We all want to live our best lives and go through our days feeling joy rather than pain, right? As true as that may be, life can throw curve balls your way, or you could have a shitty night’s sleep, which will turn the next day on its head. It’s hard to radiate all that is good when you are utterly exhausted.
Life happens. It’s true. But even as life is happening, there are ways for us to take it by the balls and show it who’s boss: you are. Here are some ways that I do to live my best life now.
1) Amplify your joy: When people ask you how you are, you may be tempted to give them a real answer, even it’s crappy. I challenge you not to, though. “In any given day you have moments of awesomeness as well as moments of negativity. So, when someone asks how you are or how your day is going, challenge yourself to amplify the awesomeness rather than any irritation. Positivity is contagious and in your answer, you may remind whomever you are talking to about something similarly joyful that happened to them. By making a conscious decision to be happy and that will make it easier to make the people around you happier too.
2) Get out of your head: It’s no secret that many of us suffer from anxiety. I know I do, but one trick I have found to help me minimize those feelings is to try and get out of my own head. If I am doing something nice for someone else or thinking about how I could be of service in general, I cannot get lost worrying about if I said something wrong or am not where I should be. I use the following tricks to get out of my head; you should try them, too:
1) Try to notice something positive about one stranger and one friend today. Pay them a heartfelt and specific compliment. This could be in person or online. Witnesses are a bonus. “I’ve always loved how you talk about your children”, “The way you’ve been styling your hair really brings out your eyes”. It’s free and it can be contagious in a good way.
2) Do something extra without expecting it to be noticed. When you see that something needs to get done think about something nice someone has done for you and just pay it forward. No need for anyone to notice or acknowledge you doing it; just do it to add joy or reduce stress for someone else, not for the pat on the back.
3) Take a minute to breathe and count your blessings. Do your parts work? Do you have someone to love? Can you still rock your favorite socks? Think of all the people in your life that struggle in different ways than you and send good vibes, prayers, thoughts whatever you can send. The process of sending is good for you and for them. When you are thinking of others you cannot get lost in your own thoughts.
3) Your oxygen first
This may sound contradictory to that last one, but each tool has its turn. You also need to take some time to do something for yourself. You work hard to care for your people, but there is that “put your oxygen mask on first” idea that if you are not at full power you cannot help others. Think of the last time you felt amazing. Did someone compliment you? Did you accomplish something? Did you try something new? Spend time with people you care about? How did you feeling spectacular affect the other people you interacted with? If you have a crap day or even a fine day you come home with different energy than if you had an amazing day. Think about some things that might equal an amazing day for you. Some ideas for me are 1) hiking in the woods 2) nail salon day 3) hammock & a book 4) makeover for a fancy night out 5) doing something memorable with my friends. (Did you know you can do group shoots with your best friend, mom, daughter?)
Disregarding shameless plug, I want you all to take care of yourselves, and I would love to hear about what you do to live your best life.