Why Self-Care Matters
First and foremost... self-care is the oxygen mask of life.
If you've been on an airplane with a small child, you know the drill. The flight attendant reminds you to put on your oxygen mask before helping small children. At first, it seems cruel. Why would you not help your child first? But then you think about it: if you aren't oxygenated enough to help you child, then nobody gets help.
The same concept here: you have to fill up your cup before helping your family. It's not selfish. It's self-care, it's life-giving, and oh-so-vital for a truly happy life.
Self-care entails everything from taking care of your body (scheduling your annual well checkups), taking care of your mind (taking an hour at the end of the day for "me time"), and taking care of your spiritual needs as well. Self-care is about taking the time to re-charge your body, mind, and soul.
Remember: You cannot pour from an empty cup.
Need a few ideas? Read this post.
Learn more about self-care here.
Meditation and Mindset: How Does It Make You Happier?
You probably have heard that meditation helps make you feel calm and reduce stress, but it can also help you become happier too.
When you quiet the outside world, you're able to zero in on your thoughts and feelings. You're able to relax, deep breath, and just be. Deep breathing alone can help lower cortisol levels in your body.
Sometimes the stress of life zaps our ability to just.... be. If you go and go and go and never stop to reflect, you're going to feel burnt out. But meditation can help find that peace, and it allows you practice mindfulness too!
Meditation also provides you with the quite reflection to address things that have been bothering you, and when you create game-plans to tackle those problems, you'll end up happier too.
Tip: Use this meditation if you're short on time.
Why Giving to Others Makes You Happy
One of my all-time favorite memories was Christmas as a child. Family came in from out of town, there was good food, everyone was happy. Christmas was downright magical as a kid, and the presents didn't hurt either! Getting presents always seems like kids happy. (FYI, receiving gifts IS one of the five love languages!)
But then something happens. You grow up and have your own babies, and you realize that GIVING those Christmas presents is a far more exciting experience.
It feels good to give. You feel happier when you make others happier.
But why? As it turns out, there is a little bit of science behind this too! A study from the Harvard Business School found that when individuals give, they activate the pleasure centers in your brain.
It literally feels good to make other people happy.
Why Nature Matters
The bigger question is why wouldn't nature matter when it comes to your happiness? YOU are part of nature! The earth is given to SUSTAIN you... don't you think it might sustain you mental health too? Because the truth is... it does!
You probably already know that the sun gives you vitamin D, but did you know that there is actual scientific research showing that vitamin D is linked to your mood?
Not only does the sun provide you with mood-boosting vitamin D, but nature also allows you to disconnect from the stresses of life.
To feel the breeze.
To actually think without pop-ups, ads, and social media.
Spending time in nature truly boosts your mood, your happiness levels, but it also reduces your stress levels.
Happiness: What Is It? What Isn't It?
Happiness doesn't mean that everything always goes your way.
Happiness doesn't mean that you're over-the-moon estatic 24/7.
Far from it.
Happiness means that you choose positivity. You choose to endure. You choose to look on the bright side. You choose to keep on keepin' on - even in the face of adversity.
Happiness is about the choices you make.
Happiness is about choosing joy in your heart.
The 7-Day Happiness Challenge
Because happiness is about the choices you make, there are things you can do to create a happier life, and the 7-day challenge can help you get there.
Each day, I'll post a new challenge both here and on social media so feel free to follow along!
I won't be leaving you alone either; I'll be doing the challenge with you, showing you science-backed reasons how these small acts contribute to happiness.
Want to stay in touch? Grab out newsletter here.
Let us know if you'll be joining us! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Ah, Valentine's Day! The one day that couples look forward to so they can exchange lovey-dovey cards with one another as well as boxes of chocolates. And, this is the one day that singles do not like at all for obvious reasons. However, who says you have to be in a relationship to enjoy this special holiday? Because Valentine's Day can be quite fun for kids too! And this can also be quite fun for the family! That is right! You can celebrate Valentine's Day with your family because you and your kids will have so much fun.
Here are 5 fun Valentine's Day ideas that you will absolutely love:
1. Create Love Lists - This activity is an amazing one because kids can learn about the importance of gratitude. What you can do is have your kids write lists of the people who they love, as well as anything in general. For instance, if your child says he or she loves his or her cozy bed, then that should be added to the love list. Again, this way, kids can also learn about counting their blessings when they add the things that they love to the list. Because what can be done is after Valentine's Day is over, have them put the list away and then when it is Thanksgiving, tell them to take it out and then they can look it over and realize that they have so much to be grateful for!
2. Make Heart Cookies And Desserts - Of course, baking for Valentine's Day is going to make it on this list because that is one activity that families love to do. All you need to do is go to a dollar store to get heart-shaped cookie cutters and go to the grocery store to pick up some pink frosting, and red, white, and pink sprinkles, and other relevant candies! Then start having fun in the kitchen. You will love these Valentine's Day cookie and dessert recipes as well! Have fun with this.
3. Enjoy Movie Night With Popcorn That Is Pink - Pink is associated with Valentine's Day, so why not get some pink popcorn and enjoy watching a Disney movie with the kids while munching! You can add a few pieces of fair trade chocolate as well but keep that to a minimum. Otherwise, the kids will not go to bed that night due to being sugared up!
4. Get Creative And Play Some Valentine's Games - Kids love games, and it is always fun to play enjoyable ones with the whole family. Here are some game ideas that you can use for your family such as Valentine's Day bingo, the heart bean bag toss, and Valentine's Minute To Win from Makoodle.
5. Valentine's Day Themed Arts And Crafts - Right next to baking fun desserts, kids love arts and crafts and you can have fun with it as well! That means you and your kids can create Valentine's Day cards by using pink construction paper, glitter, and confetti, get plenty of red and pink markers, and heart-shaped beads. Some craft ideas you can find online as well such as having the opportunity to make your own heart crayons which are offered by MollyMoo Crafts. If your kids are going to preschool, then they will love the Toilet Roll Heart Stamps that are offered by Craftulate.
With these fun 5 Valentine's Day family ideas, there is no shortage on amazing activities that will be enjoyable for the whole family.
So, what plans do you have for Valentine's Day with your family?
Life is puzzle, and it's the little moments that make the big picture.
As a parent, it's so easy to get excited over the big things:
But it's important to value the every day moment, the sometimes routine moments that we enact every day.
Why are the little moments so important?
It's the little moments that save us. The sound of a loved one's voice after a no-good, rotten day. The hug of a spouse after tough week. To a child, those little moments are a lifeline. How often did you just "need mommy" when you were little? (Or a grown adult?) How often do we just need that connection with another person to save us? To make a bad day turn good? To ease the stress of a bad day at work or school?
It's the little moments that save us - children and adults alike.
Don't waste your moments
How will you savor the little moments today?
Need help refocusing on those little moments? A virtual parenting retreat may be right for you!
Wife & Mama with a passion for peaceful parenting, natural living, homeschooling... and my daily café au lait.