For the last few months, I’ve been feeling like - I think Carrie Underwood described it best in her song “One Way Ticket” : like a fish on a hook, like a bug on a dirty windshield. Nothing was going my way, save for the occasional perfectly plated pasta dish, and perfectly winged eyeliner. Small victories! I decided that I could sit here and stew in my own misery, or I could get up and do something, even if it was something small.
I’m too nervous to divulge information about my bouts with anxiety and panic attacks, which eventually trigger episodes of extreme sadness, for fear of being told to “get over it.” So, I did the next best thing: I sought answers on the internet (silly, I know). That’s when I came across an article titled, “6 Ways to Create Your Own Happiness.”
I was so pumped after I read it, but then when I started to apply a lot of these methods into my own lifestyle, I thought, “ how realistic are these methods for moms?” I decided to tweak them to work for moms! Here’s what happened:
1. Write your achievements.
“Train your mind to find the positive by listing your achievements.” Who has time to make lists? If we had that time to spare, we’d much rather fit in a nap, shower, or a good movie. How about this as an alternative: focus on the things you do get done and give yourself a high-five for each one. Wake up and make breakfast? High-five! Get the kids to school on time? High-five! Get a smidge of cleaning done? High-five! This will train your mind to acknowledge the great things you do get done, as opposed to the things that you didn’t have time to tackle. Since you’re in charge of your own happiness, instead of seeking gratitude from someone else, praising yourself ( with the help of that precious baby’s grin) will get you in the right frame of mind.
2. Decide to make yourself a priority.
“You shouldn’t only think of yourself on a random girls’ night or on your birthday.” Focus on doing things for yourself to improve your well-being. Mom guilt is real, y’all. If we so much as brush our teeth before checking on the baby when naptime is almost up, we feel like CPS is going to come a knockin’ on our door. Take a walk; studies show that walking 30 minutes a day can improve your mood and boost your energy. If you’re anything like me and you have a lot of work to do in the house, open up the windows and let the sunlight brighten up your home. Play some music and relax. Think of the things that relax you the most and find a way to incorporate them into your daily routines. Your mind and body will thank you!
3. Fill your day with tiny things you love.
“Sometimes, happiness is in the details.” Ok, I can really get on board with this one! Yesterday, I had a breakfast date with two of my best friends. Both have small children, 6 months and 10 months, and they were in dire need of a girls’ day out! Words can’t describe the difference in their demeanor after our breakfast date. They were so wrapped up in work and being moms and wives, that they forgot to do those little things that they loved – even the babies bonded and are now BFF’s! Call a friend over; not only will you get a break, but you’ll have an extra set of hands, and an extra person to laugh with.
4. Create visuals of your awesomeness.
Alright, ladies, it’s time to put your Instagramming skills to use! Snap that photo! Record that video! When you’re having a bad day, go back and scroll through them. Those little smiles, and those chuckles are the gold star next to your name. Your awesomeness and bad ass-ism is the reason behind those photos and videos. As an added bonus, take photos of your kitchen ( or maybe it’s just my kitchen that needs this) when it’s clean. Look back on those photos for motivation when you’re feeling down! You are awesome and you can do this! Say it with me!
5. Do something new.
It’s easy to get stuck in routines. Try something different. Try a new breakfast. Is your hair always in a fun-bun ( mine is )? Try putting it half-up, half-down. Or wear it down completely. You choose! Changing up your hairstyle works for your confidence. Change your wardrobe a bit. Are you usually in an oversized t-shirt and pajama pants? That’s cool. Try some yoga pants and a scoop neck tee. Try some leggings and an oversized tee. What about food? Pinterest, girlfriend, Pinterest! My kids think I learn all my recipes for meals and small snacks by watching Gordon Ramsay on repeat. Nope. Pinterest. Changing little things here and there will bring out that smile everyone knows and loves.
6. Craft your day to create a win.
This doesn’t necessarily mean bust out the scissors, construction paper, and glue ( unless that’s really your cup of tea, then by all means…). What is your biggest goal for the end of the day? I’m a writer, so my goal is to have at least half of my current writing assignment complete. Does it always happen- hahahahahahaha. No. But- I still have that as a daily goal and I strive to complete it. Like today, this blog post was my goal, and here I am…bad assing my way to the end! Yassss! Start with small goals to create your win! At the end of the day, you’re going to feel like you actually got something accomplished.
Most importantly..don’t ever forget that Rome wasn’t built in a day. These things take time, and so should you. Take time for yourself. You matter so much! Now, close this blog post and go work your inner bad ass! <3