Sunday, October 7, 2012

20 INSTANT pick-me-ups!

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a huge fan of what I call "instant pick-me-ups" - little things you can do to brighten your day, especially if you're in a funk.

Sometimes when we are in an "off mood" or feeling anxious inside, we simply need to DO something to move away from that weird place.  Even if it doesn't fix the issue entirely, it allows us to shift our thoughts and actions (even momentarily) toward something positive. 

Here are some of my most trusted (and cost effective!) pick-me-ups, in case you are in need of some new ideas.  In no particular order:

1.  Light a candle (yes, even during the day)

2. Spray down your counters (I am obsessed with Mrs. Meyers Clean Day Basil Scent Spray - it smells so good that I literally look forward to cleaning)

3.  Jump up and down (thank you, Gretchen Rubin!)

4.  Put in your favorite happy movie while you clean your home (a few of mine: Something's Gotta Give, Under the Tuscan Sun, He's Just Not That Into You, Sex and the City)

5.  Take out the trash and recycling

6.  Take a shower/bath!

7.  Stretch!

8.  Read The Happiness Project

9.  Go for a 20 minute power walk

10.  Do downward dog pose (or other yoga poses)

11.  Close out of Facebook, email, etc.

12. Go to the gym

13.  Journal - just get everything out.  Don't judge yourself for what comes out on the page....just WRITE and feel empowered by doing so.

14.   Make cucumber water.  Or lemon water. 

15.  Change your sheets

16.  Start a load of towels

17.  Go get a manicure (note: my favorite place in Seattle only costs $15.00!)

18.  Call your funniest friend that always makes you laugh within 2 minutes of speaking with him/her (for me, this is my friend Monica - who finally just moved back to the States!)

19. Vacuum

20.  Pull out a sheet of paper and write a list of 20 things you are grateful for

The gift of a beautiful morning

This morning I woke up at 7:00 AM due to construction work across the street from my building.  I'm not gonna lie - I was really annoyed (note: it's Sunday morning).  This was not the first time the workers have begun construction in the morning earlier than city laws dictate. 

Not able to get back to sleep, I decided head outside for a walk with Lucy.  It was the best possible way to get rid of my (somewhat petty) negative energy and make my morning a positive one.  Words cannot describe how beautiful it was this morning.  Seattle has seen the most incredible weather this season, and it just keeps on going and going!  Yesterday, we passed 70 degrees - in OCTOBER.  Let me tell you, when it rains this Winter I am not going to complain.

The reason why this morning was so great was because of the way it made me feel - happy and peaceful inside.  When I went to sit down at the park bench, I closed my eyes and just listened.  There was no noise other than the cool morning breeze. 

There is something so powerful about being outside when there aren't cars driving by, people yelling, or music playing.  Whenever I have these moments, I am reminded how important they are.  We are constantly bombarded with noise every day - TV, radio, cars, internet, phones, neighbors, etc.   The quiet times often bring us the calm we need to keep things balanced in our lives.  For that, I am thankful.

When is the last time you found "quiet" in your life?

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Discovery Park haven

This morning was one of the first Saturdays in weeks that I didn't have to work.  I started my day by heading to my favorite place in Seattle: Discovery Park.  The weather in Seattle has been absolutely incredible these days, and so I decided to take advantage of it!  There was not a cloud in the sky, and the views were breathtaking.  Lucy and I got in a great walk too :).

This morning reminded me that the best things in life are free.  There's a reason why that saying is a bit cliche and over-used - because it's true!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Allowing yourself to be human

"Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person." -Dr. David M. Burns (Source)

I came across this quote on my friend Dana's Facebook page, and just LOVED it.  Great food for thought on this lovely debate night (with a glass of Pinot Noir, of course).

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Meeting Miss Happy

Tonight was one of the best nights I've had in a long time.  It was a very happy night.  This was because (1) I spent time with two friends who bring a LOT of happiness to my life, and (2) we spent our night by listening to (and meeting) a true happiness guru: Gretchen Rubin.

In case you don't remember reading my post about the Happiness Project in August, I blogged about a couple books that I loved.  One was Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project.  It is a fantastic, upbeat, energizing book about a woman who decides to devote a year to living her life intentionally on a quest for happiness, by focusing on one aspect/area of her life each month.  GREAT read.

Tonight, Marianne, Maria and I headed to 3rd Place Books in Lake Forest Park for Gretchen's introduction of her new book, Happier at Home.   Gretchen spoke for a few minutes, and then opened up the audience to questions.  Marianne (of course) had a great question in regard to keeping resolutions at the beginning of the week, but not so much toward the end of the week (or month).  Gretchen had a great suggesting of giving yourself a rating each day on your resolution area to keep you motivated and focused on building the habit. 

After the speaking session was over, we waited in a long line to get our books signed by Gretchen.  She could NOT have been nicer.  She was so authentic, down to earth, funny, friendly, and kind.  We were so excited to tell her about our own happiness project we were working on, and she was equally excited for us. 

Tonight reminded me how important it is to prioritize the adventures that you know will make you happy.  I now have a new book to read by a brilliant author, and am so thankful for the fun memory created tonight with my closest friends.

Thank you, Gretchen, for providing such a positive impact on our lives!  You are the best!