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A Month of Self-care and a Happiness Jar

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,
Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

Sometimes we get to a place in life where we need a little bit of help to get through a rough patch. An extra bit of support and encouragement from someone who truly cares for nothing more than to see us safe, whole and happy.

Just before Christmas my counselor encouraged me to spend the next month focusing on self-care.

I nodded very sagely and agreed very nicely then got home and wondered: what does that mean?

I squirmed uncomfortably for a bit sincerely hoping it didn’t mean sitting in front of a mirror and chanting, “You’re so pretty. You’re so smart.”

Thank goodness, that’s not what she meant at all.

It turns out that self-care is simply doing things that promote healing, peace and happiness in your own soul and body.

I’ve never really started a project like this, but I liked the sounds of it very much.

My first idea was to drive to the beach with Bear. We walked in the sand, breathed deeply of salt-kissed air, and basked in sea breezes and dazzling sunshine.

My spirit was positively SOARING by the time we headed for home.

For a few days all was well. I was bursting with all sorts of good ideas for self-care:

  • writing in my journal
  • walks in the sunshiny meadow
  • nap in the afternoon
  • cuddling with my dog, Luna

They were lovely and soul-nourishing things, things that eased anxious thoughts and built strength in my body. But then I had a relapse with my health, and my fevered, aching head had a dickens of a time coming up with good things.

So I came up with a Happiness Jar. In it I tuck slips of paper bearing self-care ideas. I asked my friends for their thoughts on the matter, and soon the jar was chockablock full of things like:

  • buy nail polish with sparkles
  • eat a cookie on a pretty plate
  • sit on the back porch and read one chapter of an old favorite book

Now, even when I’m too sick or tired to think of a happy thing, I’ve got a whole jar full of ideas to draw from. I’ve got another jar for Bear filled with options that make him grin, and our friend Mozzie emails us every day to make sure we’ve done at least One Happy Thing. 🙂

It’s lovely to know that no matter how rough a day gets, there will always be at least one good thing to bring joy.

What are some things you do to care for yourself and your dear ones? I’d love to hear your ideas.

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thefisherlady - reading back to find this… an ‘always comfort’ for me, I put on a small pot of my goat milk, brew a fresh pot of coffee and the two together in a special mug held in my hands as I sit back in my kitchen spot next to my Bobi cockatiel and Rebecca Rosy Rowboat turtle, checking out friends posts on the computer and enjoying the beauty out the window….even better if a friend or family member sits along beside me…

Light In the Mist » Rambling Tart - […] And try to love myself in it. […]

Depression, Joy, and Other Interesting Things » Rambling Tart - […] been continuing my quest to build happy things into my life every day. Yesterday was this new pair of polka dot wellies. Aren’t they outrageously […]

Bethany Bassett - I LOVE this idea… and the orange slips of paper! I would always be smiling when I looked at the jar (though I might have to hit you up for some of your ideas if I ever make one of my own). 🙂

Christina Fields - Your photos are so beautiful; I want to be on that beach. I love your happiness jar. What a great idea. For me, self-care means exercising nearly every day. Too many days without exercise and stress starts overflowing. Hope you feel better soon.

Kitchen Butterfly - What a STUNNING idea, Krista. How amazing. I love this happiness jar……. Happy New Year

A Lot of Happy Things and Perfect Roast Pork Crackling » Rambling Tart - […] few days I wrote about the Happiness Jar I use each day. You guys responded with so many great ideas for things to add to it, that I thought […]

Krista - Thanks, Ayngelina 🙂 It has been such a good thing for me. 🙂

Ayngelina - I LOVE this idea!

Krista - I love that idea, @62001814d9d7e41ffc94251e56fa448f:disqus 🙂 I could be creative AND happy at the same time! 🙂

thefisherlady - learn how to make a new origami shape and share them with friends to bring an oooo and a smile! (online has excellent videos to follow fold by fold)

Krista - I love that idea so much, Maddalena! I’m definitely adding it to my jar. 🙂 Big hug to you too, dear friend! XO

Misty Queensland Mountains and Cranberry Currant Butter Tarts » Rambling Tart - […] heart is always happiest in the country, close to the ocean and close to the […]

Maddalena - One thing that makes me very very happy is going to a bookshop, and spend there a couple of hours looking at book covers, looking at the images printed on them, reading the titles and flicking through pages, and then buy the one that inspires me most , then go back home and start reading it immediately! And the same in a music shop 🙂 Krista, I loved so much the ides of the happiness jar, I’ll copy it for sure!!! 🙂 A big and tight hug, my friend!!!

Krista - Thank you, @akifproxymedia:disqus 🙂

Akif - Haa! this is impressive!

Krista - Thank you, darling, @knittingthemoment:disqus 🙂 You inspire me every single day. XO Love you heaps! 🙂

Marie - A lovely marvelous thing and so pretty! I look forward to hearing about the things you and your Bear do for self-care. I love it. Way to own your life and all the days–good and bad.

Krista - Such good, good things, @119c2cee80d4ff8a6f3916096ddfc8dd:disqus 🙂 I love your Lebanese coffee idea and you reminded me of how much I treasure a morning walk. I’m going to add that to my life again. 🙂 You are amazing still sending out cards. What a lovely thing to do. 🙂

Krista - What a marvelous idea, Jan!! I absolutely love that. 🙂 I’m heading to town shortly and will look for the perfect journal to hold such things. 🙂 Thank you!! XO

Budget Jan - Sorry to hear you are not feeling well. I think a great idea would be sifting through photos, or if you do not have any printed, print some of some favourite pics of places and people with happy memories attached. Make them into a lovely scrapbook. Then treat yourself to a lovely cuppa and look through your “happy album”. You could include some favourite poems that uplift your spirit, or sayings that make you giggle.

Justine de Jonge - I love this post and your ideas! Each day I go for a morning walk and it’s something I absolutely love. I also like to, on occasion, make myself a Lebanese coffee. It’s just so decadent yet such a quick and easy way to make myself feel special and cared for. I also love cooking for other people to make them feel cared for – whether it’s a small jar of freshly made relish, a batch of cupcakes or even a spur of the moment lunch. I also still send birthday cards to relatives and they keep saying that I’m one of the only ones that still does it in this day and age of social media. There are so many simple ways isn’t there?

Krista - Thank you so much, Andrea!! I am thrilled to pieces about my visa. 🙂 Can hardly believe it’s real!! 🙂

Krista - Nutters are the BEST, dear Jackie. 🙂 That’s why I love you so much. 🙂 So many lovely things to add to my jar – thank you! XO

Krista - Of course you may contribute, @facebook-1245572041:disqus ! 🙂 You made me smile so big with your ideas – I love them! 🙂 This is going to be the best Happiness Jar ever. 🙂

Krista - I love it all, dear Val!! Each one made me smile and think, “YES!!” Wishing us both many, many of these beautiful moments this year. 🙂 XO

Andrea and John - What a wonderful idea! Congrats on your visa, by the way!!! =)

Jackie - Some great ideas there Krista, health issues can be tiresome can’t they? Hmm how do I care for myself? I try each day to surround myself with people who make me belly laugh, easy living with a bunch of nutters, or talking each day with those who make me laugh, having fresh flowers in the house somewhere, scented candles and my favourite; having someone else wash my hair – now that is bliss! Fill that jar up! Wishing you a peaceful and joyful 2013 dear friend. xxxxx

Bethany Miller - Oh, I love this! Can I contribute? Drink a beautiful cup of tea, read your horoscope and wish the good part of it on someone else as well as yourself, name 3 things for which you’re grateful, name your favorite color and count how many times you see it that day (knowing that God only put those things there because He knew it would be YOUR favorite), count your freckles (my mom told me they were angel kisses when I was little), and visit a website that makes you laugh every day. Happy healing!!! And happy new year, Krista. All the peace in the world to you! ~ Bethany

bellini - Lighting a scented candle to make the house smell nice, adding a yummy flavoured creamer to our morning cup of coffee ,painting our toenails a pretty colour,
turning on our favourite music while we make dinner, reading a book on a blanket outside under our favourite tree, putting a mason jar of fresh wildflowers on the kitchen table,

going for a bike ride, listening to the birds chatter in the early morning, the goats bleating….basically enjoying all the small every day things that make us smile,,oh yes and enjoying a few moments to breathe in the cooler night air in complete silence,

Krista - Books are a treasure to me too, @wanderingsheila:disqus 🙂 They are such a comfort, aren’t they?

Cathy - Thank you for sharing your self care ideas with us Krista. One of my favourites is to take a little time to escape in a book 🙂

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