Read a book (or listen to one!) ~ There are many different genres, why not try something out of the norm. If you usually read personal development, why not try a novel or biography for a change of pace.
Declutter a space in your home ~ This might be your closet, your office, the junk drawer. It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking. Even the smallest decluttering project, when completed, can lighten your mood and lift your spirits.Don’t forget about local charities that could benefit from donated goods. I usually try to separate items into different piles to allow me to donate where they can do the most good.
Declutter your mind ~ by journaling! This will look different to all of us. You may want to spend time writing about things that are troubling you, thing that you need to do/tend to (your never ending “to do list”). The idea here is to get it down on paper, so your mind can relax. Known as a “brain dump”, it’s fascinating how once you’ve jotted it down on paper, your brain realizes that you’ve “got it” and can stop worrying (as much) about it.Not to say this will completely ease your worries or concerns, but it will greatly help. Give it a try!
Practice gratitude ~ You may find yourself back in your journal. Practicing daily gratitude is a sure fire way to lift your spirits. When you purposely seek out things to be thankful for throughout your day, it forces you to focus on the positive.Maybe you owe a few people thank you notes. This would be a great time to catch up on them. All caught up? Then how about sending out a few encouraging notes (messages or texts work too) to some friends.
Try out a new recipe ~ Get in the kitchen! Not my favorite place, but I will admit, I tried out a new recipe this week, got rave reviews from my family, and actually enjoyed myself. I MAY give this another go even.
Get some fresh air ~ I’m fortunate to live near the beach, so this is my destination of choice: walking on the beach. Whatever this looks like for you, get out in the sunshine and enjoy some nice, spring weather. Still cold where you are? A short, brisk walk will do the trick.
Kick back and relax ~ Don’t feel guilty for enjoying some downtime. Instead, why not be thankful for the opportunity to slow life down a bit and take some time to relax and enjoy time with your family, and even some alone time.
For years I’ve been hearing about the benefits of keeping a Gratitude Journal.
I must confess, I’ve tried the practice off and on throughout the years but haven’t been successful at keeping up with it. I think my struggle stemmed from thinking it was something that I needed to do at the end of my day, right before heading off to sleep. Let’s be honest. As a busy mom, military spouse turned entrepreneur, who tends to stay up later than she should on most nights, writing in any kind of journal right before I finally fall into bed just doesn’t happen.
So, I’ve started journaling in the mornings with much more success!
Does it happen every morning? Nope! Does it always focus on gratitude? Nope!
Frequently I’m writing down my goals, capturing on paper what my life looks like when I’ve accomplished them. Sometimes I’m simply working through a concept or thought I’ve been contemplating lately. Other times, my journaling is simply a “brain dump”; aimlessly writing whatever comes to mind. If you’ve never tried a “brain dump”, I invite you to try it out. You may notice your stress level dramatically decreasing simply by writing e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g down that is weighing on your mind. It’s as though your brain can now relax because it realizes that you’ve got things under control.
More often than not, I simply take notice of things that I’m grateful for. Gratitude doesn’t have to be written down for it to count. (Thank goodness!)
When you set out to be more grateful, you’ll find yourself looking for things to feel gratitude towards. Then after a while, something magical happens. You’ll find you don’t have to try as hard to find things for which you are grateful.
Take this evening for example. I recently purchased new towels for our master bathroom. This simple act feels like a luxury to me. Our old towels certainly still work. They get the job done. But do you know the feeling when one day you notice that your towels simply aren’t soft any longer? There have been times in the past when I would have dismissed that thought immediately. We may have been on a tighter budget and buying new towels simply wasn’t a priority. And remember, the old towels still get the job done.
My mindset has shifted. Every day I shower. It’s usually a task that is done at the beginning of my day and, in partial, helps to set my mood for the upcoming day. Why would I not want to make that experience as luxurious and pleasant as possible? I’m pretty sure using sand- papery feeling towels is not the best way to start my day feeling pampered and refreshed!
So tonight, as I was folding my brand-new towels, that I had just washed and dried with the assist of lavender scented wool dryer balls (If you don’t know about them, girl, reach out to me! Love them! You can use your favorite essential oils to create whatever scent you’d like.), I felt a flood of gratitude wash over me.
I’m thankful that I have the luxury to make purchases that might not seem essential but will aid in creating the comforting home that I strive to create for my family. (Well, at least those fortunate enough to use the master bath!) I look forward to my shower in the morning and wrapping myself in these new, soft, lavender scented towels.
Finding things to be grateful for doesn’t have to be a chore. Open your mind to notice the little things in life that bring you joy. Note them, go ahead and write them down if you feel inclined, and enjoy the positive effects of a grateful heart.