Did you know that there are 1440 minutes in each day?
That’s 1440 chances you get every morning to experience life anew…to make the most of another day you get to be alive.
What if more of those minutes were filled with belly laughs, heartfelt smiles, and warm feelings of contentment?
Sometimes it takes hearing the sound of laughter of kids playing outside on the playground to remind us what it’s like to fully experience the simple joys in life.
I know all too well that as we get older, it’s easy to take our lives too seriously sometimes…
Of course, we all still have to pay the bills, fold the laundry, and scrub the bathroom floor when needed. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t decide to fill your days with more joy even through all of those “adult” responsibilities.
So how can you do that while also role modeling the importance of fun & joy to your little one?
- Build more joyful activities into your daily and weekly routines.
- AND make it a conscious practice to fully savor and enjoy these moments.
If you feel like you could use a little bit less stress and a little more joy in your life, start with a conscious decision to do more of what feels good.
If you’re not sure where to start, here are a few tips that you can try along with your little one!
1. Be the source of joy for others with compliments or surprises
Delighting a loved one or a friend with a small surprise or a compliment can bring joy to even the most ordinary days. Knowing that you helped another person feel good is often the quickest way to feel joy for yourself. So make it a habit to start your day by writing a note of gratitude or giving a compliment to someone. It could be your partner, a colleague, a teacher, or a friend. Encourage your little one to do the same with their friends or other family members.
2. Curate more comedy and jokes into your days
Replace moments of mindlessly scrolling through social media with moments of intentional positive, good-hearted entertainment. Curate your social media feeds with inspirational content or even with silly jokes and cute puppy videos. Listen to your favorite comedian while doing chores around the house. Look up a new kid-friendly joke every day and enjoy laughing at it with your little one when they get home from school.
3. Reflect on the good at the end of the day
Take a few minutes after dinner as a family to pick something in your day that brought you the most joy or laughter. Then give everyone a few minutes to share and journal about this experience (or have your little one draw it). Try to remember as many details as you can. By engaging your senses in remembering the joyful moments, you’re making it easier for your brain to remember these and to feel the good feelings associated with that moment.
4. Designate daily play time – for yourself too!
It’s easy to get your little one excited about playtime. But if you find it hard to pull away from your work or daily responsibilities, try to designate play time for yourself as well. Start by making a list of activities that bring you joy and that can take as little as 20 minutes. Whether it’s going for a walk, reading before bed, or going to a coffee shop, add these to your calendar at the beginning of the week. Give them as much importance as you would to a work meeting or a doctor’s appointment.
5. Create weekly JOY routines you’ll look forward to
Are there activities you love to do as a family but that you find it hard to make time for? Watching the sunset? Going bowling? Going on a weekly playdate or playing board games? Make a list of the activities you all enjoy doing together. Then schedule one or two of these activities each week. Plan your weekly Joy routines a month in advance. You and your loved ones will then benefit from the joy of looking forward to these moments even before they happen.
As you do each of these, don’t forget to be there fully, savor each moment, and feel appreciation for each of those 1440 minutes you get at the beginning of every day.