This is a post that really has been burning a hole in my brain to write. As a Mom of 3 under 5 you can imagine my life gets hectic. I get stressed, worn out, I even struggle with depression. The depression is gone now that I have really been focusing on myself and living a yogi lifestyle. More on all that at another time. Dealing with 3 bossy, strong-willed, and energetic kids I need as much easy as I can get. So I decided to focus my energy on figuring out small things I could do to give myself a step up in the happiness department. So just like my How to Keep Your Zen post, these are all things that I have figured out by trial and error in my own life. I hope a few of these work for you. Lets face it, I’m sure all of us could use a little more happy in our lives!
Let Get Happy!
- Laugh– They say laughter is the best medicine, and it is a literal scientific fact! Find things in your day to laugh at. Someone posted a funny video on Facebook, take a second to watch it. The kids are running around singing Moana songs at the top of their lungs, yeah that makes me giggle. Heck, if need be I just go look at my frazzled self in the mirror and normally that is enough to get a chuckle from me!
- Look in the mirror and say a mantra/positive affirmation– I. Love. Mantras! I use them every single day! “I am enough.” “I will be kind and patient today.” “I am motivated to be productive.” These are a few I use. Even just a quick “Today will be a good day.” or “I am happy” (with a nice smile at yourself of course) will be enough to boost your mood!
- Give thanks to God (or your higher power) for waking you up to enjoy a new day– I love to pray. Ever since diving deeper into yoga and a yogi lifestyle, I have improved my spirituality and my relationship with God. So now, knowing that I was never meant to do this journey alone (and neither were you!) I pray all the time. It makes me feel good asking for help. The best way to start off your day happy, is as soon as you wake up, take a second to give thanks for waking up. Tell yourself, and God, that you will try to make the most of this gift by being happy and enjoying what this day brings! For me, a quick prayer of thanks never fails to make me happy!!
- Get cleaned up, even if you’re not going anywhere– As a stay at home mom, this one is a big one for me! If I stay in my pajamas all day, I am unmotivated, I feel lazy and bad about myself, especially when my husband gets home after working all day and seeing me still in my pajamas gives him the impression that I haven’t done anything all day (which lets be real, if I’m not dressed I probably haven’t). I feel so much better when I take a shower, brush my teeth, brush my hair and get out of my pj’s. Even if I only change into some yoga gear, I at least feel more motivated to get my yoga in, which makes me feel motivated to get other things done.
- Take a few minutes to meditate– Meditating can be hard, but it is so rewarding! Start small, just a minute or two, then work up to meditating for longer. Find a nice spot, sit comfortably, close your eyes and try to draw your focus in. Focus on your breathing, and try to just block everything on the outside out. If you totally can’t clear your mind, because its way hard, say your mantra. Just find something small to focus on until you can work on just being there and thinking about nothing. When you are done, your mind will feel light and clear, your body will feel calm and recharged, and you will feel like you got a better look at yourself as a person. I promise, its work it if you can just take the time to work on it!!
- Exercise– “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!” Can anyone name that quote?? Anyone? If you said Legally Blonde, YOU’RE RIGHT! That movie is seriously awesome, and is totally correct in that quote! Exercise does give you endorphins and endorphins do make you happy! It is suggested to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day. This doesn’t have to be all at once necessarily, but it is so important to get your blood flowing and get those endorphins into your brain. Wake up and do a Sun Salutation (may preferred way to get in a quick boost of energy and feel goods), get up from your desk and walk around the office a few times. Go for a run. Whatever your favorite way to exercise is, get up and do it! Your body and your brain with thank you!!!
- Drink plenty of water– Drinking water is sooooo good for your body. It keeps your blood flowing, it helps you lose weight ( yeah that one is good enough for me!), it keeps your body hydrated and your organs functioning, it helps you lose weight. Oh, did I say that one twice… It is suggested to take your body weight and divide by 2, that’s how many ounces of water you should drink a day. I like to chug a bottle when I first wake up, another way to start your metabolism, I drink a bottle after eating so I fill myself up the rest of the way and I’m less likely to over eat, and then of course I drink a lot of water while doing yoga. So grab a cute glass, throw in some ice, maybe a lemon or cucumber- or hey, both- and get to drinking!
- Drink some coffee or tea– As stated above, I chug a bottle of water when I first wake up, after that I head straight for my coffee maker! I am a coffee junkie! However, for the reasons in number 7, I try to limit myself to 1 or 2 cups a day. Now if my youngest, who is 9 months, woke up a bunch the night before I will indulge in a little more, and no judgement if you do on a regular basis. I just know that if I drink a lot of coffee, I’m less likely to drink enough water, and then I get headaches, I crash after my coffee wears off, and I just don’t feel as good about myself. They do say, drinking a couple of cups of coffee or tea everyday is good for you!!
- Eat a healthy breakfast– Ok, so I know a lot of these have to do with morning time, but, for me at least, the happier I am in the morning, the easier it is for me to stay happy throughout my day! I know you’ve heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and its true! It gives you energy, starts your metabolism, and sets you up for what your eating will be like the rest of the day. So if you eat a delicious filling meal for breakfast, you are more likely to not eat as much the rest of the day. If you start off with a sugary breakfast, you will be tired sooner from the sugar crash and you will be more likely to snack on not so healthy stuff the rest of the day.
- Spend at least 10 minutes outside– This one is a big one, since there are more than 3 million cases a year of vitamin D deficiency! There is nothing like from sunlight, fresh air, hearing birds and smelling flowers to make someone happy! I am such a nature girl, and thankfully so are my kiddos, so we spend a lot of time outside. When I’m inside too long, I feel cooped up, I get cabin fever, and I just get really irritable. Put me outside for a bit, and like a flower, I will open up and blossom into a much happier Mama Bear!
- Hug somebody– Hugging is so good for us! It releases hormones like oxytocin and serotonin that make us happy, it builds trust and love, and it just plain old feels good! When I am sad, stressed, depressed, or just need something to make me feel good, I turn to my hubby, kids, or even my big dog, Koa, for a hug. My husband is the best hugger. If I am really stressed and tense, he hugs me and I just melt! I immediately feel better. His love, his support, his kindness just radiates out of him and flows into me. How could I possibly still be sad? On that note, I can’t lie, he knows this about me and so when I am mad, and don’t want to feel better (yeah, I know, I’m a little weird) he will come over and hug me tight, knowing that it will make me feel better, no matter what. Rude, right? 😉
- Limit the amount of time you sit down– This one might not work for those of you with desk jobs, but for someone like me who stays home all day getting up and moving is essential! It’s all about that blood flow. Blood flow has such a huge impact on how our body feels. If you sit too much, your blood flows slower, which will make you feel tired. It will also make your hips and back hurt, which will in turn make you want to sit more, and do less since you are sore. It’s so important to get up and move. Even workers in an office can get up and move more! Just standing up for a minute will get that blood flowing. Wiggle your hips to loosen them up a bit. Touch your toes to stretch out your back. I like to turn on music and have a dance party with my kiddos! It makes them happy, creates fun memories, and gets everyone’s blood flowing and joints moving! Sitting down too long makes me feel lazy, getting up and moving makes me motivated, energized, and of course, happy!
- Turn off the noise and enjoy silence– Going back to number 5, turning off the tv, putting down the phone, and enjoying silence gives our scenes and brain a chance to rest, which is what we do when we meditate also. With so many things out there telling us how to feel and what we should think, its gets stressful! Turn it all off for a few minutes and take a second to think for yourself. Maybe you want to reflect on that crazy thing you heard about on the news and make your own opinion about it. Maybe you are just reading nothing but negativity on Facebook, well turn it off and take a second to reflect on some of the positive things you have in your own life. The media and other people are always pushing their opinions and feelings onto us, so its hard not to take those in and feel that way. But we don’t need that! We have our own brains and emotions and it’s important to stop and make sure we have a chance to control those things for ourselves!
- Indulge– While it is super important to eat and drink healthy, grabbing a piece of chocolate or my favorite wine (later in the day of course) will always boost my mood! Maybe you love Fruit Loops cereal, but know its kind of bad for you. Well, just once today, grab a bowl and indulge! Maybe you have an amazing soaking tub, but you feel bad leaving your significant other to wrangle the kids while you just soak away. Well tonight hop in, add some bubbles or bath salts and indulge! It is so good for your state of mind to indulge in something you love every once in a while! So today, do it!
- Put the phone down– This one is very close to number 13. However, I’m talking less about giving your brain a break with silence, and more about being present in the moment. I am so guilty of this. I get caught up scrolling Facebook and my kids are playing and making memories right next to me, but I’m not actually there. Now, I make a point to put my phone up on the shelf, and go play with them. The memories should include me! I want to see when they use their cute little imaginations. I want them to help me feel like a kid too! They will never think that what I am looking at on the phone is more important than them. It’s not. That email will be there in 20 minutes and no one will have died from me not answering immediately. My blog will get views even if I’m not sitting there staring at the stats and constantly posting on social media trying to promote it. We need to remember, to just put the phone down for a second!
- Take a few minutes to enjoy a hobby– Aside from loving writing this blog, I love making jewelry! I get to make shiny things, and well, I love shiny! On days where I take a second and pick up my jewelry tools and work on something, I feel so good about myself. I am happy I did something that makes me happy. Accomplishing something feels good. I am showing my kids that even if there is no outside benefit (money or fame or the like) its important to do stuff you enjoy just for the simple fact that you enjoy it!
- Pick up the phone and call someone, not just text– Ok, now that you’ve put down your phone for a while, do something more personal and actually call someone instead of text. Maybe while the kids are watching a movie, or napping, or while you have a break at work. My husband and I text a lot during the day. I always feel so happy when I get to actually hear his voice. Just like hugging, hearing someones voice can also have the hormonal effect of releasing those happy hormones (cortisol and oxytocin) in our brain! Crazy, right?
- Use your nose– Smells can have a huge effect on our moods. Most people know that smells can trigger memories, which can make you happy or sad. Well even if the smell isn’t related to a particular memory, it can still make you happy. I love to diffuse essential oils, they make me feel happy when they are citrusy, or relaxed when its something like lavender. Same with Scentsy bars, certain bars make me feel very calm and I use those when doing yoga. Some scents make me feel motivated, so I warm those in the morning to get my day started.
When it comes down to it, you know best what makes you happy. I just wanted to share som quick, easy ideas I had that can help make you happier every single day. Implement one or implement all of them! I try to stick to some of them everyday, like exercising and going outside. Some I do once or twice a week, some when I just need a quick little happiness boost.
I really hope this post spoke to you. I’d love for you to comment below with any you tried and liked. What do you do that might not be on the list? I always make a point to reply, so your comment will not go ignored!!
Namaste my friends!