It’s so good to be back here again–I’ve missed you and I’ve missed this place for sharing thoughts, inspiration, and ideas.
Jeff and I were married last weekend, which was absolutely magical. People told me to savor every moment because the day would go by so quickly…and they were right! We enjoyed the day with our friends and family, and just celebrating our union….we had such a wonderful time. So now I’m a “Mrs.”, the wedding planning is over, and I can get back to writing on this here blog. 🙂
What I want to share with you today is something that is very close to my heart, and something I’m continually trying to focus on each day. In fact, it’s basically the inspiration for my blog. How can I live life a little brighter each day, and get as much out of it as possible? I don’t want to just drift in and out of days, going from routine to routine. Like our wedding day, I want to savor every moment and find the joy in the little things.
Here are 10 ways to do exactly that. Some of them may be pretty obvious, but nonetheless, we sometimes need to be reminded to do even the most obviously beneficial things.
Try them out. I promise you that you will not only feel happier, more satisfied…you’ll also feel more full of life.
1. Take a moment to be grateful – There’s a quote I came across awhile back and posted on my blog and I think it’s amazing. It’s something we should all repeat to ourselves each day and aspire to do. Here’s the quote:
“Talking about our problems is our greatest addicition. Break the habit. Talk about your joys.” ~Rita Schiano
No truer words were ever spoken. Try to live your life with a glass half full attitude. Don’t fixate on the negative, fixate on the positive. Think about everything that’s going well in your life and be grateful. I did a little exercise awhile back in preparation for my 30th birthday where I came up with 30 things I’m grateful for–check them out here.
2. Get outside – So many of us are not getting outside at all, especially during our workday, and we forget that being outdoors gives us two very important things: exercise and Vitamin D (think: the sun). We are human beings, we need these. Without them, we start to feel lethargic, depressed, weighed down. Taking 15 minutes to get outside for a brisk walk, or even just to bask in the sun for a little while, can have a huge effect on you.
3. Take a half hour to do something you love – You are important! We all give ourselves excuses for not taking the time to satisfy our own needs…we think our needs should take a backburner to everything else in our lives. We have work deadlines, we need to help the kids with the homework, we’ve got laundry to do, we’ve got meals to cook, there’s no time left over to do something for ourselves!
I say hogwash!
This is something we need to make time for (no arguments!)…because if we don’t, we are hurting ourselves. Our souls are like flowers that need to be watered and doing something that you enjoy helps your soul to flourish.
What makes me happy? Writing on this blog makes me happy. Working to develop my new Etsy business with my best friend makes me happy. Cooking a new recipe makes me happy. Reading a book or magazine makes me happy. Taking a bath makes me happy. Watching a scary movie makes me happy. Writing articles makes me happy. Playing around on Pinterest makes me happy. You get the idea.
Now I’m not saying that you must do this each day. Of course, that’s ideal, but we are all busy and on an especially frenetic day that doesn’t allow for it, it’s okay to skip it. Don’t see it as a failure if you do. Just remember to hop back on the wagon tomorrow. And remind yourself of how wonderful you feel after you’ve spent that half hour doing what you’ve been doing. That’s reason enough for me to keep up the good habit!
4. Eat a little more slowly – Many of us, myself included, tend to scarf down our meals in about five minutes and then hop up from our chairs and rush off to do the next thing. Try not to do this. Eating is another pocket of time where you can, and should, allow yourself to relax. Savor every bite of your food, don’t just mindlessly stuff your fork in your mouth. Take the time to listen to your body naturally tell you it’s full. Take the time to connect with others if you’re eating with them.
5. Kiss and hug those you love! – This is such a big one, and gives both immediate satisfaction and prolonged satisfaction to you and to the one you’re being affectionate with. Kiss your husband as much as possible. Hug your children and your friends. Heck, nuzzle your dog! You’ll both reap the benefits of such caring actions. You’ll feel loved and appreciated…and we could all use more of that in our lives, right?
6. Learn something new – Stimulate and exercise that mind of yours a bit. There is a vast sea of knowledge out their at our very fingertips, and life is short. Take a few moments each day to add something “new” to your catalog of knowledge.
7. Call a loved one – Connect, connect, connect! And I don’t mean via Facebook or any other impersonal outlet where the other person isn’t hearing your voice or seeing your face. I recommend picking someone each day. A simple 15-minute talk with your mom, grandma, best friend, college roommate, sister – whoever – will keep you connected and close in a chaotic world where relationships are so hard to maintain.
8. Laugh – Nothing makes you feel happy and satisfied like a big old belly laugh, and the happiest people laugh often and wholeheartedly. So do what you need to do to get some quality laugh time each day, whether that’s watching something funny on t.v., reading a funny book, playing with your child, you get the gist!
9. Take care of yourself – This point is two-fold. Take care of your body by moving those muscles and breaking a sweat–this is an obvious one that we all know we should be incorporating into our lives every day. But also, pamper your body a little bit each day. You deserve it! Spend a few extra minutes before bedtime savoring lotioning up, brushing your hair, washing your face, using products that make you feel good. Remember what I said in point 3: you are important. Take a cue from my nightly pampering ritual for some ideas!
10. Help someone with no expectations or strings attached – That’s right, no strings attached. Do something for someone just because. Buy coffee for the person behind you in line at the cafe. Help an older lady to her car with her groceries. Help a friend with a move. Help prepare a Thanksgiving meal for someone who might otherwise not have one. Help a child build a puzzle or your neighbor rake the leaves (my husband did this last week!). In short, be kind to those around you. Others will appreciate the gesture or action, and each small action for another will boost your own happiness as well.
10 small, but gratifying, ways to make your life a little brighter each day…I think they’re worth a try, don’t you?