Find your Happy Place: 10 ways to make 2018 your best year yet

New Year New You? Here are some resolutions you can stick to and improve your happiness in 2018. Among setting goals for your career, health, finances and more, be sure to include #TreatYoSelf days and do things that make you happy, not just successful!


1. Take a Hike

We all know about endorphins by now and their ability to make us feel on top of the world. A great way to exercise and release endorphins is by hiking and exploring new views like the views from Black Balsam Knob! Swing by our Visitor Center for free hand drawn hiking maps to guide you.

Black Balsam Knob

2. Get Cultured

Seeking inspiration outside of your normal routine has been linked to contributing to happiness. Downtown Waynesville is hosting 3 Winter Arts Smoky Style events in the beginning of 2018 (Jan 13, Feb 17, March 17). You can stroll Main Street and pop into one of many galleries between 4-7pm featuring live paintings, street music, demonstrations and much more.

Live painter for Winter Arts Smoky Style in Waynesville

3. Adopt a Pet

Not only do pets make humans happier (it’s science), your new friend will give you an excuse to go on a walk or have a snuggle buddy for all your Netflix binges. Swing by Sarge’s Animal Rescue in Waynesville to adopt your best friend. Haywood County is full of dog friendly business, look for a paw on the front door.

Adopted dog from Sarges Animal Rescue

4. Release Your Inner Child

Go barreling down a hill on a tube and let your inner kid rejoice. Despite what you try to tell yourself, there is no max age on snowtubing, and it’s a great way to get the whole family laughing. Try it out at Tube World in Maggie Valley.

Snow Tubing in Maggie Valley

5. Catch a Sunrise

And then treat yourself to LOTS of coffee. Mornings are associated with happier emotions across several age groups, why not enjoy it with a beautiful view too? Try catching a sunrise from the Blue Ridge Parkway or hiking Purchase Knob.

6. Go Elk Watching

You won’t be able to hide a grin after seeing an elk in person. Haywood County is the Elk Capitol of NC with many great places to see elk like Cataloochee Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

7. Walk Away Your Worries

A walk a day keeps the worries away. Walks can help improve your mood, increase your health, and give you a mental space to work out problems. Try turning your phone on Do Not Disturb, or off even while you walk the 3mi loop around Lake Junaluska.

Happy people walking around Lake Junaluska

8. Learn a New Skill

New years are for new skills, and when someone is telling you what to do, it’s even better! Trying new things helps keep us out of the monotony of our routines, and painting is a great place to start. Check out WNC Paint Events next time you visit, you can even enjoy a Frog Level Brewery beer while you paint!

Happy group of women at Paint night at Frog Level Brewing

9. Happy Hoppy

A good beer can lead to a big smile, and we’ve got 3 breweries and 1 distillery to make the smile happen for you. Check out Elevated Mountain Distillery, Boojum Brewing, Frog Level Brewing, or Bear Waters Brewing in 2018 and bring your friends along.

Happy couple at BearWaters Brewing in Canton

10. Yoga

Practicing yoga provides stress relief and can lead to more peace of mind and happy emotions. Waynesville Yoga Center offers many different types of classes for beginners to pros from workouts to meditations.



What are you resolutions for 2018? Let us know in the comments below.

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