The Positivity Challenge

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Oh man! What a month! I started the year off strong – ready to make changes to get my house in order, along with my mental health and physical health. Then I slipped up. I literally slipped on ice, slamming my tailbone and head pretty hard on a slate tile, causing a lot of pain and a concussion. I was lucky my unkempt mom-of-two hair saved my skull from cracking open.

Little girl playing in sand.
It’s easy to forget the good around you, like sunshine and fresh air. Thankfully my baby girl knows how to enjoy everyday to the fullest!

Logically, I knew it could have been worse, but that didn’t stop me from throwing myself a pity party. Of course this would happen the week before vacation. And: Of course, this happened just as I was getting into a good workout routine. Why even try to do something good for myself? For my family? Yadda, yadda, yadda.

Thankfully, though still sore, going on vacation helped to slow down the negativity. About three weeks after the fall, I had a long over-due check-in with the Director of Health and Wellness, Alisha, at the school where I work. Alisha has been “coaching” me since the end of January. After being determined to shed some metaphorical weight through decluttering (see: Does It Bring Me Joy? Decluttering My Life in the New Year), I knew I needed to also shed some physical weight. Getting my health on track, physically and mentally, needed to be a priority.

Our check-ins are always nice. Alisha challenges me weekly to have a healthier relationship with food and even with my own self. During this check-in, Alisha asked me to list 5 negative things and 5 positive things that happened during my down time. I was quick to name 5 negatives, but when it came to the positives, I struggled. I seriously had the hardest time coming up with 5 positive things that happened to me over a span of 3 weeks. Never mind the fact that I only recently came back from a trip to Florida to visit family AND went to Disney World! Why is it so hard to think positively?

Little boy playing in the sand.
My cutie pie enjoying the sunshine! Nothing but good vibes for this dude! (Photo Cred: Sasha C Russell)

Alisha challenged me to overcome my negativity. Instead of looking at the things that went wrong, remember that each day is a new day. We start every morning with a clean slate and with the choice to have a good day or a bad day. Obviously, things don’t always go as expected (when man plans, amirite?), but there is always some good in each day. Though I don’t always remember to ask my husband to tell me something positive about his day, I have been keeping track of my own positive moments. It’s amazing what a difference this has made for my stress levels in just a couple of weeks.

It’s so easy to get caught up in negativity. Your kids give you a hard time getting ready in the morning, so you run late for work. You realize you forgot your lunch in all the hustle and bustle. And, as they say, the beat goes on. The next time the day gets away from you, just stop, breathe, and think for a moment about the good that’s around you. Write it down. Put it in your planner. Add it to your notes on your phone. Talk about it at the dinner table (another thing I’m working on). Challenge yourself to focus on the positives.

This challenge has proven to be more of a lifestyle change for me. Just another thing added to my day (like my 3 cups of veggies) that improve my overall health and will have a positive impact on my family life. I look forward to seeing where positive thinking leads me, my family, and you!

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