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April Jeppson: Take time to unplug and fill your cup some

Every Little Thing by April Jeppson

Let’s get the elephant out of the room. This week has been wild! Which is saying something considering the level of wild that 2020 made us accustomed to. I told y’all not to say, “It can’t get any worse” — so which one of you was it? Who jinxed us?

April Jeppson

Well in classic April fashion, I refuse to let external chaos throw off my mojo. There are things that are well within my control and there are things that I have zero control over. I am going to continue to spend my energy on the items in my life that will have the biggest return on investment. Before I can spend energy, I need to help foster it. Like a tiny seed, I need to water it, nourish and take care of my energy so that it can grow.

One of my biggest mood boosters is music. My music tastes vary depending on what it is that I’m preparing for. Some days I need upbeat K-pop, and other days I’m looking for gems I can sing at full volume from the comfort of my shower. Whitney Houston’s “I will always love you” has a certain magical sound when sung with my ears full of shampoo.

Last week as we were celebrating the New Year, I couldn’t get enough old rock. I was in an odd mood, but the music just picked me right up. Even my co-workers noticed my change of music. There was something fun about jamming out to “Brandy” by Looking Glass, or waiting for that vocals to drop back in on Steppenwolf’s “Magic Carpet Ride.”

The last few days have been extra wild, and there’s so much negative energy floating around. At gymnastics the other night, a co-worker was playing all these fun garage bands. I lived for this music 20 years ago and still get a smile whenever I hear it. Currently toe tapping to Dashboard Confessional and being mentally teleported back to my carefree days in college. My only concerns were making it to class on time and what I’d grab for lunch at the cafeteria.

My other tried and true mood boosters are my friends. This past year has had us reinventing all sorts of things, and how I hang out with my friends has been one of them. I had a grocery shopping date with one of my gals last weekend. We went grocery shopping together and had the best time. I’m fortunate enough to work with some amazing people, so simply going to work can boost my mood. Taking a longer lunch break, going for a walk when the sun is shining, even sending funny memes back and forth. All brighten my day when done with a good friend.

When my cup is filled, I am at my best. I am fun to be around. I don’t roll my eyes at my husband at night. I smile and make jokes at work. I am able to give more hugs to my kids. Yes, I give less hugs when I’m not feeling my best. In fact I usually just want to be left alone when my energy is depleted. I know that in order for me to give 100% to the areas of my life that I can control, I need to take care of myself.

People may think it’s odd that I don’t watch the news, but it sucks the life right out of me. I’m not saying I don’t know what’s going on, but I have about a five-minute time limit. I get the facts then I move along. Sitting in front of the TV or on my phone and getting stressed out over stuff that I can’t control is not a good use of my time. I know that our town and our country will be a better place if we all take a little time to unplug and fill our cups. Chat up a friend, crank some good music and enjoy your week.

Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.