April Jeppson: Take time for things that make you happy
Published 8:45 pm Friday, August 11, 2023
Every Little Thing by April Jeppson
Last week I wrote about how I needed to try harder to take care of myself. We shouldn’t have to wait until we are completely exhausted before we rest. In my attempt to incorporate small daily refills into my cup of well-being, I made a list of easy adjustments I could make — simple things I could do during my workday like pack a lunch, walk around the block and play upbeat music.
When I went grocery shopping this week, I bought some items that made packing a lunch easier to do. Apples, my favorite Greek yogurt and a small container of spinach. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know if I’ve ever successfully finished a large container of salad greens. I always start out with the best intentions, but about halfway through I forget about it and ultimately end up throwing it away.
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I made a tasty side salad the other evening to go along with our dinner. Spinach, apple, candied pecans, feta and a homemade dressing. This morning, I recreated the salad and brought it to enjoy at lunchtime. I’m genuinely looking forward to eating a salad today and that in and of itself feels like a victory. I cannot recall the last time I looked forward to eating a homemade salad for lunch.
Yesterday I had a short meeting with a community partner. Instead of sitting in my office, I asked if we could go outside. We casually strolled and at times paused when our conversation required it. It felt so good to be outside with the sun warming my skin and the breeze cooling me down. I was able to refresh my mind while getting something checked off my to-do list.
I know I’m only a few days in, but so far so good. I can already tell that the weight of the week doesn’t feel as heavy as it normally would. I still have the same stressors and problems to handle, but I’m better equipped to deal with them. It’s a huge motivation for me to see the positive impact of these small changes so quickly.
The weather is gorgeous again, so I’m going to find a way to enjoy another outdoor meeting. Knowing that a few minutes of sunshine each day improves my mood has me actively looking for ways to incorporate it into my day. I knew how delicious that salad was, so I actually wanted to pack it for lunch today. And maybe that’s part of the trick.
If we know that something is fun, yummy or feels good, we want to do it, right? Perhaps I just needed to be reminded how much I enjoyed these things. Every time I go see live theater or music performances I wonder why I don’t do it more often. It doesn’t matter if it’s a high school play or a concert at Target Field, they are just so much fun, and yet I forget to make them a priority in my life.
OK, put that on my list. Order the ice cream, get fresh air and find a concert to attend. This is probably my favorite to-do list of all time. It is also a list I will be able to complete. Happily complete I might add.
Albert Lean April Jeppson is a wife, mom, coach and encourager of dreams. Her column appears every Saturday.