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Have you ever had a rough day – or a rough week – that left you feeling like you just need a break?
As a mom, I’ve often caught myself day dreaming about just packing it all in and retreating to some far away place with no phones, no emails, no obligations, and just switching off and unwinding. Then I snap back into the reality that a getaway is probably not in the cards.
What I’ve realized is that small activities can add up to a better week. When I adopt some positive-self practices that foster health and gratitude, life becomes a little sweeter.
The best part about these little moments is that they won’t empty your wallet, but they pack a big punch where your well being is concerned..
Music does wonders to change our mood. When I listen to my music collection, there are just certain songs that I straight up love. Songs to which I can’t help but sing along. Songs that I find myself dancing to no matter what I’m doing (washing the dishes).
Create a happy playlist, and when you come across these songs, throw them in there. When you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, stressed or blue, listen to your playlist alone or with your kids. I have great memories of my mom throwing on a record and busting out a dance party with my brother and I in the living room. It is amazing how quickly music can transport us to a different headspace.
I know, this is a ridiculously simple idea, but it’s also vastly underrated. When you find yourself overwhelmed or frustrated with a situation, take a walk outside. Bring the kids and make this a family time to slow down and notice your surroundings. It clears your mind, brings you into the present moment, and resets your mood to tackle what’s ahead. Plus, we all know the mood-boosting benefits of exercise. And the best part is that it’s free!
Admit it, every once in awhile it’s nice to get yourself a little something. Maybe you reached a goal and want to reward yourself. Maybe you’ve had a rough week and feel you deserve a prize for surviving. Maybe you just want to spend your hard earned money on something that will make you smile.
I’ve found that if I can treat myself to something that doesn’t empty my wallet, I feel even better. Have your eye on a specific item? Start looking around online. Many sites now have features that will alert you when items go on sale. There are even apps that will show you competing prices.
Coupons are also a great way to get yourself a little something without spending a fortune. Stores like Kohl’s offer coupons that soften the spending blow.
Sometimes the best vacation we can take is one in which we enjoy an uninterrupted break from the responsibilities that fill our day-to-day lives. This idea can be made even sweeter when you remove the planning that comes with travel. Take advantage of the fact that you have a space that is just for you, whether it be a house or a room or a bed. Give yourself the opportunity to slow down and do the things that you find relaxing. Turn off laptops, silence cell phones, and just be in a quiet space alone or with the ones you love without outside distractions.
I have, on several occasions, told friends and family that we’re going out of town. Instead we stay home, watch movies, order in, play games, and we enjoy being the laziest of lazies. At the end, we feel just as refreshed as if we’d gone away but without the cost and travel of a trip.
Studies have actually shown that gratitude is good for your health. Every night before you fall asleep, list three things from that day for which you are grateful or that brought you joy. I know, this sounds so fluffy and saccharine, but it totally works.I started doing this about a year ago, and it’s really helped me become more grateful. Even on days you think were bad, you can find moments that were good and it can immediately change your perspective about your circumstances.
Sometimes it’s the little things can help the most. Contentment isn’t always the result of grand gestures. Often it’s simple pleasures – a good laugh with good friends, sending or receiving an encouraging note, taking much-needed quiet time for ourselves – that can boost our mood without breaking our budget.
Photo Credits: Shuttershock.com, myintentionalsolutions.com