The Secret to Happiness

Whenever I think of self care, I instantly recall the emergency instructions given by flight attendants before an airplane takes off.

Before you help others, you must first help yourself.

In my experience, helping others is next to impossible when there’s turbulence in your own life. If you can’t manage your own situation, how can you possibly help others with theirs?

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Photo by Jerry Zhang on Unsplash

Well, I challenge you to take care of yourself first this week. I know it can be hard. I’m a mom, wife, daughter and sister too. It’s the second week of school. Homework and forms and meetings. Oh my! And those work deadlines!

Oh, but I dare you to try.

  • Get 8 hours of sleep tonight.
  • Wake up 30 minutes earlier than you have to tomorrow.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Bag a lunch.
  • Drink water.
  • Exercise 30 minutes a day.
  • Eat a healthy dinner.
  • Organize a closet.
  • Get rid of something you don’t need.
  • Cuddle with your pet.
  • Enjoy a coffee.
  • Read a book.
  • Phone a friend.
  • Take a deep breath and…
  • SMILE.

Progress, not perfection.

Let’s face it. Self-care, gratitude, and the secret to happiness is within you.

You have so many reasons to be grateful today. Do you have a roof over your head, food on the table, good health, parents, a partner, friend, coworkers, or pets?

Focusing on the bad–what we don’t have–is easy. It’s way harder to remember all the things we take for granted every day, but we must remember to be thankful for all those little things.

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There are things some of us forget are a luxury, like Netflix, smart phones, and internet. Hey, I’m not pointing any fingers, I was guilty too.

I was forced to go without internet for a week this year, which meant no phone, television, social media, music streaming or internet surfing for me! My kids sure figured it out fast that WE’RE LUCKY! No, we’re not loaded, but unlimited internet isn’t an opportunity afforded to everyone. It’s not free, like many kids believe. We pay for that luxury (and handsomely, I might add).

My kids rediscovered the library pretty quickly. They got out of the house a lot! They cruised up town on their rollerblades or bicycles a few times a day to use the library’s WiFi to “send streaks” on Snapchat, to record yet another TikTok, or to watch the latest YouTube video that they couldn’t miss. Apparently, our lack of internet was ruining their lives. Suddenly, Tim Horton’s WiFi wasn’t so bad after all.

After the week “from hell” was up, my youngest daughter informed me that now she had 100 YouTube videos to catch up on, and she wasn’t exaggerating… much. My oldest survived, but was happy when she didn’t have to leave her bedroom as often. Teasing! Kind of.

My husband and I, though, had the opposite reaction. Suddenly, we wanted to simplify our life, wondering when we had become so frivolous with our money. He learned that he didn’t need data on his phone, and I realized that I wouldn’t die if I missed a few episodes from Netflix Originals. I wasn’t happy, LOL, but it wasn’t life threatening. In fact, I’ve since cancelled Netflix (not indefinitely), Amazon Prime (bye bye music), and my husband cancelled his data plan on his phone, which apparently is practically unheard of in this day and age. I tried to lower my data package on my phone and was informed that my share plan has less data offered than the smallest plan Bell Canada can offer me now. I can’t wait for that contract to end! No more throwing away money I could be saving for my kids education.

Are you wondering what other things you might be taking advantage of? I’ve made a short list for you.

  • Hot water flowing into your home and electricity to light it.
  • A full belly and food in the fridge.
  • Clean water to drink.
  • Pets who deliver unconditional love.
  • Mistakes we have learned from.
  • Having a home, period.
  • The ability to read.
  • Fresh air to breathe.
  • A bed to sleep in.

Oh! I have another good one. Indoor plumbing! We visited some friends up North this summer and they have a trailer, but it’s parked on bare land. Lots of trees, rocks, and nature–IT’S BEAUTIFUL IN BRUCE COUNTY!— but no flowing water, sewers or plumbing on the land. Be thankful that you have a flushable toilet, if you have one. Consider yourself lucky you don’t have to relieve yourself in a bucket (I didn’t do this for the record.), or go outside to a bush or or a stinky outhouse to pee!

What about a computer, a phone, an internet connection? Free access to daily inspiration. Books to read! Books bring you the opportunity to live another life, or visit another world, all from the comfort of your own home. Don’t forget that.

As you can see, there’s lots to be thankful for. Let’s focus on the good and let go of the bad. You never know what good opportunities to let happiness into your life you are missing out on while you are busy obsessing about how terrible your life is.

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Photo by Jenn Evelyn-Ann on Unsplash

It may be standard habit to worry about what’s not right in our lives, but let’s change that. Mindset is incredibly important and, believe you me, you have the superpower to change things in a big way. Gratitude is a mood that you can inject into your life today. Give it a try. What have you got to lose?

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.

Tell me, what are you thankful for? Let me know in the comments, and take care of yourself!

P.S. Self-care is the fuel that allows you to shine brightly. An empty tank will take you no where. Take the time to refuel!

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3 comments

  1. Loved that! Progress is much more important then perfection. Perfection is a illusion. I’m so happy to know that you are aware of that! Keep it up!

    Like

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