Tag Archives: peace

Sharing Some Beauty

I have a thing about beauty.. I love it in all forms & surround myself with it as much as possible.  There is something so peaceful, comforting & calming about it to me, especially when it comes to beauty in nature.

 

A few days after my father died, I looked out my kitchen window.  I saw a couple of beautiful butterflies on the marigold plants in our backyard!  They not only brought me comfort due to their special meaning in my life, but they also were so beautiful they brought some peace & joy.

 

I thought I’d make today’s post a bit different than usual, & share the beauty with you, Dear Reader.  As I’ve said many times, we can’t focus on narcissism all the time- it’s too depressing.  Consider this a break from that depressing topic & take in the beauty that God has created.  🙂

 

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What Comforts You?

The older I get, the more I value comfort.  The cozy feel of freshly washed bed linens, the warmth of raspberry or lemon herbal tea on a cold day, the look of a fresh manicure & pedicure are some things that come to my mind that bring me comfort.  I spend a lot of time in my bedroom because it’s very comfortable & cozy, which always feels good to me.

 

Indulging in comforting things is one way to care for yourself.  It makes you feel safe & secure- something most of us raised by narcissistic parents are very unfamiliar with feeling, & we need to become familiar with.

 

It also helps you to feel loved, when you are shown love.  Even when that act of love comes from yourself, it still feels good.

 

What makes you feel comforted?  Below are some possibilities if you need help coming up with ideas.

 

  • gardening
  • going for a walk in the woods
  • doing something creative- draw, paint, crochet, make something with clay, etc.
  • listening to music
  • watching reruns of an old TV show or movie
  • reading
  • writing
  • baking
  • drinking herbal teas
  • getting a manicure &/or pedicure

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Are You Enjoying Where You Are Or Comparing Yourself To Others?

Some time ago, I got caught up in comparing my success as an author to other authors.  I realized many who write about similar topics to me are much more well known.  Their blogs, Facebook pages or groups have thousands of followers.  Mine?  Not nearly so many.  This used to make me sad, but God told me something.  It helped me a great deal, & I think it may help you as well.

 

“When stars burn extremely brightly, they burn out quickly.  Stars that don’t shine as brightly burn much steadier & for longer periods of time.”

 

If you’re feeling frustrated in your ministry or calling, like you don’t measure up to others, then it’s time to stop comparing yourself to other people!  Dear Reader, God has given you a unique calling, so focus on enjoying where you are with it.  If you compare yourself with others who seem more successful than you, remember what God told me about stars. Maybe those bright stars have a lot more success than you do at the moment, but that doesn’t mean you won’t have plenty of success as well!

 

Every single person has an individual path to walk in life.  God’s ways are perfect, so why not focus on enjoying your path, enjoying where you are right now rather than comparing yourself to others?  Doing that has taken an incredible amount of pressure off of myself & enabled me to enjoy what I do a lot more than I had been enjoying it.  It will do the same for you!

 

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Little Things Don’t Have To Become Big Things

Song of Solomon 2:15  “Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.”  (KJV)

The little things in life can add up to big things  very quickly.

Neglecting to work through the smaller things can build resentment in a relationship, even leading to drastic measures such as divorce.

Neglecting to appreciate the small things can lead to a negative attitude & lack of appreciation, which makes a person utterly miserable.

Never forget, Dear Reader, that there really isn’t such a thing as “small foxes” in life.  Little things can contain a great deal of power.  They need to be dealt with wisely.

One day a few months ago, I’d had a frustrating day.  One of those days when nothing seemed to go right.  I finally had enough & wanted to relax in bed, watching tv for a bit before falling asleep.  I showered, got into my comfiest pajamas, & pulled back the covers to get into bed when I found one of my cats peed on my bed.  I didn’t even remember the last time this happened.  It’s incredibly rare!  At first I wanted to cry out of sheer frustration.  I began to whine to God, when I felt His calm come over me.  Instead of frustration, I felt I needed to take a deep breath.  I did & the reality of my situation sunk in rather than frustration.  I’d planned on changing my bed linens the following morning- I was simply doing it a little earlier than expected.  And, I have a waterbed.  Basically, it’s a big vinyl bag of water, so the pee didn’t absorb into the mattress like it would with a traditional mattress.  It wasn’t a huge deal.

When frustrations happen, I urge you to do the same thing I did.  Stop.  Talk to God.  Take a deep breath to relax.  Then think about your situation realistically.  Is it really a big deal the thing happened?  If not?  Don’t worry about it.  If so?  Work through it.  Talk to God.  Confront someone if need be, in a gentle manner of course.  Not sure how to do that?  Ask God to show you what to do & how to do it.  He will!

I know that frustrating things can feel like a huge deal, especially after a bad day or if you have anxiety, depression, PTSD or C-PTSD.  They don’t always have to be a huge deal though, Dear Reader.  God can help you to have a healthy perspective, so let Him!

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Adding Beauty Into Your Daily Life

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized something.  I need beauty in my daily life in some way, shape or form.  It helps to calm me, & bring me peace.  It also makes me feel closer to God.

 

I save beautiful pictures, in particular fall or winter scenes, animal scenes & rain day scenes on my tablet, & regularly look at them.

 

Beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder, so what makes me feel this way may not do the same for you.  Maybe instead of snowy mountain views, beach views bring you peace.  Then I urge you to start collecting such images.  Or, if you have a favorite artist, then save images of his or her artwork.  I absolutely love Claude Monet’s & Vincent VanGogh’s paintings.  I have saved pictures of their artwork as well.  The serene images help to bring me peace of mind.

 

Beauty should be an important part of your life, too, Dear Reader.  Surround yourself with whatever you find beautiful in your home.  Paint your walls colors that you love.  Hang pictures on your walls not to merely fill a blank space, but because you love seeing them daily.  Replace old pictures with new & more beautiful, meaningful ones.  Invest in a pretty headboard & linens for your bed.  Don’t just collect any old knick-knacks.  Instead collect beautiful things that have a special meaning to you.

 

Start to surround yourself with the beauty God has placed on the Earth!  It will improve your mood.  🙂

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Adding More Gratitude, Peace & Joy To Your Daily Life

One way I have learned to add more gratitude, peace & joy to my life is by focusing on beauty.  It’s quite easy to do, too, since beauty is all around us!  I have folders of beautiful images on my tablet.  Flowers, beautiful homes, art, or anything that strikes my fancy.  Looking at these lovely images helps me to feel more peaceful & happy.  My anxiety levels go down, too.  I even become more appreciative.

 

Why beauty has such a profound effect, I’m not sure, but I thoroughly enjoy it!  Why don’t you give it a try as well?  Start noticing the beauty around you.  Look at the flowers in your garden.  Really study them.  Focus on the lovely colors & graceful curve of the leaves & petals.  Animals are beautiful too- watch the graceful way a lion moves as he walks or listen to the haunting but beautiful sound of a wolf howl.

 

 

Museums are a wonderful place to take in some beauty.  I’ve noticed that after seeing some stunning paintings by Claude Monet (my favorite painter) at the museum, I started appreciating other beautiful things more.  I’ve never  been a fan of modern art, but even so, after enjoying Monet’s paintings, I could see a beauty in it that I never saw before.  It seems to me that once you start really appreciating beauty, you start to see it everywhere.  At least I did.

 

 

One interesting place to find beauty is also old cemeteries.  I absolutely love them!  They are so full of history if you read the headstones, but there is also much beauty there as well.  Old headstones are often much more elaborate than modern day ones.  Westminster cemetery in Baltimore where Edgar Allan Poe is buried is an amazing place!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do You Enjoy Your Life As Much As You Should?

One year ago today, I nearly died.

February 27, 2015, I got carbon monoxide poisoning from my fireplace, causing me to pass out for over twenty minutes & get a concussion by hitting my head on the adjacent log holder.

It’s been a long year.  I’ve had to learn to live with some pretty yukky symptoms that are most likely permanent.  Some are embarrassing, too- my brain doesn’t function so well anymore & I feel stupid often now.  Yet, even so, some good has come from this experience.  I’m very grateful for the good things!

I’ve realized that life truly can change in an instant.  It’s not just a cliche!  In only one day, I became a different person.  Knowing how suddenly things can change or your life can end has given me a new perspective.

I want to enjoy whatever time I have left in my life as much as possible.  I love doing little things that bring me joy such as drinking herbal tea more often or lighting candles.

I  don’t want to take anyone for granted- that is an extremely hurtful thing to do to someone & it can steal your joy.

Neither do I want to take anything for granted.  I’m enjoying things more now than I used to.  I’m wearing my favorite expensive perfume often even if my plans are only watching a movie at home.  I wear the most comfortable & cutest pajamas I can find since they make me feel good, & spend plenty of time in them (yes, even in the afternoon if the mood strikes!).

I have gained a better perspective & sweat the small stuff much less than I once did.  Little things really aren’t worth the energy & stealing of joy.

I listen to my favorite music more, too- not only is it good for brain health, but it is good for the mood.

I’m working on being more open with people by paying complements more freely.  I’ve always been quiet so it’s not easy to talk more sometimes, but it’s worth it to see other people happy to hear some kind words.

I’m avoiding people I’m not as comfortable with & setting firmer boundaries with them.  I’ve lost friendships, too, which although it may sound sad, really isn’t necessarily a bad thing.  I only want real, caring people in my life now.  I have zero patience for those who only talk about themselves & never ask how I’m doing.

I also try to push myself out of my comfort zone more often.  Granted, with C-PTSD, that isn’t an easy task, but I at least try.  Even if I fail, it makes me feel accomplished knowing I tried.  I recently went out alone to the grocery store, car wash & a craft store one afternoon.  Having agoraphobia, this is a real challenge.  I was in a panic by the time I was done my final stop, but at least I did it!

I’m trying new things, or even old things I long ago gave up.  I loved drawing as a child, & started doing it again right after I got sick & was recovering.  I’m not that great at it, but it’s fun to do.  I also have started tinkering with photography, since one of my best friends ever gave me a wonderful camera.

Best of all, I also talk with God much more than I once did.  Constantly, in fact.  Rarely any semblance of an elaborate prayer, just normal conversation, like a daughter talking with her Father.  Our relationship is much closer than it once was, & the things that have come out of it are amazing.  God has given me many dreams that show me helpful information on my life.  He’s also given me answers to questions I’ve had for a long time.  He’s even taught me a lot about narcissism, which obviously helps my writing.  He has also helped to show me areas where I need to heal, & helped me to do so.

There is a point to all of this.  Please don’t be foolish like I’ve been.  Although I’ve always known you never know when your life will end, I never had the much better perspective I have now.  I guess I’m a slow learner & it took a traumatic, life altering (nearly life ending) experience to wake me up.  Please learn from me, & make similar changes to your life that I have, so you can enjoy your life more.  Life can be short, & you don’t want to die with regrets.  Use your good china.  Burn that special scented candle you were saving for a special occasion.  Tell the special people in your life you love them  & why, & do it often.  Crank up music you love & dance around your house like crazy.  Life truly can change or even end in an instant.  Make a decision today to enjoy whatever time you have to the fullest!  xoxo

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One Way To More Inner Peace & Joy

Matthew 5:44  “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”  (KJV)

 

Lately, the “pray for them which despitefully use you, & persecute you” part of this Scripture has been weighing heavily on my heart.

 

Praying for those who hurt you can be extremely difficult for even the most devoted Christian.  I’m certainly no exception to that, so when God recently put it on my heart to pray more frequently for my mother after yet another difficult conversation, I was less than thrilled.  I prayed for her sometimes, but not daily.  Not even as often as it came into my mind that I should pray for her.  It was too difficult to sincerely pray for my mother since she’s hurt me so much in my life. Once in a while, fine, but that was really about the best I could manage.  Yet, God was telling me to change that.

 

In obedience, I decided to set a daily reminder on my cell phone to pray for my mother every morning.  Once I started though, I realized that daily prayer was becoming easier & more sincere.  Shortly after, God put it on my heart to add my father to the daily prayer.  Once I was feeling pretty comfortable praying for them both, He wanted me to add my in-laws.

 

*sigh*  Really?  The in-laws?  After all the awful things my mother in-law put me through?!  The nastiness of my sisters in-law, including them updating my husband on his ex for many years after we were married?!  Ok, fine.  They’re on the prayer list too, although grudgingly at first.

 

God then expanded my prayers even more, by asking me to pray daily for a former friend of mine who hurt me deeply almost six years ago.  Oh come on, God!  Seriously?!  Fine… added this person to my morning prayers.

 

Then, the icing on the cake was asking me to pray for someone who harassed me for over two years.  I did that the other night for the first time.  It was hard, but I did it.  Already, that’s getting easier.

 

I’m glad I’ve started this daily prayer, even though it was hard at first.  What the Bible doesn’t mention in Matthew 5:44 is that praying for people who have hurt you creates a deep peace inside.  I feel more relaxed & less anger or hurt when I think of these people now.  I also feel even closer to God than I did before starting this which has brought me more joy.  It’s absolutely wonderful!!

 

I know it can be somewhat overwhelming to think about doing this, Dear Reader, but why don’t you give it a try too?  It really is worth it!  Pray for the person who has hurt you a great deal in your life, just because you love God & want to please Him.  If at first you pray through clenched teeth, God will understand!  If you tell him you’re only praying for that person because you know He wants you too even though you don’t really mean it right now, He gets that too!  The more you pray, the easier it becomes, & the more peace & joy you will feel.  You will be blessed!

 

Try it today, Dear Reader.  Pray for your abuser.  Ask God to help you to do so if need be.  What do you have to lose?

 

 

 

 

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Narcissists & Envy/Jealousy

I’ve been listening to music today.. a CD my father recently gave me of Conway Twitty’s songs from early in his career.  I remember hearing some of these songs when I was a little girl riding in my father’s car, which is now my car, & they make me smile.

(A little background- I have my granddad’s 1969 Plymouth Fury.  He gave it to my father when his car was stolen in 1975.  My father sold it to a guy who owned a local junkyard in 1979.  In 2005, I went to a flea market & saw a gorgeous ’69 Fury & fell in love.  I assumed it was simply a twin to Granddad’s.  Hubby suggested I leave a note on the car saying I’d love to buy it if the owner wanted to sell.  He did!  After some trouble with our mortgage refinance that had our money tied up briefly, we finally were able to get the car.  The first time my father saw it, he said “That’s my car!  That’s not a twin!”  He soon brought me the VIN from his old records.  We compared it to my car’s VIN & found it to be the same car he owned 30 years before!)

Back to my story…

To this day, my mother does NOT believe that is the same car.  She also will trash my car at every opportunity.  My “favorite” was when she told me, “I would NEVER own a car your granddad owned!  HARUMPH!!!”  I was too angry at the time to think of it, but I wish I’d thought to remind her that she did own a car Granddad owned- this same Fury, for about 4 years.  Also, my father has told me she has told him I’m lying- that isn’t Granddads’s Plymouth.  The VIN doesn’t lie- it’s put on at the factory.  My father couldn’t have known it to recreate it- it’s somewhat hard to read & he never looked at that before bringing me his old car records to compare his VIN to mine.

So why the nastiness?  It’s only a car.  Not like my driving this beautiful old critter affects her in any way, right?  When I thought about it, I realized how cruel my mother can be about other things.  She criticizes my writing viciously, which is one reason I don’t discuss it with her anymore.  She has said it’s “trash no one wants to read” & “a waste of time.”  When I’ve done editing work, “anyone can do that!”  She also viciously insulted my furkids for years, knowing how much I love them.  Why?  I assume because they are very friendly, loving & well behaved.  Her cat?  Hides when people come over & is very skittish.  (I love her cat, but she is very different than mine)

Narcissists are extremely competitive.  They have to be the best, the most talented, the prettiest, the most special.  If you are better, more talented, etc. than them in any way, no matter how trivial, you can count on being criticized.

Does this sound familiar to you?  Is your narcissistic mother this way too?

At first, I know it can be hard to accept.  Normal, loving mothers want what is best for their child, no matter the child’s age.  They want her happy, healthy & successful, even if that means the child does better than the mother.  Narcissistic mothers, as usual, go completely against the norm, making their behavior hard to accept.  Often, their daughters feel they should make their performance “less than” or give up completely in order to please their mothers.

I want to encourage you today, Dear Reader, to enjoy your successes, in spite of your wicked narcissistic mother!  Her jealousy is HER problem not yours!  Enjoy the blessings & talents God has seen fit to bless you with as much as possible.  God wants you to enjoy such things.  That is why He gave them to you!  You must deserve them, too, otherwise He wouldn’t have seen fit to give them to you.

 

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Free To Be You

I have learned that something rather magical happens to many folks when they hit 40.  Suddenly they no longer have the patience for abusive people & will confront them on their behavior.  They become more outspoken without being hurtful, & more free with their praise.  They begin to practice self-care for the first time.  They are more compassionate & caring, because they have seen & been through some pretty rough things.  They finally are freer as well.  Free to be themselves, & free to do as they like without caring about the criticisms & judgments of others.

It’s a wonderful thing!!

If you aren’t 40 yet or if you passed 40 without experiencing this, don’t think you need to be 40 to experience this.  It’s never too early or too late to improve yourself!  Ask God to help  you change however you need or want to.  He will do so gladly.  He wants you to be happy & if changing will help you accomplish that, He will be glad to help you.

Also think about some things & ask yourself questions.  You don’t really need to worry about what other people think of you, so why does it matter to you what others think?  Are you putting others before yourself constantly?  Why?  If you were raised by a narcissistic parent, I’m sure you believe (as I still battle with sometimes) that everyone else is more important & you don’t deserve to do good things for yourself.  That is a lie!  You DO deserve to do good things for yourself & take care of yourself.  In fact, if you want to help others so much, you need to take care of yourself.  If you don’t, you won’t have the physical or mental strength to help other people.

Do some soul searching.  Ask yourself the tough questions like the ones in the previous paragraph & honestly answer them.  You may surprise yourself.  You also will become aware of some  changes you need to make to help yourself live a happier life.

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Balance Is Healthy

In life, many people say out of balance things, such as always look for the positive or always listen to your heart. While this may sound good, it isn’t healthy. Sometimes, there is little or no positive to be found, & that is fine. Valuable lessons can be learned in negative circumstances, not just positive. And, listening to your heart is always wise, but logic must intervene at some point too. I know if I listened to my heart only, I would never accomplish anything around my home- I’d spend my time writing, being creative, playing with the furkids & such without doing laundry or cooking. While that sounds amazingly fun, it’s also amazingly impractical.

I just wanted to take a moment today to encourage you, Dear Reader, to have some balance in your life. So many of us who have survived narcissistic abuse have trouble in this area. We often put others ahead of ourselves even when it isn’t best for anyone involved, we give at the expense of our own selves or we even can become obsessed with learning about narcissism since it finally gives us the answers we’ve been seeking.

Think about your life- what areas are out of balance? Do you listen to your feelings over logic every time? Do you always make sacrifices for others while expecting nothing in return? Are you a workaholic? Do you read non-stop about narcissism?

Please stop those out of balance behaviors! Balance is a good thing- it helps you to stay happy & healthy, two things you deserve. While working or doing for others are certainly admirable, you still need breaks from doing them. The same goes for learning about narcissism. You absolutely must learn about it if you wish to heal from narcissistic abuse, but even so, take breaks where you refuse to think about it sometimes. Narcissism is such a deep & negative subject- your emotions need breaks from thinking about it so you don’t plummet into depression.

How do you achieve balance? To start with, ask God to show you what areas you need to improve. Make any changes you know you need to do. Also, ask God to show you if you need to make further changes & to help you to do so.

If you are close to someone who is also out of balance, you could see if this person wishes to be an accountability partner. You could be accountable to each other, discussing your situations & what you are doing. You could pray together, too.

Listen to your heart. If you feel resentment or dread regarding certain tasks, that is for a reason. You may be focusing too much in that area.

Learn about boundaries if you haven’t already. Learning to set & enforce healthy boundaries will help you so much.

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Do You Celebrate Enough?

Do you celebrate the good things in your life?  Not necessarily throw a big party over every good thing, but at least revel in your joy for a few moments.

Life can be so hard & full of negative things, the good can get pushed aside.  It’s very easy to do.  However, I would like to encourage you today to start looking for more good things & celebrating them.  Focus more on what you have accomplished than what is still left to do.  Be proud of the fact you lost five pounds or finally painted your living room.  Think about how blessed you are that a good friend of yours brought you lunch when you were sick, or offered to take your child to school when you were unable.  Enjoy the fact your spouse took off work on your birthday to celebrate & spoil you.  Take a few moments just to think about those good things & feel good about them.  Bask in the good feelings for a few minutes.  Truly this will help you to feel good, & it will help to cement these positive experiences in your memory by attaching good emotions to them.  Experiences with emotions attached stick with us much better than those with little or no emotions.

I have stressed many times the importance of taking a break from emotional healing sometimes, as it can be very draining.  As much as you need to heal from narcissistic abuse, it can be very complex & deep, so periodic distracts are very important.  However, I think equally important is looking for & celebrating the good things.

Growing up with a narcissistic parent, accomplishments were always undermined.   We heard negative, critical, judgmental things our entire lives.  In fact, I think of my parents as the “could be a tumor” kid from the movie, “Kindergarten Cop.”  Do you remember that kid?  If not, here you go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaTO8_KNcuo&list=FLyHVkrFotB51_ZKqh7BqAXg&index=27

These things our parents did became habits.  We learned to do them to ourselves.  We became highly critical & negative about ourselves, even trivializing the good things we’ve done.  Why continue the abuse that your parents started?  Stop it & stop it now!  You deserve so much better than that, & you deserve to be happy.  Start today by celebrating something good.  Take a few minutes to bask in the joy of the blessing or the event, whatever it is.  Focus on how good it feels to have received something or to have accomplished something.  Even if it’s simply cleaning your house- doesn’t it feel good to have that task completed?  Focus on that good feeling for a few minutes.  Thank God for the good things.  That’s all you have to do.

Now, try that celebration with other things, big & small.  Relish the enjoyment!  You’ll be a happier person for it!  xoxo

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December 31, 2013

Good morning, everyone!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone who reads this a very blessed, happy & prosperous 2014.  I pray your year will be a wonderful one!

I also wanted to thank everyone who is following this blog, & who has said that something I’ve written has helped them in some way.  Thank you so much for the encouragement!  it truly means the world to me.  xoxo

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December 27, 2013

Good morning, Dear Readers!. 

Yesterday & today, I’ve talked to many of my close friends.  I haven’t spoken to one person who was happy with the holidays this year.  Some people had intrusive family members making unreasonable demands, others have in-laws who dislike them & use the holidays to make their disdain known, others have dealt with arguments, & others had a sick child.

Over the years that I have grown to dislike the holidays, it’s because I’ve experienced many of those same things.  I always thought it was just me- no one else could possibly feel the same way.  I felt I should tell you today that you aren’t alone if you too feel this way.  It doesn’t make you a bad person or bad Christian.  It makes you someone who has had bad experiences.

I’ve also been realizing that some friends & I have become quite bitter in some areas, especially the holidays, & I don’t like it.  After praying about it last night, I felt like God wants me to learn to have some fun daily.  The reason I’m telling you this is I think it’s a good message for you, too.  No one should live with bitterness inside.  Life is too short to live that way, & you deserve better!

I made a short list of things to do to have fun.. it’s just a start.  Please feel free to add to it, or remove suggestions that don’t sound appealing to you.  But be sure to do something fun each day!

Play
Draw
Finger paint
Dance while cleaning
Do a normal thing differently, like talk on phone outside on a pretty spring day.
Snuggle your furkids.
Prizes (reward yourself for a job well done with a little gift).
Get a coloring book.
Lose inhibitions- don’t worry about what other people think.
Be true to yourself.
Read your Bible often.
Try something new, like new clothes or a new hair style.
Do something nice for yourself daily.

 

 

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