The clock says 4:30am and my head is pounding and I realize I have a 2-year-old’s lower half literally on my face. I smile, I move the foot off of my face and head into the bathroom to begin my day.
That was me just a few years ago. I was lying in the our king-sized bed wondering if I would ever get a full night’s rest again. Wondering when my laugh would really come back to me. Wondering if I could find my happy again – truly happy.
I had two little boys to care for and they needed a mom with mojo. I was battling Fibromyalgia at the time so that didn’t really make matters easier. Regardless, I vowed that morning to not have a bad morning again – – or at least not allow it to affect me. I decided to make it my mission to find out how to get my happy back. Along the way I discovered 7 simple habits of that seem to be a part of life for most happy people.
The list of simple habits for highly happy people isn’t something profound. In fact, it’s quite simple. “How had I overlooked this for so long,” I wondered. Read the list and let me know if you’re wondering the same thing too. Also comment below if this article helps you or if you have something you think should be on the list.
This list is for all of us struggling moms out there and is not meant to downplay or belittle or make light of real struggles with anxiety and depression. My heart truly breaks for women fighting battles with those ailments. Some of the most amazing women I have met in this life journey have daily struggles with anxiety and depression. I myself have dealt with my own anxiety and that is an article (or maybe a series) for another time.
This list is something simple I put together to help get my mom mojo back. To remind myself to live fully alive and live well. I hope you enjoy it too.
1. They take care of themselves
Happy people don’t put themselves last which is exactly what I was doing when I began my happiness journey. How had I gotten that way? When did that happen? I had gotten use to the idea of eating my meals cold, going without a mani/pedi because there was just no time, and skipping that soak in the tub I desired because my kids couldn’t be without me.
I now know that was really messed up. I know that even busy moms can have self-care. It just needs to be a matter of priority.
Self-care also includes things like getting enough exercise, and getting the right amount of sleep. Knowing when to show yourself some grace, and when to put yourself first.
2. They make an effort to be happy
Happy people seem to be okay with whatever life hands them. They see the good in whatever happens. How is that possible?
The truth is that no one wakes up happy every single day. It takes effort to be happy. One tool to cultivating daily happiness is gratitude.
An attitude of gratitude makes it tough to be unhappy.
I tried an experiment for 30-days to raise my gratitude level. It’s based on the book The Magic by Rhonda Byrne. For 30-days I started my day by writing a list of at least 10 things I was grateful for in that moment.
I noticed results within just a few days. I was less crabby and irritable. The little things didn’t seem to stress me out. And I was getting really good at finding the positive in the challenging moments.
If gratitude doesn’t come naturally to you then you can always start by telling yourself a positive affirmation every day. Here are 42 Powerful Affirmations for Mom to get you started.
3. They connect on a spiritual level
The people who are the most happy usually spend time connecting to their higher source. For many people this is God and involves reading the bible, prayer and meditation.
I tried out this daily ritual for several days in a row. I noticed on the days I actually read my Bible in the morning and gave God his time, … those were the days that were really good. Even just reading one page of a daily devotional book counted as my time with God. The mornings I skipped that connection time, I felt less whole.
Now I read my Bible every morning and give God His time.
4. They take time in nature
Nature has a powerful way of shifting our perspective. Putting the kids in the stroller and going for a 20-minute walk is simple and can clear your head. Research is showing there are mental and physical benefits to walking daily.
5. They take control
I once had an instructor in school tell the class “if you don’t like the situation then you have to change your attitude.” It’s a lesson that has stuck with me in life and one that I teach to my kids now. It’s also a lesson that has a direct correlation to happiness.
Happy people don’t sit around and wait for life to happen to them. They make life happen. If they don’t like a situation they either change it, or they change their attitude towards it.
6. They have meaningful relationships
According to Psychology Today, satisfying relationships not only make us happy, they also influence our long-term health. They can affect us just as much as getting enough sleep, and making healthy choices. Many research studies have shown that satisfying relationships are associated with better health, greater happiness, and even a longer life.
This means you need to take time to go out with your friends, to call up your bestie and just hang with the girls.
7. They give of themselves
Believe it or not, giving more of yourself can actually make you happier. You may be wondering how you can fit this into your busy life but the truth is that we make time for what we value. If you can’t find time to volunteer, maybe you haven’t found the right organization.
It doesn’t have to be a lot of time, you can volunteer even just 30-minutes a month. Take your kids to the area animal shelter or zoo to volunteer. Offer to help out at church or summer camps. Take food to a sick neighbor, or offer to help out in your kid’s classroom.