It’s Monday. The day of all days to be grumpy. While I, very fortunately, no longer have to trudge into a job on this unfairly detested morning, I remember the feeling very well. I worked a secretarial position that I absolutely despised for two years before pulling the plug and started fresh working from home. I realize now looking back how being at a workplace that you’re unhappy at can really seep into other facets of your life and wreak havoc on relationships and emotional stability. Maybe another post on that another time. For now, I want to send a little bit of happiness out into the universe to help those that may be in a similar situation that I was in. Even those of us who enjoy their day to day routine can use a little reminder to appreciate the small things. Here are twelve simple, free, and no calorie things that make me smile.
Summer Thunderstorms. I love living in the south, however this time of the year always makes me question my loyalty. I don’t love the heat…. or the humidity….or the flies and mosquitoes. I do love the afternoon thundershowers that pop up. It just feels fresh and offers a reprieve from the scalding sun.
The First Cup of Coffee. Mornings are my favorite. I love having a half-hour (or an hour when baby cooperates) to myself to start the day. I prep the coffee maker the night before so all I have to do is push a button after I’ve stumbled downstairs and wait for that lovely aroma to pry my eyes open.
An Act of Kindness. We’re bombarded with bad news constantly. I feel that we’re a nation (or world) that thrives on it. I don’t watch the news very often (especially not first thing in the morning) for this reason. In a sea of negativity, look out for the small acts of good that are everywhere. Smiling at someone, holding the door, letting the car that’s trying to turn go in front of you, it doesn’t take a monumental act to do the trick. Observing this, or initiating it, always makes me feel good.
Getting Lyla Up in the Mornings. Babies and young children have the unique ability to be completely thrilled about starting their day. I can’t think of anyone else in my life that would smile a huge grin if I crept into their bedroom at 6am. Of course there are mornings where I wish she would sleep in a little bit later, but her enthusiasm is catching. I wish that the simple excitement about the prospect of another day came as easily for adults.
Browsing the Local Library. I’m fortunate to have a very nice library about five minutes from our house. I love going in there to select my next read, but I also enjoy the atmosphere. It’s quiet, there’s a distinct smell, and I love seeing kids with armfuls of new finds to take home.
Music. There’s something about a good playlist that can put you in a better mood. I tend to base what I listen to on the time of day. Mornings and evenings I like more moody stations like Etta James and Norah Jones. Mid-Day and afternoons usually require something more upbeat like Justin Timberlake or “Stand By Me” radio.
Diffusing Essential Oils. Aromatherapy is a powerful thing. We all know of smells that are nostalgic and can transport us to a certain memory. Essential oils are used for many things in our household, but creating a great blend in my diffuser is definitely my favorite. Whether an uplifting blend during the day, or a calming blend in the evenings, I love this natural way of making the house smell fresh.
Laughing. I guess this is slightly redundant, as a smile and a laugh sort of go hand in hand. However, I believe that associating with people that make us laugh is vital. A sense of humor is a must for me whether in a friend or a partner. Laughing just makes you feel good. I look for this characteristic in most of the shows and movies that I watch as well. If it’s going to make me feel sad or anxious, I really have no interest in it.
Taking a Bath. A soak in a tub after a long day is just therapeutic. It’s my little escape to read, relax, and have a half hour to myself. Self-care is something that’s easy to ignore as we (moms especially) don’t always feel that it’s a good use of time or money. I think you have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others. A bath is a guilt free way to put this into practice.
Fireplaces. This obviously isn’t something that will help you get through your day today, but in the cooler months, a working fireplace is my absolute favorite thing in a home. I love the coziness and the atmosphere that goes with this feature.
Coming in Under Budget. I’m showing my nerd side here, but I love the feeling of being in control of my money. I create and update our monthly budget and we aren’t always able to stay in the lines, but when we do I privately gloat in the sense of accomplishment that comes with it. We have the milestone of paying off our debt in the not so distant future and I know that each month we’re able to keep things in check, we’re one step closer to achieving this goal. Read more about why keeping a budget actually alleviates stress here.
Clean Sheets. I will never get into bed with clean sheets and not comment on how much I love clean sheets. Ask Tim. There’s just something wonderfully inviting about crisp bedding that has that freshly washed feel and smell. If they’ve been washed in Zum Frankincense and Myrrh then it’s literally my little piece of Heaven.
I’m sure I’m leaving other things off of here, so there may be a part two in the future. What are the small things that make you smile?
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