I am notorious for putting everyone else first and then finding myself drained and unhappy. Most mother’s I talk to seem to feel the same way. This is one reason why I advocate for taking a girls weekend at least once a year. Except, I can’t take a girls weekend every month. Instead I have to find time to have fun and make myself happy in other ways throughout the week. Which is why I’m making an effort to add some fun and excitement into my week in other ways, which I hope helps me to be happier in the long run. Because aren’t we all just trying to be happy and enjoy life?
I work too hard to not enjoy life and I’m betting you feel the same way.
Be a Life Long Learner. This does not mean you have to go back to school and spend thousands of dollars. Instead, read a book about something new. Turn on the History channel, choose a new hobby, go to a museum, take a webinar or join a club. Learning something news keeps life interesting and your brain functioning at a higher level. I’m reading Big Magic right now because like most people, I have a fear of breaking out and doing something creative for fear of failure. I need to break that and continue to be free, curious and learn new things.
Take Risks. It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zone but when we take a risk, we have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Sign up for a marathon, send out the email pitch, apply for your dream job or take that dream vacation. We’re only here on this Earth once, what do you have to lose? I’m telling myself this every day. What risk will you take this week or this year? I’m going to fly in a hot air balloon. It’s a fear of mine but also a dream so I need to leave my comfort zone and do it.
Let’s Move. It’s a national campaign but it’s more than that, it’s about taking in more oxygen to be happier. Moving makes you happy and it feels good. So turn up the music, go for a walk and stop being sedentary. The computer and television can wait. Finish reading this article and get busy! My goal is to strap on my Fitbit Flex and start walking my 10,000 steps a day. I know I feel better and sleep much better when I’m active.
Smile from Ear to Ear. Yesterday as I left a restaurant I saw this young kid smiling as he was walking down the street. I was struck by his smile. Seeing him smile made me smile. It was literally contagious. I wondered why he was smiling. What was making him so happy? I want to smile like this and be happy. So smile and try it, you will actually feel happy. Maybe a little silly at first but it will feel good.
Good-bye Perfection. Everyone falls short on being perfect. This is a hard one for me because I’m always aiming to be the best and do everything perfectly. If I mess up a recipe, I’m angry at myself. If I forget something for my children, I think about it all day and tell myself I’m a bad mom. We all make mistakes and we all need to forgive ourselves. So forget keeping the house perfect 24/7 or thinking you will not mess up. There will always be a mess somewhere, right?
Be a Cheerleader. Encourage friends, families, co-workers, online friends and church members. There is plenty of sunshine for everyone. So today, be somebody’s sunshine. Whenever I’m helping someone and cheering them on, I’m filling my heart and soul with goodness.
SLOW down. Everyone is so busy all the time. Just say no to signing up for another activity or baking more cookies for the bake sale. It is okay. Sometimes we have to just take our time and realize we cannot do it all. When I’m rushing, I’m not happy. I end up stressed, feeling tense and not enjoying life. This is something I’m continually working on because it is hard to not be busy all the time but if I’m busy I can’t smell the roses, so to speak.
Friends, you enjoy to be happy. We all do. So live life to the fullest. I’m trying and I’m trying to make more time for me and to realize I’m enough. I hope that these tips will help you also, even if you just take one of them and start small. All we can do is try, right?
Cheers to happiness and seeking it each day and to finding happiness in small corners and in the simplest of things.