happiness

Kindness Matters!

The holiday season signifies a time of togetherness and community. 

That’s why it’s the perfect time to reflect on the power of kindness and how it impacts those around us. 

A small act of kindness can go a long way in making the people around us feel appreciated. We can spread more kindness in our daily lives by sharing a few kind words with our peers or gifting loved ones with a sentimental present.

It’s truly the thought that counts.  

Kind Acts Count

The kind acts we do for others, or others do for us, don’t go unremembered. 

We may not know what someone is going through, but showing someone we care about is meaningful. 

Kind acts have a way of connecting us and inspiring us all to show each other more empathy. 

Make Kindness A Routine

Kindness can become a habit if we let it!

We can add some kindness into our everyday routines by taking a moment to do something nice for another person. 

We can implement kindness by holding the door for the person behind us, texting our friends a sweet message, or offering to help a coworker in need. 

Show Self-Kindness

Along with being kind to others, we must also be kind to ourselves. 

During the holiday season, we might be busy prioritizing friends and family, but we also leave some self-love for us. 

We can make time for self-kindness by treating ourselves to our favorite meal or having time alone to recharge.

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Constantly Feeling Rushed?

Do you ever feel like there is just too much on your plate?

Do you ever feel like you’re constantly in a rush to get things done? If so, you’re not alone.

Faster doesn’t always mean better. Feeling rushed or pressured can take the fun out of your daily activities.

Feeling like you must finish something as soon as possible can cause stress and anxiety. The good news is that you don’t have to feel this way. You can change the way you look at and complete your tasks.

Understanding Why We Rush

Understanding the “why” behind our actions can help us better address them.

  • Why do you want to finish your essay in an hour?
  • Why do you want to clean your entire kitchen in one afternoon?

Figuring out the answers can help you look at the bigger picture.

Here are a few personal questions you can reflect on.

  • Do all of my tasks have to be done today?
  • Can any of these tasks be delegated or completed at a later time?
  • Is there anyone in my life who can help me?

Be honest with yourself. The answers may surprise you.

Meeting Your Needs

When our schedules are too full, we sometimes forget to meet our personal needs.

Implementing at least one self-care activity a day can have a significant impact on our mood, sleep and overall wellness.

Our brain can only do so much in one day. If you catch yourself getting tired or overwhelmed, that is your brain telling you; that it’s time to take a break.

Your work isn’t going anywhere. It will still be there tomorrow when you’re ready. And if you need help, don’t be afraid to ask for it.

Getting enough sleep, eating healthy meals and relaxing are all forms of self-care.

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Enjoying Vacation Comes Down to a Science

Skipping or putting a vacation on hold may feel ideal at the moment. But ultimately, that is far from the truth.

Not only are vacations fun – but they can benefit your mind, body and soul.

Recognizing the Value of a Vacation

Have you ever felt guilty about taking a vacation? 

Have you ever felt like there isn’t much of a point or that your time would better be spent working? 

Vacations are far from a waste of time. They can improve mental health, boost job performance, and increase creativity.

A great vacation doesn’t have to be long or expensive by any means. Taking a mini weekend staycation at a friend’s house or local hotel can deliver all the benefits and then some.

Mixing Things Up

Even if you thrive on routine, mixing things up for even a few days can help increase motivation, energy and creativity.

When we do the same thing day in and day out – the activities we typically love can start to feel less exciting.

Taking a week off of television can help you enjoy it that much more down the line. 

You know what they say – absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Professional athletes schedule recovery days to let their muscles rest.

We need to do the same thing with our minds!

Above, we listed television as an example. But the activity you’d like to take a break from may be different.

What do you feel you need a break from?

Choose the Vacation Best For You

Our dream vacation may be different from yours, as we all have our own interests.

Some may enjoy a vacation full of back-to-back activities, while others may enjoy a few days sitting by the pool reading a book. At the end of the day, all that matters is your happiness and ability to enjoy yourself.

Most of us declutter our homes pretty often – taking vacations can help declutter our minds from stress. What are you waiting for? There is no time like the present to start planning your next adventure! 

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Feeling Stuck in Life?

Have you ever felt like no matter how hard you worked, you continued to stay stuck in the same spot in life?

It can almost feel like you are stuck living on autopilot.

Routine and consistency don’t have to be perceived in a poor light.

It all comes down to the mindset we have behind our life and actions.  

Regain Your Power

Large goals simply are the outcome of many mini-goals.

Now, when you work towards mini-goals, you may not see significant results on a day-to-day basis. 

That does not mean your hard work isn’t paying off.

It simply means you have to measure your work on a different scale.

Instead of comparing your progress on a weekly basis – you may have to compare your progress on a monthly basis. 

Sometimes the smallest changes can guide us towards a newfound confidence. 

Love What You Do

You can get back in touch with yourself by doing what you love and by being yourself. 

If you’ve been putting something off for far too long – now is the time to jump back in. 

Getting back into the swing of doing things for ourselves can change our outlook on life. 

Keep in mind – it can be just as easy to procrastinate on activities we love as it is to procrastinate on activities we fear. 

The longer we procrastinate on anything in life, the harder it can be to take the plunge.

No matter what we say or do, time is going to pass.

We might as well spend our days doing things that make us happy. 

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World Kindness Day – November 13th

November 13th is World Kindness Day! 

This international holiday was created to highlight and encourage good deeds in your community and to remind us that simple acts of kindness have great power.  Let your friends, family, and even strangers know that you appreciate them.  Saying thank you for an act of kindness can improve someone’s day. This day was created to help you realize that you can make a difference, one act at a time.

Here are some ideas for acts of kindness that you can try from inspirekindness.com.

  • Smile when you walk by others
  • Write positive messages on post-it notes and leave them for people to find
  • Call a relative you haven’t spoken to in a while 
  • Pick up trash you see on the ground outside and throw it in a garbage can
  • Hold the door open for someone
  • Chat with a stranger and ask them about their day
  • Pay for a stranger’s coffee or meal
  • Compliment someone
  • Send a positive or encouraging text to five people in your contacts
  • Surprise someone with flowers
  • Tell a family member or friend you love them
  • Write a note on the receipt at a restaurant for your server 
  • Offer to help with someone’s errands
  • Give a surprise gift to someone you care about
  • Send a kind card or note to a friend
  • Surprise co-workers with home-baked cookies or treats
  • Plant a tree
  • Spend less time on your phone and more time with people you care about
  • Organize a workplace giving campaign
  • Offer a classmate help with homework
  • Talk to someone new
  • Practice gratitude
  • Volunteer
  • Give someone a hug

 A small act of kindness can go a long way. 

For more information and ideas, check out these websites:

https://nationaltoday.com/world-kindness-day/

https://inspirekindness.com/world-kindness-day

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When’s The Last Time You Had a Great Laugh?

Have you ever had one of those days where everything that could go wrong did?

You set your alarm for the wrong time…

Ran out of your favorite cereal…

And forgot to wash your only fancy shirt to wear to that important meeting…

Yup – those days are not fun, but we have them. 

When you want to lighten the mood, sometimes the best thing you can do is laugh it off. 

How, you may ask? Keep on reading. 

Change The Story You Tell Yourself

It isn’t always so easy to turn an embarrassing or tough situation around, but laughter has the power to boost our mood and change our perspective.

When something doesn’t go as planned, we have two choices.

We can either feel bad about it and let it impact our day.

Or, we can say to ourselves, “Yes – that happened, and everything is going to be okay. Let’s look for the humor in the situation.”

You Can Take On Anything

With laughter comes perspective. 

Sure, maybe you took a wrong turn and got lost, or accidentally spilled coffee all over your desk…

But we’re all human, and sometimes the unexpected happens. 

And you know what else? Those unexpected events usually turn out to be the best stories and memories. Being able to laugh at yourself and try again can give you a brand new sense of confidence. 

“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.” – Barry Humphries

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4 Techniques To Help Minimize Stress

We may not be able to completely avoid stressful events.  But we can minimize its intensity in healthy ways.

Keep on reading to learn more. 

Gratitude Lists

The next time you catch yourself feeling overwhelmed or anxious, hit pause, sit down and say five things out loud you are grateful for.

Don’t take too much time to think about this list. Just say the first 5 things that come to mind. 

Not sure where to begin?

Here are some examples that can help get you started.

1) A beautiful sunny day.

2) That first sip of coffee in the morning.

3) Your best friend.

4) Your favorite comfy socks.

Okay – now it’s your turn! 

Call a Friend

When you’re stressed about something, sometimes the best thing you can do is call a friend to vent or chit-chat. We are all so different and have our own way of looking at things.

Your friend may be able to help you look at what’s bothering you in a new way.

Listen To Your Body

Your stress may be a result of running on a low battery for too long. 

It’s so important to listen to what your body is trying to tell you. 

If you feel like you’ve been working too many hours or feel a sense of unbalance, you may need to change up your routine.

There is nothing wrong with going to bed an hour early or declining an event if you don’t feel up to it. 

Identify Your Stressors

We may not be able to control every stressful event that happens to us.

But if you take some time to identify your main stressors, you may be able to dial down the intensity.

For example, if you find your email inbox overwhelming you can unsubscribe from emails that no longer deliver value or only check emails during business hours.

Give it a try and see what happens!

“No one knows your body like you do. Listen to it. It will tell you what to eat, when to drink, how to sleep and which exercises you need to do. Let your own body be your most trusted personal trainer.” –  Toni Sorenson

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How to Conquer Perfectionism

Those who constantly strive to be perfect tend to focus more on what’s missing instead of what they have.

It can be tough to feel proud of your accomplishments when you are constantly looking to be perfect.  

Wanting to better yourself and grow is not a bad thing. It all comes down to how to approach it. 

Here are three helpful tips to keep in mind…

Start First, Edit Later

Do you ever find yourself procrastinating on projects because you feel like you just aren’t ready? 

The thought of actually getting started on something can often be scarier than the project itself. 

It’s time to push aside those intrusive thoughts of “I’m not good enough…” and launch right into action.

Keep in mind, no matter what it is you want to accomplish, you don’t have to complete everything in one sitting. Take your time and edit as needed. 

Setting The Bar Too High

It’s great to set the bar high and set healthy challenges for yourself. 

But at the same time, it’s important to listen to your instincts and be realistic. None of us can do everything, and we all have unique strengths and weaknesses. 

We all make mistakes – but we don’t have to let those mistakes define us.

Instead, we can let them shape us. 

Find Meaning In What You Do

If you are ready to embrace imperfectionism try looking at yourself through a different lens. 

The need to always be perfect can cloud you from finding the meaning and joy in what you do. 

Just because you didn’t paint the perfect picture doesn’t mean you didn’t enjoy the moment.

What are you waiting for? Today is the perfect day to start embracing all your wonderfully imperfect parts.

“Life is not always perfect. Like a road, it has many bends, ups and down, but that’s its beauty.” – Amit Ray

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Saying Yes to Yourself

Are you someone who has a hard time saying no? Do you feel like you constantly put others before yourself? 

Now, being generous, caring and kind are all fantastic qualities to have. 

However, saying yes to everyone around you can have you feeling emotionally and physically exhausted.

When you are constantly running around and doing things for everyone else, you can often forget to leave a little kindness for yourself. 

Only Take On What You Can Handle

The challenge with putting other people’s wants and needs ahead of your own is that you’re often the last on your list. 

If your friend asks you to edit their essay but you’re busy working away on your own – take time to reflect before responding. 

Will helping your friend prevent you from finishing your essay on time? 

If so, you may have to politely decline or offer to help once you’ve finished your own work. 

It’s okay to take a step back and be honest about what you realistically can and can’t handle. 

Practicing the art of saying “no” can get you more comfortable with saying it more often. 

Your Feelings Are Valid

Being told you are “wrong” is not a great feeling. 

Just because someone doesn’t see eye-eye with you doesn’t mean you are wrong. It just means you have a difference of opinion. Your feelings are valid and nothing to be ashamed or embarrassed about. 

Accept The Hard Times

It’s okay not to be okay! 

Sometimes when times are tough, we just have to roll with the punches and remind ourselves that this too shall pass. 

No matter what you say or do, conflict will arise at some point or another, and going out of our way to avoid it can be very exhausting. 

The more you practice, the more natural it will become to put yourself first. 

“If you try to please all, you please none” – Aesop

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Optimizing Your Creativity

Sometimes, we need to step outside our usual routine and shake things up a bit.

All it takes is a little creativity. 

Scribble Or Doodle 

Pull out a piece of paper and start drawing whatever comes to mind – really let your creativity flow.

Scribbling or doodling is a great way to channel any worries, stress, goals etc. 

Sometimes certain feelings can be hard to explain or comprehend using words. Drawing them out is an excellent alternative. 

Move Your Body

Sitting down for hours on end can be quite draining.

Even if you’re feeling tired, moving your body in any way, shape, or form can help give you a boost of energy and inspire some great ideas.

Sitting down at a desk determined to come up with a great idea can bring on a lot of unnecessary pressure. 

Going on a walk around the block or practicing some light stretching can help us brainstorm ideas in a relaxed and calm setting. 

Let Your Imagination Take Charge

When was the last time you let your imagination guide you?

When we’re overwhelmed or out of ideas, a little visualization can go a very long way.

Here’s all you have to do.

Take some time to think about the one place that relaxes you the most. 

Alright. Once you have landed on that place, sit down somewhere quiet and imagine yourself there. 

Imagine everything from the smell to the sounds to the temperature. The more details the better. 

Changing up our environment can be very inspiring. However, it isn’t always realistic.

Just because you can’t visit the beach in the blink of an eye doesn’t mean you can’t visualize yourself there. Our mind is a very powerful tool. 

Just Start Writing 

Have you ever put off journaling because you didn’t want to write the wrong thing? If so, you are not alone.

The one thing that makes journaling so great is that it’s for your eyes only.

There is no need to worry about typos, grammar or flow. Writing down your thoughts, fears, and goals can be very freeing.

The first few times may feel a little tough. 

Once you get the hang of it, it’ll become second nature. 

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