Off to a great start: 5 things that make for a happy day

I can always tell, within an hour of waking up, what type of day it’s going to be. Calm and relaxed or frenzied? Energetic or tiresome? Happy or not-so-much.

For me, the activities that I engage in before 9 am have a tendency to set the tone for the day. I know it will be a great one if the following five things happen;

1. I awake before the alarm and my husband brings me coffee in bed (he’s been doing this for 18 years now; I know, I’m spoiled).

2. I have time to sit down to a healthy, satisfying breakfast (instead of feeding myself while standing at the counter and preparing breakfast and lunch for everyone else). This morning, I had overnight oats topped with Holy Crap cereal and strawberries. Yum!

3. I remember to take my GNC vitamins.

4. My children awake happy and allow themselves to be hugged and kissed by mom.

5. I have an exercise plan. Today is my day away from teaching and training clients and I’m excited to try a new Hatha Flow class at Kushala Yoga.

What needs to happen in your morning for your day to be a happy one?

Monday Motivation: exercise makes you happy!

Last week, while navigating children and luggage towards our departure gate at LAX, I realized that I nothing to read on the plane ride home. Although I had yarn and needles for sock knitting (scroll down to see the yarn…), I was in a reading mood. I dashed into Borders and quickly scanned the bestseller rack for something suitable.

My gaze was immediately drawn to this book;

The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. I particularly liked the sub-title, Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.

The book is autobiographical, and describes the steps taken by the author to become happier in her work, home and relationships. She identifies 12 aspects of her life that she feels would benefit from improvement, tackling one each month and beginning the year with ‘Vitality’. Her reasoning? Having more energy makes it easier to engage in activities that increase happiness. 

But how to become more energetic? Rubin chose to focus on getting more sleep and exercising regularly (along with cleaning out her closets and faking it on days she didn’t feel very energetic!).

“There’s a staggering amount of evidence to show that exercise is good for you. Among other benefits, people who exercise are healthier, think more clearly, sleep better, and have delayed onset of dementia. Regular exercise boosts energy levels; although some people assume that working out is tiring, in fact, it boosts energy, especially in sedentary people…”

You know she’s right! When I’m feeling crabby and grouching at my kids (yes, I do this too) a trip to the gym is the only thing that turns my mood around. My family recognizes this and gladly sends me on my merry way, knowing that I’ll return calmer, happier and more likely to let them stay up past bedtime!

Tell me about your favourite happiness-inducing exercise!

P.S. I liked this book so much, I’ll certainly be writing about it again soon.

P.P.S. I’m extra happy today because children have gone back to school after nearly three weeks off! I know a lot of other moms who are happy about this too!