Busy April – Monthly Happiness Report – April, 2017

After a fantastic March, I was looking forward to continuing my streak of happy months in April. This month turned out to be a very busy period. My work drained a lot of my energy at the time. In addition, I went to Paris for a weekend, to run my fourth marathon! In this post, I want to show you what my happiness looked like during this busy month!

Let's start things simple, shall we?

The table below shows a high level summary of my happiness ratings.

After a great March, I was hoping to continue my high level of happiness in April.

I have tracked my happiness on every single day since December, 2013. This allows me to learn from all the things that influence my happiness.

I was hoping to use this knowledge to make April just as great of a month as March. Let's see how I did.

Monthly happiness

The chart below visualises exactly what my happiness ratings looked like throughout April, 2017. I have sprinkled some comments here and there to add some context to this data.

After last month's perfectly consistent graph, this one looks quite a bit more like a bumpy road. There were a couple of factors causing these spikes and dips in my happiness.

And the word dip is a slightly misleading word to use here, since my worst days were still rated with a 6,5! I still don't consider that a bad day.

Anyway, April started off really busy at work. I was working on a long and exhausting project, that was nearing its completion date. Needless to say, things were busy! As a result, I spent most of my energy in the office, and didn't have anything left at the end of the day. This resulted in a relatively mood at the time. Instead of having the energy to enjoy the rest of the night, I was mostly just grumpy and tired.

Normally, this would be the ideal situation for me to regain my mental energy by going out on a run. But I couldn't!

I was still recovering from my wisdom teeth removal. In addition, I was going to run the Paris Marathon on the 9th of April so I obviously needed to rest! It was all for a good cause, of course, but I felt quite down about it nevertheless.

I did run (and finish!) the Paris Marathon on the 9th of April, which was easily the best day of April for me.

Beautiful weather in paris before the marathon 2017
The weather in Paris was absolutely beautiful for exploring!

Unlike my third marathon, which I ran with my sister, I signed up for Paris on my own. I took the fast train from Rotterdam to Paris straight after work on Friday the 8th. I got to spent a fantastic weekend in Paris on my own, in addition to running my fourth marathon. This weekend was absolutely great, and even though I was alone, I really enjoyed exploring Paris in the lovely spring weather.

Before I get lost in the details, I want to show you all the factors that influenced my happiness in April!

Happiness factors

The table below shows all the happiness factors that influenced my happiness in April, 2017.

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Before I explain what the rest of April looked like for me, I want to show you another excerpt of my happiness tracking journal! This entry shows you how I felt during the busy start of the month, and how it really affected my happiness. I wrote the following on 4th of April, and I rated that day with an 6,5. This was the time were I felt like work was way too busy, and I want to show you how it affected my state of happiness.

Today was quite dull, because of work. I feel like my work is just too busy at the moment. The pressure is pretty high, and I feel like there is a dark cloud above my head. And I know that this situation isn't going to change for the next 2 weeks. I hope I survive this period without this dark cloud breaking loose.

I'm worried though, which is why I can't really focus as well. There are a lot of people that need something from me, for which I need a whole lot of other people... blablabla. I don't think this is worth it... I get home feeling tired without motivation to really do other things. It sucks.

Hence the low happiness rating...

I went running after work. Just a small lap, but the amount of pain I felt from my wounds still surprised me. I hope this will get better in the next 5 days. The rest of my evening was alright. Got to spent a couple of hours on my website again, which is starting to take shape! Nice 🙂

By the way, I had a call with my uncle yesterday, and he wants to play two of my songs on his radio channel! Holy shit. So I'll be able to listen to his show this weekend from my AirBNB in Paris! How cool is that. I'm going there this Thursday to pre-record it. 

Anyway, I'm taking the train to Paris this Friday, straight after work. I'm super excited, but it's going to remain a very busy time! 

I think this excerpt shows you a lot of what my life was at the time! I track my happiness like this every single day.

The start of the month was really busy. I still got to spend a day with my uncle, pre-recording one of his local radio shows. It was REALLY cool to record it all, knowing that two of my songs were going to be played on the radio! I had literally spent YEARS recording my music, so it felt great to have it played on the radio to a local community of people. It was actually a long-term goal of mine. 🙂

The weekend in Paris was another great positive influence on my happiness. The weather during the trip was perfect, and I got to enjoy this beautiful city in a really nice pace, knowing that I was going to run a full marathon in it on Sunday!

The Eiffel Tower at night after the paris marathon
Watching the Eiffel Tower at night, after finishing the Paris marathon!

I'll leave the marathon itself to another 'Good day' post!

But let me tell you that I managed to finish this god-awful distance again! It was a fantastic experience, and it really had a great impact on my happiness in April!

Before I continue to the rest of my month, let me first show you all my positive happiness factors.

Positive happiness factors

The chart below shows all the positive happiness factors of April, 2017.

The initial period after my marathon in Paris was really nice. My girlfriend really made me happy during that period.

My relationship

We spent a PERFECT day in Bruges, Belgium on a sunny spring day. We had always wanted to visit this cosy town, and it was a perfect little day trip.

After having experienced relatively shitty times with my girlfriend, it was really awesome to be able to spend this kind of quality time together. My girlfriend truly makes me a happy person. I've proven it by analysing 3 years of data about our love.

What's better than drinking a nice Belgian beer on a sunny spring day in a beautiful area? You tell me! 😉

Lovely Belgian beer in Bruges with my girlfriend
Spending a great day in the Belgian city of Bruges on a sunny spring day!

Relaxing!

You can see from the chart that my relationship shared the top spot of positive happiness factor with a nice amount of relaxing!

We all love to relax every now and then, right? Sit down, read a book, enjoy some music, watch some series? I'm sure you know what I'm talking about?

Well, I sure tried my best to relax as often as possible in April. Even though my work was wearing me thin and time was short, I found just enough time to cool off once in a while.

In fact, when the demanding project at the office was finally finished, I really cherished my relaxation time! It positively influenced my happiness on 4 days in a row! It certainly was a lovely time!

But it wasn't all sunshine and happiness! No, April was also filled with a list of negative happiness factors!

Drum-roll, please...!

Negative happiness factors

The chart below shows all the negative happiness factors of April, 2017.

You might have guessed it, but my work was the worst happiness factor of April. It got to a point where I felt a little burned out from the stress and the constant pressure I was under.

Don't get me wrong, I really LIKE my work! I feel lucky to be a marine engineer and to get to work on exciting projects abroad!

But the work-life balance was a little too rough for me in April. It negatively influenced my happiness just a little too much. I got home from work on 9 days, with no energy or motivation to do something I would really enjoy. My work had sucked the life out of me.

Luckily, this period ended at the end of April.

This was also the time when my girlfriend and I booked a 7 day holiday to Montenegro in June! We had something awesome to look forward to, and were ready to face another month!

Closing words

That's it again!

I hope these posts give you a general idea of what tracking happiness means to me. Because I'm tracking my happiness ratings and factors EVERY SINGLE DAY, I am fully aware of what I need to do in order to become as happy as I can be. With that said, I hope I can somehow inspire you to also start tracking your happiness. It will be interesting to see if I was able to increase my happiness in May 2017. More on that later! 🙂

If you have any questions about anything, please let me know in the comments below, and I'll be happy to answer you!

Cheers!

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