“Why am I always the one who has to _____?” Boy, can I fill in the blank on that sentence, especially when hard days with long lists come my way—start the laundry, make the coffee, fix dinner, vacuum, do the dishes, scrub the toilets. I’m also pretty good at this little gem too: “It sure would be nice if someone would help me once in a while.” It’s easy to go there when busyness and overloaded schedules and stress creep into our families. Sadly though, comments like those can lead us to a bitter heart, even if we only say them in our heads. And as moms trying our best to raise delightful, respectful kids, we have to learn how to not be bitter about the things that come our way each day.
So, whenever I feel bitterness start to creep into my heart and mind, I use these 22 simple pleasures to add a little bit of comfort to my own day, a way to treat myself—even if for only a few seconds. Because when we take better care of ourselves, it suddenly becomes easier to take care of our families. Also, these simple pleasures help me reset my mind, reminding me how thankful I am to be the mom I am right now, one with toilets to scrub and dinners to cook because my family is here. Believe it or not, one day our kids will be out on their own and we’ll miss all those dirty dishes. Until then, try a few of these anti-bitter tactics.When we take better care of ourselves, it suddenly becomes easier to take care of our families. Click To Tweet
Take your time.
1. Read a book you love for 10 minutes. (Actually, any book will do.)
2. Wash your face or brush your hair.
3. Linger over your coffee. (You can even read while you drink a little extra, too, to make it last even longer.)
4. Take 60 seconds to apply mascara.
5. Take a five-minute yoga break.
Be a little extra!
6. Grab the fancy lip gloss (or lip balm—whichever you prefer).
7. Use a lotion or perfume you like that smells nice for hours.
8. Put on your favorite earrings.
9. Buy yourself flowers at the grocery store.
10. Use a pen you really like, even if it’s just for the grocery list.
Serve your own needs.
11. Choose your comfiest top or your favorite jeans to wear today.
12. Speak up. Don’t be silent about wanting help. Chances are your family wants to help you but they don’t know what you need most.
13. Stretch your neck, then your back and shoulders. Repeat for two minutes.
14. Step outside and put your face in the sun (or go for a small splash in a rain puddle).
15. Take a 10-minute walk alone.
What Goes In…
16. Listen to a positive podcast.
17. Breathe deeply three times.
18. Move your favorite photo into view in the kitchen or on your desk.
19. Play your favorite song. Put it on repeat if you need to.
20. Drink a tall glass of water. (Hydration can improve your mood and reduce your stress in the moment, even if you don’t feel thirsty.)
21. Read an old journal entry and celebrate your growth.
22. Print an inspiring quote or scripture passage and put it where you can see it.
Remember, the most important thing in showing yourself how to not be bitter is refusing to give in to guilt or despair and refusing to hide your struggle. When life gets hard, pull out this list and choose just one small act as many times as it takes. If you’re married, mention how you feel to your husband. Ask to talk to him about it over dinner alone one night so he can find tangible ways to help. You could even send him this article from All Pro Dad about how husbands can rescue their wives when they’re stressed. Before you know it, you’ll have a new perspective and loads more peace in your home—and in your heart, too.
What simple act keeps you from becoming bitter?