"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes
your smile can be the source of your joy." - Thich Nhat Hanh 

For so many of us, daily life is lived in various shades of stress. We have deadlines to meet, bills to pay, and responsibilities to handle. Some of us are great at keeping a healthy balance between our self-care and our obligations, but many people feel that taking a moment for ourselves is a luxury we can’t easily afford.

Because I can get very work-driven, taking time for myself can be a challenge. Over the years, my husband I realized that we could easily fall out of touch with each other in the crush of chores and immediate needs, so we developed a few small, even silly, life-boosts that help lift us out of the pressure of the daily grind, and reconnect to the fun and joy of life. Below are a few of our favorite ways to use life-boosts on a daily basis. You can do these with a partner or by yourself – they work great either way!

Post Its On The Mirror
Imagine waking up to a note saying: “Good Morning, Gorgeous!” posted on your bathroom mirror! Compliments always make us feel good – even if you’re the one complimenting yourself! Sticking a post it on your mirror the night before, for yourself or your mate to read in the morning, is a fun life-boost that will set your mood for the day. You can use an upbeat compliment, a daily positive intention, or your favorite affirmation.

Three Good Things
Before you turn off the light to go to sleep, run through your day in your mind and pick out three good things that happened. They don’t have to be huge, life changing or elaborate things – that’s not how a typical day goes, anyway! A good thing can be as simple as, “had a yummy dinner,” “got the weekly report done,” “caught up with my friend,” etc.  This is a great way to affirm what went right in your day, and ends even the most difficult day on a positive note.

Daily Downtime
Taking some uninterrupted, relaxation time is well known as a relationship and self-care priority, but how many of us actually do this on a daily basis? When was the last time you took a moment to do absolutely nothing except enjoy yourself? Building these kinds of breaks into your day is easier than you might think. Downtime can be a lunch hour with zero work distractions, reading in bed before sleep, meditation time, or practicing #2 above. One of my favorite ways to get some downtime is when I’m driving in the car. I listen to audio books, Ted Talks lectures, or music. I’ve made it a point that every time I get in my car, I take my mind off whatever is troubling or pre-occupying me by focusing on something that makes me happy for the duration of the drive. This definitely helps when I’m stuck in rush hour traffic! :-)

Until next month, stay inspired!