5 Ways To Find Your Smile, When Smiling Is Hard To Do

Lately all I have been surrounded with is police brutality….police killing….reminders of slavery….reminders of inhumane treatment….reminders of civil rights….reminders that this world is a dark place…

I needed a laugh…so that’s exactly what I went in search of. I decided to take a break from everything: work, school, writing, even social media…I took time away to decompress…and it was a glorious week of smiles, laughter, playing and living carefree. It was an awesome week!

Now I am sharing with you guys the top five things that have helped put a smile on my face this past week.

5. I have watched at least two hours of Instagram Comedienne’s. Literally. I’ve always loved comedy and I love to laugh. Laughter is good for the soul - that is something that many people have said all along. According to a Huffington Post article written by Dr. Cynthia Thaik, “A good laugh can be compared to a mile workout, as it exercises the muscles, gets the blood flowing, decreases blood pressure and stress hormones, improves sleep patterns and boosts the immune system.” Apparently, laughter is not only good for the soul, but for the body. I am always looking for new and upcoming comedians that are hilarious and Instagram is a great source for the funny. I do not know what your taste is and what you may like, but you can simply look up the hashtag comedy or comedians. Sit back and enjoy. Especially after a long hard day, you will thank me later!

4. Get out of the house. I have a bad habit of getting so focused on my deadlines, and due dates that I rarely just go out of the house looking for things to do and get into. It is a habit I kicked fully this past week. Me and my kids had an outdoor adventure daily, we went to different parks and had picnics. We went to water parks and made a full day of it. I took them bowling, swimming, and to a kid's museum. It was so much fun to just get out play and laugh with them all week long. I encourage any and everyone to put your phones down and just get out and enjoy life. Soak up the sun!

3. Get lost in music. I am a big music head. Music has gotten me through my toughest days and hardest moments. Think of the song by Erykah Badu, "Love of my life (An ode to Hip hop)". Music is my best friend. I always have headphones within arm’s reach. Ready to zone out and just be free within the notes. Music is my day to day therapy. During this week, nothing changed. I made it a point to wake up earlier than everyone else and jam out all by myself with my headphones in the middle of my living room. I do not care how depressed, stressed out, heartbroken you are, having a personal jam session in your living room will help to free you from those emotions that hold you down.

2. Treat yourself. Go on a date with yourself. I tell my little sister all of the time about the power of dating and treating yourself. It is a beautiful thing to be able to just go out and enjoy you with yourself. I love my beautiful family and my loving friends. However, being able to just go out with myself whether it’s to a movie, out to eat, or have my own spa day, it always does the trick for me. I love me and sometimes the loner in me just wants to do things all by my beautiful self. You should try and plan a day with just you (especially if you are a mom).

1. Spend quality time with your loved ones. (Me and my family had a board game night). The capstone to my awesome freedom week was family game night! Growing up we always had family get together and in the midst of those get togethers we would play different board and card games together. That is still something we do now. Even as a young adult the best invites were to taboo game parties, where we would all play the board game taboo. So to end our week, my family and I had a family board game night. We played everything from Trouble, to Candyland, to Sorry, and of course Taboo was the highlight of the night. We played and laughed together all night, even the kids helped out and no one even thought about their phones.

Last week was everything that I needed to help recover and refresh my soul after the past few trying weeks. It was beginning to get harder and harder to just smile and live life. The news was becoming a heavy load on me. I encourage anyone else out there who is feeling weighed down and stressed out from life to stop, take a moment and decompress using some of these suggestions. Yes, we still need to fight on and remember those who were murdered, abused, and hurt. Yes there is still fighting to do. However, you can't fight your best fight if you are beat down. Take time to find your peace and smile again. Then get up and finish the fight.

Remember the joy that the little things can bring.

(Insert India Arie little things). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xZPMlCkDY8&index=11&list=PLIeBvMycBo4QPRoXvrLivoZrQYIfkZkGU.

Blessings to you all….

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