Happy Wednesday everyone!
I’m not usually as excited for this midway point in the week, but today I’m heading out to the adorable little town of Geneva (not to be confused with Lake Geneva) with three of my girlfriends! Be sure to follow along on Instagram for our mini day-cation (see what I did there?)
Speaking of being excited, it seems that the older I get, the easier it is to let stress and a busy schedule take over, stealing away the feeling of gratefulness. It’s really been bothering me lately–how I will achieve a goal or a milestone that would have made me fall over with happiness a year ago, and now it’s more, “okay, what’s next?”
Do you find the same thing happening with you? Or that you only focus on what’s stressing you out, instead of how many wonderful things you have in your life?
Let’s be honest, although there are quite a few hard things we all have to endure in life, it’s also pretty great, too. Isn’t it?
One of my goals in the coming months is to appreciate my life more. Will you join me, too?
Here are a couple ways I plan to slow down, take it all in, and be more grateful.
Build time to reflect into your day
I loved this tip from Jess Lively, where she set her phone alarm to go off twice per day, where she would take just a few minutes to think about five things she was grateful for in that moment. While honestly, I don’t think I’d be able to stick to that extreme ‘gratitude schedule,’ I definitely would like to start reflecting on five things I’m thankful for that day when I go to bed at night and wake up in the morning.
The more specific, the better. Not just broad things like, “I’m thankful for my mom.” But, “I’m thankful that I had the $10 to spend on Uber this morning because I was too late to take the train.“ Or “I’m thankful my mom was there to listen this afternoon and help me put things into perspective on the issue I was having.” That’s something that takes all of five minutes, and it makes a really big difference.
START A FRIDAY EVENING TRADITION
Neal and I both encounter quite a few stressful situations in our careers on a daily basis. I have tight deadlines, he has a sales quota–it’s easy to get wrapped up in. So a couple weeks ago we started a tradition where we talk about 5 wins we’ve had that week. No matter how frustrated you are on Friday afternoon, a cocktail and reflecting on five good things that happened over the past five days always helps celebrate the positive and forget about the negative.
LIVE IN THE MOMENT
This one might seem kind of silly, but lately I’ve tried to stop caring so much about what I have to accomplish tomorrow, today. When I’m hanging out with my friends, on a date with Neal, or talking to my mom on the phone, I don’t want to be so absorbed in what I have to get done that I’m not even present. I need to remind myself to slow down, listen, and enjoy what is happening right now.
TAKE A TIME OUT to put things into perspective
You guys have probably heard me tell this story before, but in my first advertising job I worked on the Blue Bunny Ice Cream account. It was one of the most fun jobs I’ve ever had, but there were always 800 things to do that had to be done like, yesterday. My team was full of girls, and we reported to the COO of the company, who also happened to head up the account. Inevitably, one of us would often be close to tears because of a mistake, or simply because our to-do list was too long. And he would always tell us, “We sell ice cream. Nobody is dying! What mistake could you possibly make that would be that detrimental?” I will always remember that.
The moral of the story? Take a time out when you’re stressed. Go for a walk to put things into perspective. Think about everything you are doing right, instead of the one thing you’re doing wrong.
Hello! What is the point of life if you aren’t having fun? You only have one life to live, make your years count. I think the best way to be grateful for what you have is to appreciate the amazing people that you have around you, take advantage of what wonderful things there are to do in your city, appreciate the beautiful weather, and so on. Know that sometimes it’s okay to leave the half completed to-do list on your desk, and get out and enjoy your life. (Just remember, to live in the moment while you’re doing it!)
Will you join me in becoming a grateful person? What are your tips? Please share!
Main photo by Cassandra Eldridge (with her adorable pup, Jasper!)