1. Appreciate what you CAN do.
In the age of “doing it all” and living an Insta-worthy life, take inventory of everything you DO accomplish. Go ahead, make a list. My list starts with keeping three kids alive, fed and relatively happy every day. Then accomplishing grown-up things like paying my bills on time. Keeping the house stocked with food for the family. Remaining employed and managing to exercise four to eight times a month. These are big things for me!
2. Ask for help when desperate because we cannot do it all in times of crisis or chaos.
You are not an island. Get over yourself. You like to help others in their time of need, so people want to help you, too. What’s the harm in asking?
3. Delegate to your partner, kids, extended family, friends, coworkers, and so on.
You do not need to be the only person to get stuff down. Ask for help with all the things, from doing laundry to scheduling and attending doctor’s appointments or parent/teacher conferences. Kids can pitch in at home with tasks you would otherwise be surprised to see them do (like sweep the floor or put their own laundry away). At work, it’s OK to delegate a task to a coworker to complete if it’s in their wheelhouse and they have the time and skills.
4. Go on a social media strike for 24-48 hours.
This may feel like a big one. Still, give yourself the space to remember what life can be without emojis, “likes,” nonstop alerts and pings from your phone. Your experience without social media may surprise you and inspire more phone-free days.
The latest World Happiness Report finds USA’s happiness on the decline while use of digital media is on the rise… coincidence? I think not.
5. Embrace the long Ohio winter weather with a night of Hygge.
Hygge what?! Hygge (pronounced hoo-ga) is “feeling cozy” and how the population of Denmark handles their long winters. Hygge plays a part in why Denmark is rated amongst the happiest countries in the world!
Ohio winter goes well past March 19, 2020, so light some candles, snuggle up in your favorite jammies with a plush blanket and warm beverage in an adorable mug and read anything from a tabloid magazine to “Ulysses.” Just snuggle with yourself and don’t post it to social media with “living the dream.” (Living the dream does not include documenting it online.)
6. If hygge isn’t your thing, go for an at-home spa treatment.
Replace the couch with a tub, blanket with a bubble bath and face mask, and mug for a wine glass.
7. Go on a self-love binge for one day.
Plan your perfect day of self-love, then execute. I do this on my birthday every year. I take the day off from work (if my birthday is on a weekend, then I take off a Friday or Monday) and decide what would be the most enjoyable day for me. Sleeping in late is not on my agenda because I get the girls up and out the door to catch the bus, so there are limits. However, my day usually includes a nature hike, lunch at my favorite Indian buffet with a friend, a yoga class, meditation, afternoon nap, and anything else I darn well please! How often do we gift ourselves with a day to do whatever we want? It’s glorious.
If you are a stay-at-home-parent, this would be a great time to practice delegating or asking friends/family for help (i.e. watch the kids for the day, or at least 6 hours).
8. Schedule and STICK TO getting together with a friend.
It’s so easy to reschedule because we feel tired, lazy, busy, [insert any emotion here]. Nothing rejuvenates my soul quite like connecting with a BFF. If you do not feel this way with your friends, it’s time to evaluate your friendships.
9. Order in a meal.
“What’s for dinner?” is a question haunting me on the daily. Pick a night to make the answer to this question, “Whatever we want to order in.” Take the night off from preparing a meal, cooking the meal, and then cleaning up the meal. It would be easier to just eat out, but I know dinner at a restaurant is often more stressful with my young family due to the witching hour.
10. Engage in a frivolous indulgence
We all have different love languages and mine is heavily weighted toward acts of service and quality time. But I cannot deny a gift makes me happy, too. Go ahead and get yourself a present. Buy the lovely smelling candle you’ve been eyeing at the store, an adorable mug to complete your night of hygge, or the item sitting and waiting in your online cart for ages. It’s OK to indulge yourself (within your budget).