[ I think we've all felt like Betty Boop, ready to pull out our hair in these hair raising times! ]
Let's face it, we're aware that our planet has gone bonkers! Things are going to get more out of control as our days continue. We're all feeling the brunt of living in these toxic times, and that's what we're here to offer a few actionable tips to incorporate into daily living for coping with modern life.👏🏽👏🏽
[ Combine two, take a breath and a nature break, step outside for just a few minutes and be... ]
We've heard it over and over, Breathe. But there's a reason for it, it works to bring about a real sense of calm and releasing the tension in our body. Focusing on our breath allows us to unfocus... to just be; it really doesn't have to be anything fancy, simply breathe normally and focus in the in and out for a few minutes, gradually lengthening the time. You'll be surprised how much this helps!
[ Who can look at this pugs mug and not smile, laugh even?! 🤣 ]
Kindness, we may think that this a given, but with the changes in humanity; it's not. Kindness is a gift we can give freely to anyone. It takes nothing to smile at someone.
When you smile the muscles in your face relax and it causes a release of dopamine and endorphins ~ good mood chemicals in the brain, 🧠 and reducing cortisol the stress chemical our body makes.
[ Let go. Get your Goof on!! ]
I know these masks 😷 ( mask ) most of our faces, but if you look at someone smiling in a mask, you can tell by the eyes and tops of the cheeks. Even if that smile isn't returned, it could still make a difference in someones day. Smiling can lift a bad mood, try it!
~"Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy." ~Thich Nhat Hanh
Pay someone a compliment. I find this is a gift that boomerangs because the good feeling I get form uplifting someone in that way brings me joy too!
[ I've spoken before on how much I love stove top simmering potpourri, it scents our home and calms our spirit. Here we have lemons,🍋 rosemary and vanilla essential oil added. ~ Perfection in a pot! I also love citrus scented candles- more on those in another post! ]
[ The scent of Crayola Crayons takes me back to simpler times, and the bright colors of this crayon caddy always brings on smile. Looks like Claudia and Roxy are 'all over' these sticks of fun!! ]
Fill your senses with whatever brings about your bliss. Get some flowers🌼🌺 and take time, even a few moments to take in the aroma, really focus on its beauty, scent, colors and shapes. It's sort of a meditation for all the senses. Put on some of your favorite essential oils and take in the aromas, let it take you away for a bit. I find that any🍊 citrus and herbal oils calm and brighten up my mood, and days.
Take stock; stop for a bit and realize what your grateful for. 😌 I know we've heard this many times, but when we're focused on our blessings it helps us to refocus and recenter on the rest of our lives. Focusing on gratitude can bring on a sense of peace, and if your'e having a hard time with gratitude, start again with your breath, be thankful for that! As one with Asthma, believe me, every breath is a blessing! When you're breath focused, it will allow you the space to find gratitude somewhere in your life.🍃✨
[ Violet loves Mozart and 60's Motown! ]
Listening to music is always a boon for good moods. Create a playlist of uplifting songs, or podcasts or Ted Talks that inspire or motivate!!
[ I live for time with tea! It's a perfect time to establish a meditative ritual with the preparing of tea, and sitting with it; absorbing the moments...]
Take a simple break. It can be a tea/coffee break, ☕️ which I find aids with being still and unfocusing, to refresh. I also find the mere act of preparing tea, or coffee, a mindful calming activity where I can look at, and feel my favorite tea pots, cups and mugs. I can engage my sense of smell and taste. It's a great party for one time! Whatever your jam is reading, listening to podcasts, playing with pets...do it more often to rejuvenate your soul!
[ The crew get a double bang for their buck with water play outdoors. Looks like it brought out some much needed silly! ]
Listen out for sounds in nature. 🎍Nature is God's built in 'getaway' no matter where we are. Even gazing at clouds can be calming and stress reducing. For me, as I've mentioned in a previous blog post, birds singing it one of my ultimate comforts. it's one of the ways I feel God's connection to me. Nature videos are conveinent when it's not possible to personally experience it. You Tube is full of nature and travel videos to take you away, even if for a short time.
My favorite, laughing the ultimate medicine! Laughing benefits range form increasing our endorphins in the brain ( feel good chemical) to helping our immune systems by releasing stress which weakens the immune system. Other benefits:
*Relaxes tight muscles by releasing tension and stress, helping to lower blood pressure
*Laughing allows us to take in more oxygen that stimulates lungs, heart and other muscles.
*Increases the amount of oxygen in the blood. Something we all need in the era of mask wearing!
*Improves moods and can diffuse anger
*Laughing creates levity and can help to strengthen relationships but helping us to feel more connected, and through sharing a bonding experience. ~ Get Silly with it! ~
My husband and I are 'gifted' to be naturally silly, playful people, but it's not a trait that everyone has. So if you feel you're lacking in the silly department, call or spend time with a funny friend or family member, or watch something that brings out your silly. Weekend At Bernie's is one of our favorite goofy movies that always brings out good moods!
Stretch, and often. We have a lot of tension stored in our muscles and moving in any way allows us to rid our body of it. Stretching and stretching type of exercise including Tai Chi all us to shift our energy and move out those bad moods!
[ Violet is a Nintendo gal and a gamer nerd, it's her me time jam and she takes it. ]
[ Want to ride a shark? Why not!! ~ Well this is the only way we'd do it! 😆 ]
[ These ladies love a dance challenge! Get into a groove and move ~ and laugh, have fun! ]
Play!! Make it at least a small priority. Making even a little time for play by doing a puzzle, [ jigsaws have been selling faster than hotcakes! ], playing a game, get lost in a book, favorite comedy, chasing your kids or pets, [ or spouse/ significant other! ] anything that constitutes play for you is good goof off time for your spirit and mind.
[ Get 'moving' with plant care, it provides a positive focus, can raise those endorphins, and garners our nurturing nature. You needn't be a gardener, grab a few easy care house plants to keep you company and foster your new green thumb! Plants give back with many of them purging our air of impurities as well as looking fabulous! They're good company too! ]
Get those endorphins flowing with movement. Take a walk, play tag, yeah, grown ups can play too; 😉 dance around the house, it doesn't have to be an intense workout. We all feel better with some form of movement if your health allows it.
These tips are simple and aren't anything that you've not heard before, but it's good to have them listed as reminders to step out of the stress zone and grab a little space for calm, for enjoyment [ remember that? ] for a soul rest, so that we can continue to move through our lives effectively, by the strength of our Lord!
~Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you has the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. ~John 14:27