7 Strategies to Make The Most of Each Day
Moving across the country with my family has been one of the hardest things to do. The move was the right decision and we are really happy with our new home and our community. That doesn’t mean it’s been easy. What we’ve been learning to do is to make the most of each day as we adjust to so many changes. In this blog post, I’ll share with you some of the strategies we have been using to make the most of each day.
Be present. No, really, be present.
These words are so easy to say and to write. Yet they are much, much harder to actually execute. Being present is the core of mindfulness (which was my word of the year for 2017) and it takes focus and effort. What being present means to me is taking a deep breath and noticing my surrounding. As I was driving home from errands this morning, the sun was shining. I took a specific route that would allow me to see the mountains as I drove home. Looking up at the summit and taking a deep breath allowed me to be present. I stopped worrying about rushing home for the dog and had a moment of gratitude for the stunning scenery.
Where can you choose to stop and notice the scenery today?
Take advantage of what’s around you.
It’s always fun to be a tourist in your own city. Find adventures that suit the season! As we now live in the Lower Mainland of B.C. we have milder weather in the winter. Add a new dog into the mix and we’ve got a great recipe for new adventures. Use Facebook groups to help you find local activities – outdoor whenever possible. I noticed that my friend Nina and her family went tubing at Horseshoe Valley in -20°C this past weekend. My daughter and I took our dog out to a wonderful park with trails nearby on Sunday. What I love is that this activity also promotes being present.
What fun local activities can you plan for the weekend?
This never gets old! One of the first things I asked my local Facebook group was where can I watch the sunrise or set nearby. Turns out I can have the gift of both a sunrise and sunset right in my neighborhood. We were out with our dog on Saturday afternoon and the sky started to turn pink (cover photo for this post). As soon as we saw thing, our mood shifted and we were just totally gob-smacked by the beauty. We couldn’t capture the golden light on the mountains except in our minds. It was very memorable. And today, on what could have been a very stressful morning back to school for my daughter, we were given the gift of a stunning sunrise.
Where can you capture the sunrise or sunset this week?
Express love and gratitude.
It’s common sense that we should express our gratitude daily, however it’s not something we always remember to do. Being a teacher of gratitude and gratefulness, I do my best to express my gratitude daily. However it’s not always easy when we are challenged! I covered this topic in my last blog post, 6 grateful ways to deal with life’s challenges. When we make the most of each day, sharing our love and gratitude has got to be a part of it. It’s been a tough transition for my daughter and it has been really frustrating at times. I do my best to make sure that she knows I love her, even when I’m upset or feeling frustrated. Sadly, at 7 years old, she’s already harder on herself than I would ever be on her.
Who could use some love and gratitude in your life today?
Take care of yourself.
Our lives can feel like Groundhog Day when we wake up, go to work, come home, take care of the kids, eat dinner, go to sleep and do it all over again. Even worse, when we are in the middle of a transition, we have zero routine and self-care goes out the window. For me, a self-care ritual before we moved was my morning walk. Her school bus would leave and I would go for a walk and listen to a podcast. Once we moved, things totally changed. And I thought that with a new dog I would have lots of chances for walking and podcasts. Boy was I wrong! Puppies need to be trained to walk and listening to anything while doing that doesn’t really work. Plus, school was out for over two weeks, so there was no school bus. I realized that over the holidays if I didn’t sneak out once in a while for a walk, alone, it was bad news for everyone.
What is your non-negotiable self-care ritual?
Listen for the white space.
We are taught to fill up our days with non-stop activities and work. Yet when I want to make the most of each day, I find time for silence. Just 5 minutes of quiet can totally rejuvenate me. Silence is a wonderful tool for well-being. And it can have a positive effect on our health. We bought our home here in B.C. without physically seeing it. One of the most important check-boxes for me was that it was on a quiet street. I do not work well with noise pollution and love to work in silence. It has been such a gift to find out that our surroundings are super quiet and we barely ever hear our neighbours. That may not be the case for everyone, but we all need some quiet time every day.
Where can you find a space to listen to the white space today?
Smile as often as possible.
This is a strategy that I use when I’m in a bad mood. I choose to make myself smile at others. For example, I was out at a very busy mall with my daughter in early January. It was stressful just to walk around. I could feel my adrenaline rising. So I chose to go into a store and simply smile at the salespeople. Very quickly, that deflated my stress and it lead to a few key purchases that made more people smile too! When we smile, we are spreading joy and kindness to others. I can’t think of a better way to make the most of each day.
Count how many times you smile today? Did you smile while reading this question? That’s one!
Using even one of these strategies can be helpful to make the most of each day. What other strategies do you use to make the most of each day?