There’s no doubt that anyone who’s got kids, a job, and a home to run has a busy, and probably stressful life!
All those packed lunches, appointments, after-school clubs, homework, meetings and presentations to prepare for can really get on top of you if you let them.
But have you noticed that there are some mums and dads at the school gate who seem to be nailing the whole Zen thing?
Nothing seems to phase them and whatever’s going on in life they always seem to be cool, calm and most of all; happy.
It took me a long time to get there too, but in the past few years I’ve also learnt that you can teach yourself to be happy no matter what’s going on around you. I know a few people who are having a tough time right now and while I’m not denying that life can definitely get on top of you at times, here are four things that I make a point of doing every day to make myself happy so I can then pass that happiness onto others.
- Take time out for myself.
Honestly, with kids and a busy charity to run, this might only be 20 minutes a day. A quick walk along the beach, a yoga or exercise class, or a 20-minute guided mediation before bed. Some weeks it might be more, but as a minimum, every day I stop being mum, boss and wife, and make sure that I’m just me, and doing something I love.
- Live in the present.
It’s easy to get scared for the future and sad about the past and I try as much as possible to live fully in the present. I try to fix what’s broken today instead of worrying about all the things that could go wrong tomorrow, and knowing that there’s nothing I can do about the past means that it’s much easier to focus on today and how that feels.
- Nourish myself.
Nutrition and daily movement are so important to being happy and I can always feel when I let those things slide. Good food gives me the energy I need to deal with everything that life throws my way and exercise releases endorphins that keep me feeling happy. Plus, I feel good about myself when I’m taking care of myself. I also make a point of getting a good night’s sleep (as much as the kids will allow!) as I know that I function at my best and things don’t get to me as much when I’m well rested.
- Give to others.
When you give someone a gift, carry out an act of kindness, or donate to charity, a surge of endorphins is released which make you feel happier. The hormone, Oxytocin, is also released after an act of giving which reduces stress levels and creates connection with others. Regular giving, either financially, or through good deeds for others is guaranteed to increase your happiness regardless of what’s going on around you.
Why don’t you try it today? Get into the habit of doing something nice for someone with no expectation of being repaid, and see how happy you feel. If you want some suggestions try:
- Buying a coffee for the person behind you when you order your morning latte
- Donating to a local charity.
- Volunteering at the local op shop for an afternoon
- Baking a lasagna and taking it round to a neighbour who’s been stressed recently.
Your own personal happiness is so important to how you raise your kids and perform at work so it’s important that you put yourself first so you have enough to give to other people too. .