This morning I woke up to a little hand batting me in the face. Given, she’s a little baby with not much fine motor control, but generally I prefer waking up to coos and giggles. I love those little fingers though and I get her smiling as I nibble them up.
Looking out at the world there’s a lot of fear, negativity, and ugliness goinging around (please don’t read ANY political views into that). What I do know is that change and peace start with you, an internal reckoning. And then it starts with your family and spreads from there.
So how can we make today more beautiful for ourselves and our families? How can we, as mothers, wives, and daughters make life a little nicer starting now?
Here a 11 ideas that will take you ten minutes or less:
1. Get off social media and turn off the news. Start with just 10 minutes of focused, intentional time with those you love with out all that noise and distraction.
2. Check in. Not on Facebook! Sit down in the quiet and check in with yourself. Nothing weird or mystic about it. Just slow down and turn off the noise long enough to assess how you’re doing. Life moves fast and for us women emotions move faster and affect every part of our being whether we like it or not. For me this looks like sitting in a quiet room (usually with coffee) alone with my Bible and journal. I sit, eyes closed, and think about what I’m feeling- stressed? Worn out? Burdened? Then why? Sometimes just identifying the stressor helps me release it. Then I’ll read The Bible, pray, journal. I love when I can take an hour to do this but even just 10 minutes helps!
3. Read a chapter. I know you’re busy and there are dishes waiting and the baby is finally napping. But 10 minutes reading a chapter of your favorite book will refresh you-because you did it for YOU, and that is so good! I always have Pride and Prejudice beside my chair along with whatever other book I’m into (right now I’m reading Moby Dick for the first time).
4. Go outside. And take your family with you. or don’t if they’re driving you bonkers. Walk around the block, examine a bug, stare at the clouds, sit on the porch and tell a short story, breathe deeply. When we have a bad day (especially when I am the grumpy one) I’ll throw baby on my hip and walk a couple blocks. Its amazing what a lil’ fresh air will do.
5. Clean the microwave. Okay, I hate cleaning the microwave! But I hate opening the door 10 times a day to that nasty splatter even more. I microwave a 1/4 cup of water mixed with a 1/4 cup of vinegar and a couple drops of lemon essential oil (or lemon juice) for 3-4 minutes and then I wipe it down with paper towels. Dip the towel in to the mixture for those extra nasty spots. Bam! – 5 minutes. I feel so much better and accomplished after this quick task.
6. Hug someone for 20 seconds. I know, that sounds like an awkward long time. Humans need physical touch. Just a high five, pat on the back, quick hug is beneficial to our well being. But did you know that hugging someone for 20 seconds or more releases Oxytocin? Hugging for 20 seconds or more reduces stress, blood pressure and heart rate! Do a Google search on this- its fascinating (and could count for #8)!
7. Throw open the curtains! Unless you’re a vampire you probably would benefit from some natural light. Better yet, throw open the curtain and repeat #4.
8.Smile. You may not feel like smiling but generally making your self smile at other people improves your mood.
9. Teach yourself something new. Learn a new word, practice a craft for ten minutes, put a new song on repeat and learn the lyrics, try a new puzzle like Sudoku or a word cross. Be creative!
10. Light a candle, turn on some happy music, and pick some flowers. This is a go to for me. I love lighting candles! These days I more often will put a calming or energizing blend in my essential oil diffuser. But nothing quite brightens my day like the atmosphere of a lit candle on my kitchen stove, fresh flowers or a new succulent on my window sill, and quiet music filling the air.
11. Make a List. Not just any list. List as many things as you can that you are thankful for in 5 minutes. Be specific! It’s amazing what intentionally recognizing the little blessings all around does for your heart. Another “journal prompt” I use when I’m having a bad day is to list out as many good things about myself as I can. When I have a bad day it’s hard to see what value I have so reminding myself who I am is good.
What do you do to make your day more Beautiful! Share with me in the comments!