1. Name 3 Things You are Grateful For
Gratitude changes our attitude. When you get bogged down in what you can’t do or have to do, think about what your grateful for. Dirty dishes means that you have food to eat, a family to share a meal with, and running sanitary water to clean them with.
2. Find Your Happy Song
A happy song is one that has a beat and melody that gets your toe tapping. The one you want to dance to and belt out at the top of your off-pitch voice. My happy song is Your Joy by Josh Fox.
3. Get Moving
Dance to that favorite song, go for a walk, swing on the swing at the park or jump on the kid’s trampoline. Moving gets your body to send all the right signals to your brain to release endorphins (those feel good hormones).
4. Interact with an Animal
If you have a pet, play with them. Their excitement will get you excited too. If you don’t, nature never fails to infiltrate our yards even in the deep winter. Spread some bird seed and listen to the birds sing. Watch the squirrels navigate the fences. And if all else fails, the internet is chock full of animal videos. Watch them seize life and get back up when they fall down.
5. Call a Friend or Family Member
Hearing the voice of the ones we love to be with brings back all those good memories. Take the time to tell them how thankful you are for them. Plan a time to get together and have coffee or just hang out together. And if you can’t call, write them a short note and mail it to them. I keep a box of cards and buy a book of stamps each year just for this purpose.
6. Perform a Random Act of Kindness
Just one simple thing, from paying for the food for the person behind you in the drive through to putting the carts back in the cart return at the grocery store so people can park without bumping them, a little act of kindness has a way of making us realize how much we can do if we just take a little effort. One of my favorites is to not block the entrance to a business parking lot when waiting at a stop light. This allows people to pull out in front of me when the light turns green. You’d be amazed how many times people have waved and mouthed thank-you. I lose all of two seconds when the light turns and I’ve made someone’s day easier.
7. Smile at People Around You
Smiles are FREE and they are as contagious as yawning.. They are a gift you can give that will keep on giving. And if you can’t find smiling faces, find some children playing. They aren’t bogged down by worries and to-do lists.
8. Treat Yourself to Something Out of the Ordinary
Grab some flowers at the checkout and put them on your desk. Buy yourself a book or your favorite kind of ice cream. It doesn’t have to be expensive. You can even use what you have. Eat by candlelight. Use the good china. Put on your favorite perfume or paint your nails even though you aren’t going any where. One of my favorites is to give myself time to do something like read a chapter of a book sitting on my nightstand. It’s the little thing that reminds me there are pleasures in the world.
9. Hug Someone
I know not everyone is a physical contact person, but when you hug your kids, your husband, your best friend, you are making a personal connection that we are born with. If we go too long without personal contact, our bodies actually make us yearn for them by enlarging our sense of NEED. It makes a mountain out of a molehill and a hug will put everything back into perspective.
10. Make an Intentional Mistake
Go ahead, mess up. Take out a sheet of paper and misspell a word. Write the wrong name on the email. Take a wrong turn. Reminding ourselves that mistakes are how we learn and how we discover new things, helps us get past the perfection monster that steals our joy. Do it until you can laugh at yourself for the absurdity of your mistakes and Joy will defeat Perfection.
What is your favorite trick to make yourself smile and turn your day around?