The year 2020 was so long. But short. Ya know? If we know one thing, it was HARD on most of us. I don’t need to detail in what ways we all might have struggled or even might still be struggling because of it. It did help me realize that I need more joy in my life, so I’ve been working on that. Even just in small and simple ways, I’ve been trying to make an effort to add things to my daily life that make me feel good, happy, content. Little moments add up to make a big difference. I have seen this. Here are a things that have made a difference for me.
This can look very different for each of us. We all live very different lives and are at different stages. What this means for me is waking up before my kids and enjoying some peaceful time to myself. One thing I did NOT anticipate before becoming a mom was how much I would miss that time to myself. They usually wake up before 7 and 7:30, so my alarm is set for 5:45. This gives me time to throw on some workout clothes, prep a hot drink. Crio Bru is my favorite, but I sometimes I have a Chai tea latte or some other tea. While my water is boiling for that, I drink a glass of water and start to read. I usually start with scripture, then I pick up whatever non-fiction that I’m reading at the time. Right now I’m reading Share Your Stuff. I’ll go first. It’s honestly changing my life! Sometimes I journal as well. And drink my Crio Bru or tea during this time as well. After I read, I squeeze in a quick work out (I use the Melissa Wood Health app. Love it so much). Usually my kids are waking up at this time, but if they’re not, I start breakfast and just start waking up the house, opening windows, etc. This is an ideal morning. Some nights I go to bed too late and I wake up late and it’s cut short. Somedays we need to be somewhere early so I’ll shorten or skip something and shower instead. But I notice a huge difference in my entire day when I make this morning routine happen. Customize it for your own needs and schedule! I promise it’s worth it.
Listen, it doesn’t have to be book club for you. But for me, my book club FILLS ME UP. I used to be a part of a book club and loved it, then it kind of fizzled. I was hoping to find another one, I couldn’t, so I started my own! I look forward to it so much and it energizes me every month! It’s the best group of women ever, and it just feels so good to get together and talk books, but also life and hardship and happiness and just to LAUGH. It’s soul-filling.
Find something (or create something) that does this for you. Maybe it’s a dance or yoga class, maybe it’s going just having a girls night once a month. Figure out what your soul is craving and go for it! What do you have to lose?
(If you’re interested in either my local OR virtual book club, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – you won’t regret it.)
The Perfect Calender
This actually something that my husband learned about and shared with me. He begged me for weeks to watch this webinar with him and I finally did (grudgingly lol), but it was so great. Essentially you break down all the things you want to do yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly, into lists. Then you schedule them out! Because we did this, we now have weekly date nights, one on one dates with the kids, we each have time for ourselves, we have vacations planned and even goals that we want to reach. Like things we aren’t financially ready to put on our perfect calendar yet, but that we are working towards. It’s been awesome, I highly recommend it. Because of this, I have time to myself each week that I can spend HOWEVER I WANT and I don’t have to feel guilty at all. As mothers, (actually as humans) we all deserve this. Read this post on making time for yourself in motherhood.
If you haven’t heard of this, it’s basically an initiative to match outside time with screen time for kids. I don’t know about you, but I am much happier, and I notice my kids are much happier, when we are outside. If there’s a meltdown, usually fresh air will cure it. So we’ve been making an effort to spend time outside every single day. We’re not perfect, but we are definitely getting outside more than we have in the past few months. Even in the cold, it’s so refreshing! Just bundle those babies and take a walk! It’s worth it. We spend a lot of time in our backyard, but we also go to parks, to a farm near us, or even just take a walk through the neighborhood.
Putting My Phone Down
Okay, this is actually something I need to be better at, so I’m adding it to the list for that reason. I took a little hiatus from Instagram for the first two weeks of January, and it felt so good. I rarely picked up my phone, and I definitely lived more in the moment. It was pretty glorious. I am back on the gram, and I honestly want to set some boundaries around my screen time. I don’t have any answers for this yet, but I am completely open to suggestions if you do, and it’s something that’s on my mind and that I know will be good for me.
So many things can bring us joy. Besides this list, for me it’s the little things, like seeing Quinley snuggle Callum, or hearing Jason make them laugh. The harder part it remembering to look for these moments, and especially the ones that aren’t so obvious. I hope this list inspired you to look for the simple joys in your days, or even to create them. I’d love to hear what you come up with!