Ten Little Things that Make My Days Brighter

While cleaning up after dinner tonight, I realized that I felt great–lots of energy, happiness, and calm. As I look back at my day, I realize that it’s the small efforts that culminate in a feeling of wholeness and satisfaction as the day comes to a close. Here’s a list of those things and many more. If I manage to make about half of these efforts, I sleep easier, I’m happier, and I just feel better.

1. Waking up early. I try to get out of bed at least an hour before Audrey. This is writing time–fiction, magazine articles, projects, blogging. I feel ahead of the game before the day has even really started. Starting off on the right foot makes a BIG difference for the rest of the day.

2. Making green juice. Green juice sets the tone for my diet (more plants) and my mindset (clear head!). If I’m drinking it, I’m more likely to make healthier choices throughout the day. Juicing may seem intimidating, but it’s not.

3. Going outside. I’m a hermit. I could stay inside for days and not notice. Frankly, I don’t realize how much I love/need the outdoors until I’m actually out there. Fresh air and human contact make me a much sharper, upbeat gal. Added bonus: sharing the walk with my little family.

4. Doing yoga. I don’t do enough yoga and my body is crying out for it. Note to self: It only takes 5-10 minutes/day to reap the benefits of a yoga practice!

5. Reading a novel. A good book completely alters my daily life. I’m on a continual quest for novels that pull me into their worlds completely. When I do, my days are brighter and my chores get finished quicker because I can’t wait to return to its pages.

6. Giving thanks. Lately, I’ve been giving thanks with Lori Portka’s Month of Gratitude Kit. Writing my daily postcard of love and thanks anchors my whole day. Make gratitude part of your daily life and watch it transform and fill with light.

7. Stopping work before 7PM. Luckily, I love my job and I work from home, so it rarely feels like a chore. On the other hand, since I enjoy working and I find it fulfilling, I have more trouble detaching from it…especially at night! Now that I’m a mama (and thirty years old), I value sleep and family time more and more. When I power down my computer by 7PM, I sleep much better and I spend more quality time with some of the people I love most.

8. Making dinner for my family (and making their lunches with the leftovers!). I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again, cooking is healing and enriching. Putting together a meal is my daily meditation, sharing it with my family fills me with joy and packing their lunches with the leftovers gives me an extra shot of happiness and accomplishment.

9. Reading to my daughter. I’m not sure who is getting more out of Audrey’s new obsession with books–her or me? There’s something so precious about her sitting in my lap, listening intently while I read the Little Critter books for the third, fourth, and fifth time in a row.

10. Writing. When I write, I feel balanced. When I don’t write..I’m off.

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