How is 2018 treating you so far? We're only two weeks in, but by this point people around us are already deciding whether or not this is going to be 'THE year' for necessary changes. Whether it's getting your little one to sleep in their own bed, finally booking that dream holiday, or simply decluttering that spare room at last- it seems there's nothing quite like the promise of a full year ahead to fill you with motivation and resolve. It's a little like a blank notebook- empty, yet filled with promise! The thing is though, not many of us tend to put our own happiness at the top of the to-do list, and we think that to be the change that happens this year. Who's with us? Here are three ways to be a happy mum in 2018- after all, happy mum = happy baby!
You might wonder how on earth you're supposed to do that, when there are so many things around you that happen whether you like it or not. But did you know that studies have found a huge 40% of our own happiness is completely up to us? We have the ability to control almost half of our own happiness- no matter what life throws at us. So taking control of your own happiness might not seem so strange after all.
It's easy to get bogged down in the day to day life of being a parent, and it's definitely easier some days to just get your head down and get on with it. But remember that nobody can control how you feel about situations that are occurring in your life. Nobody can dictate your emotional responses. It's up to you how happy you feel, and you can start to take control now. Three simple ways to do this:
- Start a gratitude list. Each day, write down one thing that you're thankful for. Make this a habit and start each day this way, so that eventually it will become second nature. By feeling thankful, we learn to let go of the small things that annoy us and instead focus on the things that make us smile.
- Tell people you love them and appreciate them. We tell our kids all the time, but do we tell our friends, partners and families that we love and appreciate them? Research shows that when you do this, those feelings are (mostly) reciprocated, and that makes us feel happy.
- Do one thing for yourself every day. It's not easy when you have kids, but if you take just 15 minutes a day for yourself you might just be amazed at how good that makes you feel!
Press the re-set button
The one thing that makes mums feel upset or unhappy? Stress. Different things are stressful for different people, but when we feel this way we tend to become the kind of of parent we always swore we wouldn't be. We shout, we snap, we allow our frustrations to erupt into arguments. And once that happens, we lose control- not only of the situation, but of our own happiness too. The next time you feel this way, take a moment to breath. Then close your eyes, and imagine a big red re-set button. Now press that button, and start again. Taking the time out to pause and to gather your thoughts will help you to feel calmer, and give you time to re-assess the situation and find a better solution. It stands to reason that the less amount of time you spend shouting and feeling stressed will automatically help to improve your happiness.
Don't compare yourself with others
They say that comparison is the thief of joy, and we're here to tell you that they're right. Nothing good ever came of scrolling through endless 'What a blessed life we have! My kids are amazing!' type posts on Facebook. Nothing good ever came of asking another mum how her baby sleeps at night. And everybody knows that nothing good ever came of wishing you were more like so-and-so down the road. You are you, and now is the time to embrace that. You are good enough. You are MORE than good enough. And when you realise your own self worth and see how awesome you are, you are definitely going to feel happier. Give it a go today!