Sometimes it’s the simple things that can change your mood—a walk, a bath or a nap. Jane Bluestein, PhD, a New Mexico-based educator, public speaker and author of 19 books, offers 36 practical suggestions of things you can do to feel great. This list originally appeared in her 1997 book, The Parent’s Little Book of Lists: Do’s and Don’ts of Effective Parenting, which contained more than 100 different lists featuring ideas to help build children’s character, reduce conflict and increase success.
–Do something you’ve been putting off for awhile.
–Try a new recipe or restaurant.
–Write a letter to someone special.
–Fix something that is broken.
–Tell someone a joke.
–Get a facial, manicure or massage (or all three!)
–Go for a 20-minute walk, noticing the colors, shapes, textures and sounds around you.
–Write yourself a love letter.
–Help someone who is worse off than you are.
–Have someone read you a story.
–Make a list of 10 things you do great.
–Make a list of 10 things you’re grateful for.
–Give someone in your family a backrub or foot massage.
–Clean out a drawer.
–Play “Hide and Seek” with your family.
–Read or watch something really funny.
–Eat dinner by candlelight.
–Call someone you care about.
–Do something special for someone—anonymously.
–Look at your beautiful self in a mirror. Say “I love you” 10 times.
–Do something you used to love doing as a child, something perhaps that you haven’t done since.
–Make music either singing or playing an instrument.
–Do something kind for a stranger or animal.
–Create more space and simplicity in your life. Go through your attic, garage or closets and find at least 3 things to give away to someone less fortunate.
–Buy a wonderful card for a special friend and send it.
–Make your favorite meal or dessert.
–Listen to your favorite kind of music.
–Spend some time on a hobby you’ve been neglecting.
–Curl up on the couch and watch your favorite movie.
–Read something uplifting.
–Take a nap with your child.
–Buy yourself a little goodie or toy—just for you.
–Take a bath.
–Take a nap.
–Hug your child, your dog or your spouse. (or even all three!)
Smart Meetings will profile Jane Bluestein’s newest book, The Perfection Deception: Why Trying to Be Perfect Is Sabotaging Your Relationships, Making You Sick and Holding Your Happiness Hostage, in the December issue. In this work, Bluestein makes the case that perfectionism has toxic effects on our thinking, relationships, work and sense of worth, and is a contributing factor in depression, insomnia, anorexia and suicide.