International Day of Happiness 2015 – Friday, March 20

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Rev your happy engines, because March 20, 2015 is the official “International Day of Happiness!”

You can visit the official site here.

On the website, they have a downloadable document of ways you can enjoy and contribute.

Here are few suggestions:

  • Do something kind for others
  • Volunteer
  • Get to know your neighbors!
  • Look for the good in others around you

There are a ton of ideas of how to get involved in fun ways on the official site (linked above). Follow the hashtag #happyacts on Twitter for even more inspiration and ideas!

“Remember that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.”  H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

 

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Sweet Dreams! Sleep Awareness Week™

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It’s already that time of year again: spring forward, or Daylight Saving Time. This is not the fun one, where you gain an hour – but the dreaded one, where you lose an entire hour of sleep. Boo.

This past week was the official Sleep Awareness Week™ – a campaign for public awareness of the importance of sleep.  I’m not going to argue with the value of that, but I think most of us already know how important a good night’s rest is!

Still, it’s a great idea, and their website has some great sleep tips and tools you can use, so check it out!

I used to battle insomnia, so I’ve got some handy tricks up my sleeve I’d like to share with you as well. My repertoire is one that uses all the senses, so let’s approach it like that.

Sight

This one is very hard for me, but I can’t lie, it helps!

If you can shut off the TV or computer an hour before you go to bed, thus giving your eyes a much-deserved rest, your body will be in a much better state in which to relax into sleep.

Sound

If you’ve never tried audio recordings to help you get to sleep, you are in for a treat! Try a variety of sounds while you rest, such as:

  • Rain falling on a roof
  • Ocean waves
  • Forest sounds
  • Soft, classical music
  • White noise

In today’s world, you don’t have to get in your car, drive to the mall and find a “record store” (in quotes because nobody says that anymore) to find something like this.

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You can download single tracks, albums and apps right onto your phone, so you’re always set for a good night’s sleep.

And of course, there is my standby favorite, guided meditation downloads specifically geared for getting to sleep. I’m always telling people to try one – they are quite simply miraculous!

Taste

Try some calming hot tea before bedtime (not too much, you don’t want to have to wake up to relieve yourself, or that defeats the purpose!).

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Make sure it is naturally decaffeinated herbal tea for best results.

My favorite hot tea in the whole world for bedtime is aptly named “Sleepytime Tea,” by Celestial Seasonings. All of their teas are divine. Even if you don’t consider yourself a tea person, give it a try. I didn’t think I was until I found this brand.

I love tea so much now that I even enjoy Earl Gray tea, which I thought was disgusting when I first tried it 20 years ago. Still, nothing can keep me from my full-octane-nuclear-strength coffee in the morning. Woe to the person who steps between me and my beloved Kuerig, which doses me by the hour.

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My children have memorized the mantra “don’t make eye contact with mom” – they know this by heart as a rule to abide by before I have my first cup of joe in the morning.

Touch

Pure freshly laundered cotton sheets were a given when I was a child. Maybe that is why I never put up a fuss about bedtime, because my bed linens were blissfully soft and comfy.

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Today, even when I try to purchase “fancy pants” sheets, they just don’t have the same feeling.  I stole some from my mom, I admit. Shhh, don’t tell her.

I did some web searching and found this interesting post that addresses this topic, with some tips and ideas. I’m bookmarking it for when my mom finds out I took her extra sheets.

So find yourself the best, comfiest bedding linens you can – they don’t have to be expensive (from what I hear – see that post above), but even if they are, save up, because getting a good night’s rest is worth the investment.

A good mattress is important as well – but I find that to be a boring topic, and I figure if you need a new mattress you can do what I do and just Google some reviews online.

Smell

I am a sucker for linen sprays – I love them so much, I can’t even begin to tell you how obsessed I am with them.

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I received some lavender linen bed spray as a gift at least 20 years ago, and that is when my addiction started. You can find bed sprays in every scent imaginable, but I’d advise you stick to the ones that will actually calm you.

If you purchase one with an invigorating citrus scent, do not blame me when you can’t sleep (but you can send it to me if you don’t want it – I’ll just spray it everywhere else).

Here are some of my favorites.

Sometimes, when I’m feeling Martha Stewart-like, I’ll even make my own – it’s pretty easy actually!

Nighty night, sleep tight, don’t let the bedbugs bite

What sick person came up with the “don’t let the bedbugs bite” part of that little ditty? Seriously, that’s just cruel. It caused me some anxiety growing up. Bugs? What bugs? There are bugs in my bed?

I just leave that part out and tell my kids “night night, sleep tight, angels watch you through the night.”

May the angels watch over you tonight as you try out some new methods to get a good night’s sleep!

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If you have any ideas, tips, recommendations, please share them in the comments!

 

 

 

 

Monday, March 2, 2015 is Read Across America day

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“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body” – Joseph Addison, author

Head’s up everyone – or, should I say, heads down, into a book? Monday, March 2 is “Read Across America Day,” inspired by Dr. Seuss. He would have been 111 years old on March 2 – and every year (for 18 years now!) his birth date is celebrated by encouraging and motivating children and teens to read.

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I don’t see why adults can’t celebrate as well, so I’m going to celebrate too, by starting a new book. I haven’t decided which one – and I’m open to suggestion!

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I’m also going to see if my 12 year old daughter will indulge me by letting me read aloud to her – I miss those days so much!

Parents, there are so many ways you can make this day fun for your child (and you too!), you can find lots of ideas at the Seussville website here.

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As they say,

“You’re never too old, too wacky, too wild, to pick up a book and read with a child.”

I’d also add, you are never too old, too wacky or too wild to try a new book yourself! Maybe try to find some precious alone-time to relax with a comfy blanket and some coffee, hot tea or hot cocoa and settle in with a juicy novel. I can think of no better treat myself.

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Goodreads is always a good source for ideas, by the way. They offer lots of suggestions by genre, so it’s easy to find something right up your alley.

You can get more info about this day of reading celebration at the official website. Have fun and happy reading!

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