you through the month with daily suggestions to achieve that. The whole reason that I gravitate toward art and calligraphy is the fact that it makes me happy, so I’m on board with celebrating Happiness Happens Month, even if I don’t quite stick to the theme! Here are eight ways you can celebrate the eighth month of the year, too:
1. Start or Contribute to a Sketchbook Journal
Several blog posts here on TPK mention the benefits of keeping a sketchbook journal. There’s a reason that I keep talking about it … and that’s because sketchbook journals are amazing! Start one, and you’ve got an easy way to get lost in your creativity and process feelings. You can also experiment with new art and lettering techniques in a judgment-free zone.
2. Read Inspirational + Creative Publications
There are several books and magazines out there that can lift your mood and set your creative wheels in motion! Your local library is always worth a browse, or you can check out one of the books or magazines in the 8 Artistic Books to Jumpstart Your Creativity post.
3. Spend Quality Time Making a Project for Someone Else
In keeping with the “Be the Reason Someone Smiles” theme, try dedicating time this month to creating one thing for someone else. It could be a card, a handmade gift, or mail art … whatever you have time to make and feel like taking on is perfect! If you enjoy making mail art and want to make a stranger smile, check out More Love Letters! It’s such a cool concept.
4. Make a Birthday List
I love sending cards or gifts to loved ones on their birthdays — but I have trouble remembering when their birthdays actually are! For that reason, I keep a birthday list. If that’s an idea that appeals to you, find out the birthdays of people you care about, and write all of them down in a monthly format. That way, you can stay on top of things at a glance!
5. Treat Yourself to a New Art or Calligraphy Supply
As the cliché goes, “money can’t buy happiness” — meaning that having more things won’t necessarily make you happy. While that’s true, a carefully-chosen new art or calligraphy supply can get you excited about creating and encourage you to try out new techniques. So, think about one supply that you’ve been wanting to try out, and take the leap to get it. It doesn’t have to be an expensive supply! Broad-tipped markers for “Crayola Calligraphy“, for example, will set you back $1.00 or $2.00. New calligraphy nibs are also very cheap!
6. Take on a New Creative Endeavor
According to the book The Happiness Project, challenging ourselves to learn new things is one of the most effective ways to be happy. There’s something about working toward a goal and celebrating the victories along the way that is so satisfying! This month, think about something that you’ve always wanted to learn how to do, and get started. Really: you can stop reading this article right now, open up a new tab in your browser, and conduct a Google search! Chances are, you’ll find tons of YouTube videos and articles explaining exactly how to do what you want to do.
7. Plan Your Meals
You may wonder why the sudden switch in gears from learning watercolors to meal planning! For a lot of people — myself included — being organized in life makes us feel like we have more time and mental space to be creative. The more “on top of things” you feel, the more upbeat your mood will be. So, try to plan out your meals this month and see how it goes! You will probably be surprised at the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction you get after filling out a meal planner.
8. Start Working on Holiday Projects
Yes, it’s still summer. But, in the spirit of staying on top of things, you might consider starting to work on holiday projects now. A lot of people send out holiday cards — and if you’re one of them, it’s not a bad idea to go ahead and design yours this month. If you are a calligraphy/hand-lettering fan, start working on your envelopes. Honestly, you’ll thank yourself when Halloween time rolls around and the “holidaze” — a time warp in which it’s difficult to accomplish anything — begins!
I hope that this article inspires you to take on some creative endeavors this month that you may not have considered before! If you have any questions or input about any of the suggestions on this list, I’d love to hear from you in the comments. Otherwise, have a wonderful, supremely happy and creative month, and thanks for reading TPK! It makes me happy that you’re here. 🙂