When you think about rest, what comes to mind? When you think about relaxation? I was at the Mommy Wellness Workshop given by Mommy Pie of BILCI and was asked this same question. And my answer was grocery. It was a tongue in cheek answer. I said it without really thinking. Several mommies laughed, probably because this is what they do too.
I asked online and some says taking a bath, or even cleaning alone.
Yes. Ganon kalala. Remember that the question is rest and relaxation, and mommies are only able to find comfort in things that a normal person would not even consider rest. Grocery is a task. Taking a bath is a personal hygiene routine. Cleaning is work.
What do these things have in common? It’s silence. It’s being alone. And I said ganon kalala, because the answer should have been a clear alone time. I relax on my alone time. But clearly, most mommies are only able to insert alone time in between duties, tasks, and personal hygiene routines.
But I’m glad. I’m glad that despite everything, we are still able to find those precious moments when we are able to listen to ourselves and recharge. Finding these moments are conscious acceptance that we need these moments in order to feel happier.
Many of us wish for more happiness. We want to lead happier, more fulfilling, lives, but the sad truth is that so many of us that wish for more happiness spend much more time tending the happiness of others than we do tending to our own happiness.
So let us relax and hydrate. Even in these stolen moments.
Because happiness does not simply happen. A person does not suddenly stumble across happiness. Happiness is the result of careful tending and a person who wishes to be happy must tend to their own happiness.
Tending to your happiness does not need to be difficult, complex, or time-consuming. It can be as simple as this four-step formula:
1. Trash your unhappy thoughts and trends
2. Envision yourself happy
3. Needs fulfilled
4. Desires fulfilled
Making yourself a happier person really can be that simple.
Step one is an important one because unhappiness is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Many people are unhappy because they don’t believe they deserve to be happy and they lock themselves into patterns of behavior that make them unhappy. You must trash your unhappy thoughts and trends.
Look inside yourself and find out what (and when) you think about things that make you unhappy. Is there a specific time of day that you tend to be more unhappy? Is there a specific task or routine that seems to feed your unhappiness? Is there something that you do or think that contributes to your own unhappiness?
Once you identify the areas of your life that cause you unhappiness you can find ways to confront it and combat it. Sometimes you can make a change to avoid the trouble spot altogether, but when that’s not possible find ways to make it less difficult on yourself. Adjust your schedule or your expectations if that will make things better. Recruit help when you can. Just easing off one task or freeing up a few hours can make a huge difference in your attitude. When all else fails and you can’t change or share something unpleasant than don’t hesitate to give yourself a reward for accomplishing it. Knowing you will be rewarded can sometimes make difficult tasks more palatable.
Step two is key. Some people have been unhappy for so long they have forgotten what happiness looks like and feels like. Envisioning yourself happy can help create the happiness habit. Thinking about your own happiness will also help counterbalance times when you are unhappy or working through unpleasant tasks. Think about difficult times as simply stepping stones to happy times.
Step three cannot be overlooked. If your basic needs for food and sleep are not met then you will not be able to focus on happiness. Obviously it is not impossible for hungry, sleep-deprived people to be happy, but most humans are a lot less likely to be happy in that state. Food and sleep provide fuel for both body and mind and the healthier your body and mind then the better chance you have to achieve happiness.
Step four is the final step to achieving happiness. What do you desire? What do you wish for? What do you dream about? Allow yourself to dream big but don’t overlook small wishes and desires. While a two-week cruise might be great just having a weekend at a local resort might really give the rest, relaxation and escape you might need. Or perhaps you’d really like to lose 30 or 50 pounds but finding a way to work in some exercise a few times a week might give you more immediate gratification while eventually accomplishing your long-term goal.
Make a list of your desires, wishes, and dreams — big and small — and keep that list some place handy. What can you do this week to achieve a small goal? What can you do this month to take a step toward a big goal? Sometimes you don’t even need to accomplish your goals to achieve happiness. Sometimes it is simply enough to know that you are working toward your dreams. Often happiness is found on the path to our dreams. Often happiness is created while we strive to make our wishes come true.
You can make yourself a happier person but you must tend to your happiness. So often we spend more time tending to our outer possessions than we do tending to our inner ones. You can make a few changes to your life to find a better balance and that will help create more personal happiness for you.