Orange Juice may be the quintessential symbol for waking up on the right side of the bed. If you’ve found time for a glass of orange juice this morning, you’re probably off to a good start. Tropicana challenged a group of TwitterMoms to think of ten things that lead to a happier you, er, me. Its contests like this that are not just inspirational for good-old fashioned competition, but for a sense of real community. I’d love the $30 gift card, but what I’m really excited about is reading the responses from other moms and thinking of new ways to make for a happier me. I decided to really stick to activities and ideas that anyone can do almost any day of the year; as they say, its the little things that count!
1. A Feasible Schedule – The key is flexibility and knowing you’re limits (two things in and of themselves that when achieved will make you happier as well), then be firm, yet forgiving with yourself and your family. Yesterday we left that house 8:30, ten minutes after our scheduled departure. Instead of giving up on our goal, my husband and I discussed what we could have done more efficiently and this morning we were out by 8:19!
3. Open Windows – The first thing I do when I get home from work each day is open the blinds in my house facing west. Not only does this save energy and money (without needing to turn on the heat or the lights), but it also makes me feel like I’m involved with whatever is happening outdoors and increases serotonin (happy hormone).
4. Your New Friend: The Cashier – Remember, cashiers are people too and they’re handling your well-earned money! They’ll know if an item is on sale or if there’s a special coupon somewhere, so you’re not only making their day more interesting, you may be saving yourself money. Besides, you could always use a new friend.
5. Cositas – My mother used to bribe my brothers and I with ‘cositas‘ to behave in a store. Actually, although all three of us are adults, she still does! I’ve carried this tradition on in my family. I allow myself (and my son if he’s with me) one non-list item per shopping trip, a gift for myself. It decreases my chances of splurging on random sale items in the store and makes me feel excited about getting home. Usually its a magazine or a new organizing tool, but sometimes its just a chocolate bar.
6. Painted Toenails – Its takes about five minutes and even if you make a mistake, just put on some socks until you have time to fix it. It’s not a full-blown pedicure (not everyone has extra time and money for those), but its quick way to boost your mood.
7. Tea Party – Whether its Arizona or Honest or just a regular cup of Earl Grey, most true teas (made of the leaves of Camillia Senensis) have two almost equally important ingredients: caffeine and antioxidants. The caffeine levels vary by type, but they usually contain just a little less than you’re average cup of Joe or Coke, but usually without nearly as many preservatives, sodium, and sugar. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a tea party every now and again, even if its a party of one?
8. Early to Bed, Early to Rise – Look back at your feasible schedule and allot for your requisite eight hours of sleep. For as many excuses as you have to stay up that extra hour, there are twenty more reasons to resist the urge!
9. Mailing a Letter – Bills don’t count, but if you have to make a trip to a Post Office or UPS Drop-box anyway, you might as well get that handwritten Thank You note to your aunt or grandmother out of the way. How much do you love getting a handwritten letter in the mail? Make someone’s day and finally use some of that stationary you’ve been saving up for years!
10. Free Stuff – Coupons and rewards points are great, but there’s nothing like a free lunch. Or trial size bottle of lotion or dishwashing detergent. I suggest Sweet Free Stuff, but I’m not opposed to FreeCycle sites and stores. Speaking of reward points, Tropicana has decided to share an introductory code for its Juicy Rewards program: TWMOM-READR, worth up to $5 in savings. (This one-time use code is valid for new accounts ONLY. Must be entered within 6 hours of creating your account. Limit one new account bonus code per new account. All accounts must be created and all codes entered by May 7, 2010 at 11:59 PM EST.”
I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.