Being intentional in your life is everything, and can create great joy regardless of whatever the dilemmas and challenges you are going through.  These practices- even little things- will keep you feeling centered and more relaxed.

Most of these practices I starting doing because I HAD to do something to feel better.  I was feeling like I had no control in my life, and so when I started focusing on taking care of myself more in little ways throughout the day, I felt sooooo  much better.

The first step to creating support for yourself is a small one that has big payoffs.  Implement a small step at a time.  You’ll amazed at how doing things things every day will make you feel better, more confident and more in control. And don’t forget to teach them to your children too.

I recently saw an article on umpteen ways to avoid overwhelm. Just looking at that article made me feel overwhelmed!  So, let’s do them one at a time. You can start to move forward today, and feel like you are doing  SOMETHING to improve how you feel and where you are. If on the other hand, you are currently doing this practice, you can check it off your mental box, and feel GREAT.

Whether you are a man or a woman in whatever kind of family you are in, here is the second small thing  you can do every day to increase the joy in your life and in the lives of your children.

#2- Write down 5 things every day that make you grateful.

When I was in the last year of my first marriage and going through a very difficult time, I was just trying to get through each day. There was a book that had been published that year (1998), “Simple Abundance” and the author is Sarah Ban Breathnach.

For gratitude, as in many things in life, look for the small stuff. What she recommends is finding 5 things every day that you are grateful for and writing them down. You can also do this in your head, but I recommend having a gratitude journal for at least for a little while.

Now I know for some of you, this might sound a little “woo woo”. But the point is that rather than feeling “in lack”, you purposefully count what you have. It’s easy to find gratitude in having food in your stomach, clean sheets on your bed, your children, perhaps some family members and some friends.

You already have 8 things on your list, and you haven’t even gotten to other things in your life that are good. It makes you feel “full” instead of “in lack” and that is a great thing.

I still find myself making that list in my head when I’m laying in bed at night, even and especially after a tough day.

One of my favorite sayings is, “May abundance be your constant companion.” Take the “fullness” that you get from your gratitude list with you every day.

When you find yourself feeling “in lack”, grab it, remember it, and keep it with you. And don’t forget, teach your children how to do this too.