Link love

Post-Thanksgiving Link Love

November 25, 2022

In the U.S., yesterday was Thanksgiving, a day not known for its moderation. So if you’ve indulged in a little too much “festivity,” (and even if you haven’t) here are some happy, peaceful links to check out while you’re (hopefully) enjoying a day off from the normal routine.

Check out “25 Ways to Take Care of Yourself During theHolidays” for ways to stay healthy and sane this year. Most of these fit in really well with my word of the year, simpler

Just when I think that people are the worst, I read a story like this.

“5 Anxiety-busting Activities to Try This Weekend.” I’ve been trying to make joy a priority recently.

The sweet joy on these faces is pure magic.

“18 Easy Things to Do Today to Make Yourself Happier.” Number 9 is my favorite.

The holiday season can be difficult for highly sensitive people—it’s so full of stimulation. This article has good information on how to care for yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and socially if you’re highly sensitive—and how to help if someone you love is.

And here’s your laugh for the day. Welcome to the Squirrelympics!

Happy weekend!


Tending the Secret Garden of Joy

November 18, 2022

Photo by Joanna Swan on Unsplash

“Both abundance and lack exist simultaneously in our lives, as parallel realities. It is always our conscious choice which secret garden we shall tend. The invisible underbrush holding us back is our own thoughts. When we choose not to focus on what is missing from our lives but on the abundance that’s present—love, health, family, friends, work, and personal pursuits that bring us pleasure—the wasteland falls away and we experience more joy in the real lives we live each day.”

—Sarah Ban Breathnach, Simple Abundance



Five Ways to Make the World a Happier Place

November 11, 2022

Photo by Simon Ray on Unsplash

Don’t you get fed up with feeling helpless, that the world’s problems are too big to solve? This reminds me of productivity expert David Allen’s statement that you can’t “do” a project. You can only do steps of a project. 

So as individuals, we if we can’t solve [insert problem here], maybe we can take a small step towards a happier world, for ourselves and for others. Being kind, generous, and thoughtful is good for your own mental health as well as benefitting others. Every action counts. If we do nothing, nothing will ever change.

Here are five simple ways to make the world a happier place:

1. Help a teacher. If you have kids in school, start with their teachers. If you have friends who are teachers, ask them what they need. If you don’t know any teachers, check out Teachers have borne a larger-than-their share of stress and turmoil over the past few years, and they could use our support.

2. Donate to a local food bank. Food banks across the U.S. are struggling with both greater need and the higher prices of food. Money is always appreciated, but another way I like to do this is to stock up on my grocery store BOGO deals—donating one or both of the items. 

3. Support small businesses, locally and online. Buying holiday gifts from small businesses (or makers on Etsy) is one way to do this. Watch for ways to participate in  Small Business Saturday (Nov. 26), a day set aside to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. 

4. Support the authors, artists, and musician you love. When I think about how many hours of comfort and joy my favorites have given me, I realize that I could do more to say thank you. Monetary support through buying their offerings is only one way to support them. You’re already supporting them by reading their words, listening to their music, and gazing at their art (checking books or music out of the library counts)! But if you (I) want to do more, you can always share your favorites publicly on social media, or just in conversation with a friend.  Leave positive reviews or ratings. Send your favorite a message or fan letter. Follow them on social media and subscribe to their newsletters if they have them. This helps them to “build a platform,” which can lead to more sales.

5. Don’t forget yourself. That’s right, you heard me. Treat yourself kindly. Put having fun on your to-do list. If adding one more thing to the list makes your head explode, look at what’s already there and figure out how it might be made more enjoyable. If you’ve already scheduled some self-care, circle it in red and congratulate yourself for your good sense. (Click here for some simple ways to treat yo-self. For more great, mostly free self-care ideas, see “99 Free (Or Affordable) Self-Care Ideas for Your Wellness Routine.”)

Most of all, let your default be kindness. Take a beat when you’re tempted to snap at someone. No doubt this is an extra stressful time of year and I’m willing to bet that we’re all fighting hard battles of one form or another. So smile, be patient, listen.

(Want more ways to be kind? See “10 Ways to Spread Kindness.”)

We do not have to give in to the awfulness of the world. We can spread the ripples of kindness, even if we fear those efforts won’t make that much difference. I always ask myself, “What kind of person do I want to be?” Do I want to know in my heart that I did nothing, or made things worse, when I could have done some small thing to ease someone else’s burdens or give them an emotional lift? I remember how I feel when someone does something nice for me, and while I’m not always aware enough (or capable enough at the time) to do the kindness, it is my goal to be that person. Let’s keep trying to spread kindness and happiness in whatever ways we have available to us.

Please share in the comments below your ideas for small, simple kindnesses—I’d love to hear them!