Parent Magazine Flagler May 2019 - Page 9

COMMIT TO HEALTHY LIVING. Women who make time to the researchers reported. Try writing down three things care for their bodies, enjoy a stronger self-image and you are thankful for each day––small moments feel more self-confident and energetic. Exercise, try count too. to get adequate sleep, schedule regular massages and make healthy food choices to feel your best. “I know that when I am reasonably well-rested and happy, I am absolutely more patient, energetic and empathetic to everyone in my household,” says Erica Wilson, a mom of one. TAKE TIME FOR PERSONAL PURSUITS. Whether you like surfing Pinterest, training for a 5K or simply taking a warm bubble bath, moments stolen throughout the week contribute to our overall sense of well-being. “I try to take at least a few minutes a day outside. I close my eyes, take deep breaths, and listen to the sounds,” says Melanie Werner, a mom of one. NOURISH YOURSELF. During the rush of the week, most of us throw meals together just to get our hungry crew fed. If you enjoy cooking, find a day when you can slow down and relish the preparation. The process of chopping and measuring ingredients is meditative and soothing. Create a feast to delight all of the senses by serving your meal on a table laid out with your favorite dishes and cheerful flowers. LAUGH. Family life can be funny. Kids say hilarious things. Pay attention and write those gems down. Next time you need a lift, read them. Need more ideas? Look at funny family videos or photos, hang out with lighthearted friends, watch a silly movie or read a humorous book. GET A GROOVE ON. Whether she participates in a Jazzercise class or switches on upbeat dance tunes in her kitchen, Jessie Mallicoat, a mom of three, says, “If I'm in a bad mood, I put on some ‘dancy’ music and it usually helps.” In fact, studies find that dancing boosts the body’s feel-good endorphins. Dancing has even been found to reverse depression and increase self-confidence. Set boundaries. Moms who are happier make conscious decisions on a daily basis about who and what is allowed into their lives. Switching to this way of thinking is empowering. You don’t have to be harsh or hurtful to accomplish this goal. Politely decline invitations that don’t fit with your priorities and limit interactions with negative individuals. ACCESS GOOD CHILDCARE. Seek reliable childcare in order to feel secure pursuing personal interests, maintaining routine health check-ups and enjoying date nights with your partner. A positive marriage contributes to the overall emotional health and happiness of your family. Having trouble finding a sitter? Check out SitterCity.com, Care.com or ask other parents for references. AVOID COMPARISON. Parenting philosophies that work well in one family may not work well in another. Thanks to the influx of information at our fingertips, parents have no shortage of advice. Decide which strategies make sense for your family. And beware of spending too much FOLLOW A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE. Studies find that people time on social media if you’re starting to feel like you who lean on an inner belief system are happier. You don’t measure up. “Being happy with yourself and how don’t have to be religious to be spiritual. You can feel a you parent is key to accepting other moms and how connection to spirituality through helping others, nature, they parent, which creates a more supportive parenting yoga, music, art, personal meditation or journaling. community all around,” says Mandy Yokim, mom of two. Michelle Hovick, a mom of one, says the “Elevation” church app is one of her favorite spiritual gateways to a mood shift. Freelance journalist, Christa Melnyk Hines and her husband are the parents of two boys. She finds happiness in historical romance novels, sunny days PRACTICE GRATITUDE. In a gratitude study at Eastern and chocolate chip cookies. Christa is the author of Washington University, researchers found a positive Confidently Connected: A Mom’s Guide to a Satisfying correlation between gratitude and happiness. “We Social Life. have found that grateful individuals tend to be happy individuals and that grateful thinking improves mood,” F L A G L E R parent M A G A Z I N E | 9