Sarah Coleman: Random acts of joy
For Steamboat Pilot & Today
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Want more joy, less stress and an extra fulfilling life?
Here are a few tips that will keep your feet on the ground while experiencing the best life and the best you can be.
1. Take a minute to recognize all the beautiful moments in your life.
No need to share, you can if you like, but simply write down moments — in a few words or take a picture — that are special to you. Then, when you need a reminder, look back at them.
2. Try doing one thing at a time.
Remember that less can actually be more. When you speak, speak. When you listen, listen. When you drive, drive. Prioritize. Stop and smell the roses. Focus. Live in the moment. Disconnect to reconnect. Try single-tasking.
3. Step out of your comfort zone.
This could be as simple as a different parking spot to trying a new class to conquering a lifetime goal or dream. Get creative, break up your routine, stretch the limits and cultivate courage. Think of this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path, and leave a trail.”
4. Create some boundaries with screen time.
Figure out what this means and looks like to you. For example, maybe you only check email for a half hour in the morning before going to work, only check Facebook twice per day, turn your phone off during mealtimes, leave your phone in the car when you go to the post office, no screen time within one hour of bedtime, etc. Up to you. But make it happen in a reasonable and manageable way.
5. Smile more often.
When you are feeling stressed or sad, turn that frown upside down, and I promise you will feel better instantly. It takes more muscles to frown anyway. Might as well conserve that energy.
6. Write and mail a letter — good old-fashioned snail mail.
Get a pen pal. Send a handwritten thank you. Leave a sweet message for someone to see. Sneak a note into your child’s or significant other’s lunch. Leave a random sticky note on a friend’s car. Have fun and let your words mean something to someone else.
7. A friend of mine lives by the simple statement, “Slow down. Pay attention. Say thank you.”
With so many things going on, it’s important to slow down and notice what’s happening around you. Take a deep breath and pay attention to the birds, to each other, to your child, to a stranger in the grocery store. It’s in these moments that we choose our pace, our presence and our gratitude.
8. Get organized.
Start by throwing something away that you no longer need, donate old clothes or items to those who do need, clean out a drawer or cabinet, start a new to do list, organize the garage or simply create a daily routine. Cleaning something out of your life — mental, physical or emotional — can create new space for the things you really need.
As I write these tips down, I realize how difficult some may be, especially for me. Start somewhere, maybe even pick one to focus and work on. It isn’t always easy, but I promise it will be worth it. And as you take on this new challenge, I will be right there with you practicing, cultivating and spreading more joy.
Sarah Coleman is a personal trainer, “CrossFitter,” coach, outdoor enthusiast, managing partner with Inspired Live Network and owner of A Weight Lifted Fitness Camp.
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