April Happiness Challenge

The challenge this month is about finding PEACE.

As a mom of two preschoolers and an infant, my days are often so hectic and stressful that I can feel myself getting overwhelmed.  Anxiety, stress, worry, exhaustion… and on top of it, it’s Spring and everyone seems to be sick.

It can be hard to do more than just get through the day.

So to keep it simple, I’ve made a list of ways you can bring more peace into your life, even if it’s just a little bit a day.

1. Go outside.  Get a breath of fresh air!  If you’re like me and the pollen is screwing with your allergies, you might want to keep it brief.

2.  Play.  Tickle fight with the kids.  Dance party.  Car wash with your hubby.  Just take a few minutes to have fun, even if it’s doing every day things.

3.  Pause electronics.  Spend less time on your phone, and turn off the TV sometimes.  Same goes for the kids.  Spend some time in the real world, without the stimulating and distracting screens we all seem to have in front of our faces all the time, almost like the people in Wall-E.

4.  Sing.  I know it sounds crazy, but it can lift your mood and relax you.

5.  Find time for yourself… even if it’s just a 5 minute break where you paint your toenails.  Take the time when you can.  It really helps.

6.  Take a break from cleaning.  This one can be hard for us moms to hear… but I’m not saying live in a totally messy house.  Just stop worrying about perfection.  Leave the freaking dishes for now.  Vacuum later.

7.  Appreciate the little things.  I know everyone says that but it’s important.  Appreciate how the sun shines after a storm, how your little ones just hug you.  Just notice the details of life.

8.  Let go of ideals of perfection.  Right now.

9.  Forgive yourself, and forgive anyone you’re upset with.

10. Let go of fear and worry.  The Bible says do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Worrying will not add a day onto your life.

11. Remove yourself from drama and negativity.

There are so many other ways to find peace; these are just a few!  Check out my Pinterest board for all of my lifestyle and happiness stuff here. I would love to hear any ideas you may have!  Just leave a comment below, and I might even add yours to this list.  Please subscribe to my emails to get updates whenever I post – which isn’t TOO often since I have three preschoolers, but often enough that you won’t miss me.  🙂

March Happiness Challenge

DECLUTTER!

I bet you don’t realize how much of your stress comes from STUFF.

Cleaning… especially for moms.

Money… need I say more?

Remember.  You’re working for that money, to buy those things.  And everything is overpriced and overrated these days.

It’s gotten to the point where people are so worried about materialistic things… the “American Dream” of having the best stuff.  Take a step back and reevaluate what you actually need.  And think hard about what you actually want!  Then look at what you have.

It might be overwhelming, so I made a list to help.  This month’s challenge is to take a look at everything you have in each of these categories… and start decluttering.  Some things will be pretty simple, like throwing away old food, but for some situations it might help to choose 5 things from that category to toss out.  It doesn’t matter how you do it. The point is to challenge yourself to take a hard look at everything you’re holding on to… and ask yourself if it’s worth the space it’s taking up in your life.  If it’s worth the maintenance and cleaning.  If it’s worth that hour (or way more) of work you did to earn the money to buy it.  If it’s worth you being distracted from life experiences.  If it’s worth the stress.

If the answer is no, throw it out!  It will be hard at first but stick with it and you will be able to tell a huge difference.  I cut out half of the laundry I have to do, as well as dishes and cleaning and organizing.  That alone was worth it for me!

So.  Here is the list, with a few examples.  For other ideas, check out my Pinterest board Minimalism & Life.  I would love to hear any ideas you may have on the subject, so please leave a comment below!!  And don’t forget to share 🙂

  1. Little clutter – junk drawer, purse, etc.
  2. Dishes – Tupperware with no lids, random take out cups, old pots and pans
  3. Decorations – something you can never really find a place for, or just don’t like.  Especially knickknacks.
  4. Keepsakes – keeping some memorabilia is great, but keeping every little scribble your child colors you at 2 years old is a little much.  I’m speaking from experience..
  5. Monthly utilities and bills – for example, we cut out our TV and are sticking with Netflix and other streaming.  So much cheaper.  Then we cut our phone bill in half since we were only using a little bit of data (especially since we have Wifi).  Also think about conserving water and electricity every day, making a food budget, etc.
  6. Clothes – old socks, shirts, scarves… especially the “one day I will fit these” clothes
  7. Toys – be ruthless
  8. Shoes
  9. Accessories – jewelry, scarves, etc.
  10. Bathroom – old toiletries, makeup, clean out the bathroom cabinet and drawers
  11. Subscriptions – things like Xbox Live and Hulu.  If you don’t use it don’t pay for it!
  12. Books
  13. Electronics & cords – especially the ones sitting in a drawer, like old cell phones you’ve upgraded from
  14. Food – fridge door, expired spices, pantry
  15. Linens – old, frayed towels and sheets
  16. Kitchen – appliances you don’t use, cookbooks, etc.
  17. Medicine cabinet – check expiration dates on everything
  18. Storage
  19. Big stuff – furniture, big toys, tools, etc.
  20. Your mind – get rid of the negative thoughts, stress, and all the things that are cluttering your mind and getting in the way of your happiness.