We’ve all heard the old saying, “When Mom’s happy, everyone’s happy.”

Maybe it’s overly simplistic–and of course dads also knock themselves out to provide for those they love. But I believe there’s truth in the notion that when we take care of ourselves, life is not only better for us, but for those around us. 

It’s not easy to set limits or say, “No”, especially for women. We’re socialized to nurture and care for others…even at the expense of our own well-being.

But today, I’d like you to pause and reflect honestly on this question:

What would make you smile…right now?

     • Would it be calling a friend for a 10 minute chat to catch up?

     • Would putting your feet up and flipping through a magazine be restorative?

     • How about leaning up against a tree for a few minutes to breathe in the woody smells and listen to the birds overhead?

Each of us have things that bring a smile to our hearts. But sometimes, we’re so wrapped up in the needs of our children that we forget that we also need the healing balm of laughter, grown-up connection, intellectual stimulation, or mindless enjoyment. 

So…what would make YOU smile right now? If you’d like to share—or get inspiration–visit my Facebook page to add your ideas.

Here’s my list, so far. (I love this exercise!)

     Smelling the gardenia that’s just bloomed outside our door. Finishing my book–Anxious People– while enjoying a bowl of popcorn. (I’m dragging out the last few chapters because it’s so good!) Picking chard from the garden for our dinner. Having a nap. Sending a text to an old friend to let her know I’m thinking of her. Watching the last two episodes of Downton Abbey with my hubby. (Re-watching…) Having a bowl of yogurt and blueberries. Texting with my son. Counting my blessings.

I urge you to take a minute to think about the things that nourish your body, mind, heart, or soul. And then…do one of them– immediately!

If you’re telling yourself you’re too busy to take a moment or two to nurture yourself, ask yourself if that is really, actually true. Often, we become so habituated to getting things checked off our lists that we lose sight of the bigger picture, and sweep things under the rug that actually bring us the joy that makes life feel worth living.

You need loving care, rest, and laughter as much as those whose needs you try to meet each day. So give yourself the gift of a real smile today. You deserve it.

Warmly,

Susan

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