what can i do to be happy?
1. gratitude attitude
Say thank you for five things in your life when you wake up in the morning and go to bed at night. They can be as simple as thank you that I am healthy, baby is healthy, I have food to eat, live in a free country, have clothes to wear, have a job, the sun rise, the sun set. They can be more specific, the people in your life, your pet, avoiding a car crash on the freeway, being on time to an appointment, anything that you enjoy. The point here is to recognize that life is a gift. Consider that things could be much worse or they could be much better. Being grateful that you are alive, have a brain and a mind and you can choose which steps you will take next are reasons to practice gratitude. Once this becomes a habit, you will be unstoppable. Plus this is a great way to be a role model to your little one. Children watch us constantly and they do what we do. If we practice saying thank you for things in our life twice a day, then hopefully they will adopt this practice which will benefit them in their life as they grow and mature. As the saying goes, “Happiness is the journey, not the destination.”
1 week of gratitude
Try this for seven days. Take 30 seconds to write down what you are grateful for today. Include what you’ll accomplish without judgement. Include a note to thank someone in your life that day.
1 week of Gratitude
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Life inventory exercise
Start where you are. Take stock of your current life. This is your starting point. Taking the time to put it down on paper helps to make it real. This offers clarity on choosing to do the next best thing.
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2. get moving
Exercise has many benefits and one of them is the release of endorphins, or your feel good hormones. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something. Especially if you don’t feel motivated. It’s interesting how most of us have it backwards. We think we have to be motivated to work out. But really working out causes us to feel motivated. Many times, we don’t feel like it, we’re too busy or insert some other excuse. So we don’t go exercise and then we feel even worse. Every time that we allow an excuse to make the decision it becomes easier for it to happen again and again. Now a negative habit is being reinforced and breaking that habit or creating a new healthy habit to replace it seems impossible. The answer is to do it anyway. Even when you don’t feel like it. Once you get there and go through the motions, then the chemicals release and your mood is boosted. Plus you feel proud of yourself for taking the time to exercise your body. The body and the mind are a feedback system. Your thoughts are affected by your body and vice versa. Exercise benefits your mental state as well as your physical health and appearance. Go for a walk, watch a yoga youtube video, do some push-ups, dance, or a free online work out. There are plenty of people who post complete workouts on social media for free.
dance like shakira
First get a scarf or something that jingles to help accentuate your hips. Found this on amazon.
favorite free online work outs
Katie Sonier teaches handstands and booty work! She is a strength coach who is impressive with amount of weight she moves. You should see her clients’ before and after pics. Inspiring!
Hannah Bower offers at home & gym work outs. She’s pregnant wth baby number two! She is so impressive and positive!
3. Be in nature
There is something calming and rejuvenating about being with mother earth. You may be drawn to the trees, the lake, the beach, the mountains. Which ever you have access to, go be there. Turn off from the overwhelming distraction of what’s going on in the world. Take a moment to just be. Don’t worry about doing. We are human beings after all, not human doings. If you’re unable to spend time in nature there are benefits to imagining yourself in nature. The mind doesn’t know the difference between actual events or imagined events. The same part of the brain lights up when we use our imagination to create an experience. You still can benefit from believing that you are in nature. Try looking at some imagery that relaxes you such as a forest or a blue water and listen to the sounds of that place. This can help get you into the right mindset.
4. unplug from social media
This can go hand in hand with number 3, being in nature. We are so inundated with technology that it’s difficult to turn off sometimes. We feel like we should be doing 10,000 things at once, trying to outwork our competitors ors or just get it all done. And that’s fine; hard work is good. It’s also good to rest so that you can come back ready to give 100%. Otherwise burnout occurs or we don’t produce the quality that we’re capable of.
Many times, we feel alone, disconnected or misunderstand. There isn’t anyone who can relate to us. Or we don’t want to burden anyone with our issues. It is good to get it all out. Get a journal and start writing. Write everything that comes to mind. Doesn’t matter if it makes sense. It can be about how your day went, your schedule, anything that’s on your mind. Pour your emotions onto the paper or keyboard if you’re sad, happy, excited, or anxious. This should help release some of the pent up energy you’re carrying around with you.
Let it out! Find a pillow or go outside and just scream at the top of your lungs. This intense release may help relieve any tension that you’re carrying around in your mind or body. Try it, you may just like it.
7. be creative
Do what sets your soul on fire. Don’t worry about what anyone else will think. Just do it because you love it. It’s not about the end result. It’s about being in the moment, listening to your heart. Let your inner child out. Let loose and experience sheer joy.
8. Have fun
Do something that you think is fun just for the heck of it. Don’t let rhyme or reason steer you. Do something that makes you feel amazing like rolling down a hill, skipping, swinging, making funny faces in the mirror, dancing, strolling through the park and public gardens. Explore and enjoy the moment. See where life takes you.
Buddy the Elf having fun on his date!
9. be kind to yourself
This is for every one but especially you mamas out there! the Mom bod taught me to be nice to myself. I appreciate my body and what she’s capable of and what’s she done. And thank her for supporting me rather than being made that she doesn’t look a certain way when I’m the one who isn’t willing to do everything necessary to look the way I expect my body to look. I love chocolate and food and wine and I love to exercise but I can easily fall out of sync and a gain a few pounds until I feel uncomfortable in my skin and then decide to clean up my diet which consists of less wine, less carbs- the junk food, pastries, ice cream, chips, Oreos. More water. Eating vegetables and lean protein first before indulging in the sweets or salty snacks. And I feel so much better mentally and emotionally. I’m quicker, clearer, less emotional less reactionary. More stable. Energy levels don’t spike and crash. All of this is part of the process of caring for yourself.
Allowing yourself time to relax and unwind is just as important and necessary for your sanity. Find sanctuary in your day, whatever that may be. Perhaps it’s a cup of coffee in the morning while everyone else is sleeping. Reading a few pages of your current book before you close your eyes to sleep. Spending time stretching or holding a few yoga poses (yes child’s pose counts). Going to the bathroom to have some peace and quiet.
10. feel sexy in 5 minutes
This is a continuation of number 9. Feeling sexy is a form of self love. This is an easy one to talk about, not so easy to do as a mama. First things first, let’s make a list! List all of the things that make you feel good and sexy. What is the one thing helps you to feel “put together” or sexy?
Making time for self care is invaluable. But finding that time is not always easy or possible. It’s so easy to get lost in the chaos of cooking, feeding, playing, cleaning, learning and so we do the best that we can.Things like bubble bath, working out, yoga, jog, glass of wine, getting your hair done, nails done, lashes done, organizing a space in your home. Here are a few of my favorite ways to show myself some self care.
take an epsom salt bath
Have you seen my big fat Greek wedding? Remember the dad and windex? Epsom salt is the answer to everything. If you can manager more than five minutes in the bath then take advantage. If five minutes is all you have take advantage. You will feel relaxed. Epsom salt contains magnesium which most of us don’t get enough of during the day through our food. Your skin isa able to absorb magnesium. Magnesium can help with body aches, stress, anxiety, constipation and a number of other conditions. Of course always consult with your doctor before taking epsom salt baths, especially if you are pregnant or breast feeding.
look tan with leg make up
One little thing that helps me to feel sexy in just five minutes is having a healthy sunkissed glow. Spending hours out in the sun to get a tan is not an option. Spray tans take time, have that “spray tan smell” and aren’t the prettiest when they fade.
Lipstick can make you feel sexy instantly. Even if your hair is a mess, you can throw on a hat or baseball cap to cover it up and still look cute! Adding a little bit of color to your life can make all the difference in the world. Experiment with different colors. I’m a fan of using a thick lip color pencil and adding some lip balm or vaseline over to keep my lips moisturized. Or the tinted Burt’s Bees chapstick is a great affordable one stop shop. I’m a value shopper so I linked the 4-pack rather than the single. It cuts the cost in half.
This is my number one “must have” on this list. If you have light eyelashes like I do then you will get additional benefit out of black lash extensions. First, I love that when I wake up, I am pretty much ready to go. I don’t ever have to worry about looking washed out. Even without make up I look somewhat, ‘put together’. Since my lashes have little to no pigment in them, my eyes are more sensitive to the sun hence more squinting and more wrinkles. Not to mention the damage the sun can do without sunglasses.
Lash extensions are a non-negotiable especially as a busy working mom. I’ve been getting my lashes done for over five years now and I recommend it to anyone. I got them before my wedding and have not stopped since. I’m constantly stopped and asked if my lashes are real. I smile a big smile and say, “No! Here’s my lash lady’s contact info! She’s the best.” Jessica started fab lash and then branched out on her own.
I get my lashes filled every 3 weeks. I stretch it out a bit but I have girlfriends who go every two weeks just to keep them as full as possible all of the time. There are different styles as well. I like the natural look but you can opt in for the glamorous look if you so desire. To be clear, this is not a 5 minute feel sexy hack but the one hour spent getting my lashes done is worth the three weeks of convenience. I don’t have to apply or remove mascara every day. I wear less make up so my skin is healthier.
If you’re busy and have little ones at home then there isn’t alway time to go get your nails done. Alas, have no fear. Next time you go grocery shopping, take a look at the quick dry nail polish selection. It’s cheaper than what I can find on online and your little one can help you pick the color.
It’s a fun activity to do with your little ones. I tried going the non-toxic route for my little one but it turned out that it wasn’t non-toxic after all and the polish dries and peels off. If your little one likes to put everything in his or her mouth then this immediately becomes a no-go. Check out our list of favorite toys & activities to do during COVID.
wear sexy panties
This is one that you can have fun with. Remember that you are doing this for you. If you want to wear them for someone else to enjoy then that’s just the cherry on top. It’s fun to know that underneath it all you have on a pair of sexy undies. Sexiness is a mindset and an attitude. Get it!
good will gem
This deserves its own category as this is not a five minute feel sexy hack. This is more of a find an amazing fashion deal hack. You can replace five minutes with five dollars. You’ll be amazed at what you find. Go to the nice neighborhoods in your town and check out their good will. This is my favorite hidden gem. You can find amazing items for $4, $9 or $30 when it normally costs $150. Purses shoes dresses name brand jeans, art work. Many of the Good Will Centers have boutique selections. You can shop online as well where premium name brands like Prada, diamond rings and are sold at a fraction of the price.
If you live in warm climate and are going on a snowy vacay, the good will may have snow boots and winter jackets. Many of them offer additional senior discounts. You never know what you may find. And if you accidentally spill something or damage the item it’s not as terrible considering you paid a fraction of what it’s worth!
I recommend stopping in regularly, weekly if you have the time. Otherwise once a month or even seasonally. While you’re on your way, make a pile of things you no longer need, donate and get your tax deduction while you’re at it.
enjoy the journey
See if any of these work for you. Many of them can be combined such as journaling in nature or choosing a physical activity that is fun! The world is your oyster. I hope you find this helpful. I would love to hear any feedback you have. Please add any tips that you have found to work for you!