In the last and final week of 30 days to being a HHMoM, I will give you some tips to apply to your surroundings by getting you out and socializing with family, friends, and even strangers. I believe this life was not intended for you to live alone, face adversities alone, or even experience joyous occasions alone. We are made to fellowship, communicate, and share with those around us.
My little sister’s second best friend (of course I’m her first best friend) just graduated from college, and I’m super excited for her. She’s a bold and brave humanitarian that has grown tremendously as an individual alongside my sister. As a matter of fact, it was just last year around this time that my sister graduated from college (she’s currently working on her master’s degree). She is also an amazing young woman, a charismatic, extraordinary environmentalist.
I am in awe of these two young women who met years ago after a simple conversation preceding dance rehearsal while standing in line to order lunch. Yes, their mutual love of food sparked something in their hearts, and wonderful memories of sisterhood ensued. If it were not for the dance group, their paths may not have ever crossed.
What are you NOT doing that is keeping you from living a lifestyle that brings joy, smiles, and togetherness? Keep reading to find out what you can to do to create more peace and authentic relationships in your life.
Day 22. Go to Bed
Before you get out there to start living a more joyous lifestyle, you need to make sure you are getting enough rest. Attaining a good night’s rest is vital to your physical and mental health. I know that,as moms, we can manage the household and our outside jobs with minimal sleep, but the lack of sleep is not good on our bodies at all. Simply going to bed 30 to 60 minutes earlier could possibly be useful in the long run for your health and wellbeing. Also, turning off the TV or putting your phone down early for the night is sometimes all it takes to make a difference in your day-to-day life. It will allow your mind to have some time to unwind and release any negative energy from the day. I have found that if I get 7-8 hours of sleep, I can actually accomplish more because my energy is up.
Day 23. Random Acts of Kindness
I believe a random act of kindness is based on you thinking about someone else more than you think about yourself. In today’s society, we often only look out for “our own”, but, truth be told,we are all brothers and sisters. In the Bible, Luke 6:27-36, it speaks a great deal about giving to others without expecting anything back, praying for those who wish bad on you, and extending love and mercy to all; the reward is in the giving, not in the receiving.
So what woulda Random Act of Kindness look like? You could pay for the person behind you at the drive-thru, or text/call someone just to say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.” You can take things up a notch by using $10 at the dollar store to purchase ten thoughtful cards and mail them to people who could use some encouragement, love, or prayer. I don’t know about you, but it’s nice to receive mail that is not bills or a company offering a high-interest credit card that I have mysteriously been approved for. Is there someone you know who needs to be loved on this week?
Day 24. Appreciation
Our lives as mothers tend to be ambitious, and we can easily find ourselves pursuing a never-ending list of goals. Although a goal may very well be essential, we can fall into the trap of neglecting those around us because the goal becomes more important than relationships. We find ourselves so wrapped up in our own world, what we need, and how we need to accomplish the goal that we become a bit self-absorbed.
For example, before my hubby and I moved to Georgia a few months ago, we would have monthly dates. My parents would always want to spend time with their grandbabies so it gave us an abundance of free time to spend together or go off on our own individual adventures. Now that we no longer live close to grandparents and free babysitting,, my hubby and I were finding it much more difficult to spend quality time together. He was working more, and I joined some mommy groups. We both began studying for new careers and life became really busy for us. I often found myself not wanting to be bothered with some of the things we used to do because I was “too busy”.
Once we both realized we could no longer continue down this neglectful path, we began to look put time limits on our personal schedules. Three days a week I stop working at 8:30 and spend time with him, he sends me thoughtful messages everyday, and once a month we do all-day family outings. We are still working on mindfulness of each other, but at least there’s still hope thanks to the reminder that our spouses are more important than tasks.
Day 25. Invite
One of your closest friends could be living next door or work in the same building as you. There are so many other women out there who feel just as uncomfortable about reaching out and making new friends as you do. Step out and be the one to break the ice.
Recently, I moved to a new state in a semi-small town, and I just couldn’t help but feel drawn in by this sweet petite woman with a soft voice and a huge heart who lived next door to me. I couldn’t tell you how it started, but little by little we started to hang out, engaging in deep conversations while our girls played together. We are both SAHM, and her husband was often gone due to being in the military. As soon as we began developing a close relationship, it was time for her to move. While it was only a few months that we’d known each other, I’m glad I overcame my fear because I gained a new sister in Christ for life.
Day 26. Be Forgiving
There is not one person walking this earth who is perfect. We all make mistakes. Every relationship you build will eventually encounter some bumps on the road that you must try to overcome. There are times we have been wronged and someone approaches us asking for forgiveness. Be thoughtful and intentional about how you respond, for your response can mend or sever a relationship. Unfortunately, there are times we may find ourselves in a situation where we feel we simply cannot forgive a person. If you are at that point, it’s okay to delete his/her number, unfriend him/her on Facebook, and do anything else necessary to move on without that relationship in your life.
Other times, however, the one who needs forgiving is the one you see when you look in the mirror. If you are the one needing forgiveness, humbly ask for it from the person you’ve wronged. You can’t control his/her response, but you can know that you did the right thing by apologizing. If you are struggling with forgiving yourself, the first thing you should do is realize you are not alone, the past is in the past; release the blame/shame, and do your best with the right now. Stop replaying the story, read your gratitude list (Day 17), and go back and read the letter you wrote to your future self (Day 21). Start living out the person in the letter. If you can only take baby steps that is okay, but you cannot stay in this place of unforgiveness.
Day 27. Get Involved
Years ago, when we were a household of three and not seven, I enjoyed volunteering at my son’s school. I didn’t participate in the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA), but I was at school weekly helping the teachers with various activities. I truly enjoyed spending time with those teachers who love on our children daily, so I made sure to love on them. My favorite teacher of all time is my youngest son’s first grade teacher; she was so amazing with a special and kind heart, yet she was tough in a great way.
Freeing up some time to volunteer unquestionably helps other people, but it can benefit you, too. Volunteering can improve your social/lifestyle skills while giving you a sense of community and connection. Dedicating your time to others can also teach your children the importance of putting others before themselves. Think of where you can serve others. Your children’s school? Your church? A local shelter? Where can you volunteer in your city?
Day 28. Get out your Comfort Zone
It’s so easy for us to become accustomed to doing things the same way all the time. We go to work, take care of the kids, spend time with our spouse, and before you know it the day is done and it’s time for bed. It’s time we shake things up a bit in our life. I know you have a list of thing you always wanted to try, and you said you will try it “one of these days”. Well, today is day to step out of your comfort zone and try something new!
There is a website called Meetup, and it has almost any kind of activity you can think of. “Meetup helps people do more of what they love by finding and creating communities based around the ideas and activities that matter to them. Meetups are formed around a common interest, goal, or cause, and they are made up of regular, face-to-face gatherings.” Are you into rock climbing? Always wanted to try salsa dancing? What about photography? If you want to try it, there is most likely someone out there who wants to try it with you. It’s an opportunity to make new friends and try something new. Sharing a new experience with others, or sharing a familiar experience with new faces, is a great way to remind yourself that you are not alone in anything you pursue.
Day 29. Be a Tourist
Have you ever gone on vacation and visited all the iconic spots, toured the popular places, or tried a new entree with unfamiliar ingredients? If you have then you know how fun and exciting it is to be a tourist in a beautiful location. That’s what I want you to do today…Be a tourist. No, I’m not expecting you to take time off from work, book a flight, and take a trip to an exotic location for the next few days. However, I would like for you to look at where you live from a tourist point of view.
I’m almost certain that within a 30 mile radius from where you live there are some amazing places you have never seen or experienced. I have a site that can help you get started on your local journey. Apartment Therapy has some affordable fun-filled activities that are perfect for a “staycation”. If you are in need of a few more ideas, go to Pinterest or simply google a location and/or activity. Looking at a tourist website for your city/town (your local chamber of commerce website) can also yield great results.
Day 30. Now What?
Today I want you to reflect on the last 29 days. What did you learn? What do you still need to work on? Is there anything that has had a long lasting effect? Write down your answers and determine what your next wellness goals should be. Do you want to focus more on fitness? Work on your eating habits? The way you move on from this point is totally up to you. All I ask is that you keep making strides forward, no matter how small. You have come a long way so don’t look back.
That’s it, girlfriend! You’ve completed 30 days to being a Healthy Happy Mom of Many. I am so proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself! You’ve done a tremendous job learning and putting into practice what it means to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy–a true HHMoM. Keep it up, mama! You are amazing!