Time To Get All Pollyanna

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My son LOVES singing, “Happy Birthday.” He gets so excited that he can’t sit still. And when he turned three earlier this year, my husband said, “I think he’s going to be disappointed when every day isn’t his birthday … just like his mama.”

First, I was a little offended. Yes, I’m a bit of a birthday princess, but that’s a topic for another blog, another day. But it got me thinking, why can’t we treat every day like our birthday? I’m not talking about presents and cake and parties; I am simply referring to that birthday vibe—one of optimism and positive thoughts and feeling special. Why can’t we wake up every day and actively plan to fill our day with as much quality family time, cheerfulness, and gratitude as we possibly can?

It’s all about positivity; and I can’t think of another time in my life when I’ve needed it more. During this pandemic and crazy quarantine period, we can all get a little down. Add to that the day-in, day-out monotony of child-rearing, house-cleaning, and squeezing work in wherever you can … it’s enough to kill anyone’s spirit.

But I’m a firm believer that happiness is a decision you have to make. I thought that before this pandemic, and I still believe it now. When something negative happens, you have to decide to react positively to it. When boredom strikes, you have to actively decide that you’re not going to let it get you down. Even when you wake up on a perfectly normal day, you have to decide that you are going to keep trying all day to get the best out of that day.

positive, happy woman memphis mom collective

Now, I’m not a professional counselor or anything, and I’m far from being perfectly positive every day. Everyone gets in a funk. But I do feel like constantly pep-talking myself and counting my blessings helps me get out of a negativity rut. I just don’t want drama to weigh me down. I have to shake it off.

I used to apologize for being positive. When friends would discuss their problems with me, I would help them try to find the silver lining. And I would often say to them, “Now, I hate to go all Pollyanna on you, but….” Well, guess what. I’m not apologizing anymore. Sometimes focusing on the tiniest positive nugget in a really crappy situation is all that’s gonna get you through. And I’m here to help you find it. Call me, “Pollyanna” all you want.

positive, smiling woman memphis mom collective

So, here are five tips—from one busy, tired, frustrated {Pollyanna} mom to another—to help you turn your frown upside down:

  1. Embrace gratitude every day: When you wake up in the morning, take a moment to be grateful just for that. Then, think of three more things that you’re grateful for before the day even gets started. You should recount your blessings all day long.
  2. Achieve something small: Set a goal for yourself for the day—something fairly easy and achievable, but something that needs to get done. For example, your goal might be to run and unload the dishwasher, take the kids for a walk, or FaceTime with your mom. I do this every single day, and it gives me a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Find time for yourself: Sometimes, I benefit just from 15 minutes of me time. It doesn’t have to be a grand spa day or a girls’ trip to somewhere spectacular. Read a book, take a bath, journal, or just sit and do nothing.
  4. Shift your reactions: Make it a goal to actively shift one or more reactions today. If you are about to complain about something, maybe refrain from saying it out loud? When a child is really on your nerves, maybe respond by doing a brand new activity together to create a new experience? Stop your negativity in its tracks and shift it to something positive.
  5. Build someone up: We always feel good when we make others feel good. Reach out to check on a friend today or just go on a compliment spree on social media. Provide your friends and family members with positive and encouraging feedback to nurture their spirits today.

Will you join me in this quest for more positivity? Me, you, and Pollyanna—we’re gonna have a great time together!

 

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Cara
Cara is a freelance journalist and strategic communications consultant living in Germantown. Born in Illinois, she moved to Memphis at a young age; and, having moved away a few times for college, graduate school, and other adventures, she likes to joke that she’s moved TO Memphis more times than anyone she knows. Mom to the cutest little boys, Everett (March 2017) and Gavin (October 2018), and wife to Rob, who works as a financial planner, Cara is adjusting to her new gig as a stay-at-home mom after almost 20 years as a magazine editor and corporate communications practitioner. When not “momming” or consulting, Cara spends her time volunteering with the Junior League of Memphis, where she served on the Board of Directors for several years. Admittedly, Cara has an unreal obsession with escape rooms, an unhealthy addiction to Frappuccinos, and an uncontrollable desire to correct every grammar and punctuation mistake she sees. Learn more about Cara at https://carasievers.weebly.com/.

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