Monday, June 15, 2020

Summer Fun Activity Checklist to do at home

Come along with me as I share a summer fun activity checklist, wellness ideas, and tasty fun food recipes. Any of them can brighten the day, no matter the season or where you live. 

Most of the checklist items can be completed solo. Others can be done with a buddy or partner, and some will appeal to a brood of kids or grandkids. All are inexpensive or free, and need no fancy equipment.

This list works well for me, especially since my husband and I will be staying close to home this summer. The numbers of cases of COVID-19 is still rising in our state.

Look at the checklist to see which ones interest you. I’m sure many of these pastimes will put a smile on your face, and be appreciated by your mates as well.

Summer Fun Activity Checklist to do at home

Joy springs from within. Tap into it, as you sample these activities. Several use power from color energy to help raise your vibration (tips on ways to raise your vibration was written by Alexandra Panait and appeared on Thrive Global), and improve your outlook. If you want immediate help read this. 

1.       Celebrate the first day of summer with one of these
 five beautiful rituals to celebrate Summer Solstice from
Chloe Rain at Explore Deeply

2. Set up a hummingbird feeder and see this amazing bird in action

3. Chalk sidewalk with awesome doodles and drawings

4. Display plants, greens, and flowers to boost happiness

5. Enjoy an in-home spa day and pamper yourself


6. Lighten up decor with accent pieces of sea blue and additional

7. Add a coat of whitewash onto a picnic table or Chaise
 lounge to revive outdoor furniture and perk up surroundings

8. Blow soapsuds bubbles

9. Splash in rain shower puddles

10. Bike ride, while social distancing from others

11. Create a summer sanctuary to cozy up with a book or journal

12. Read, paint, practice yoga, or compose a tune, story, or poem

13. Play tag, hopscotch, or other favorite childhood games

14. Catch fireflies at night, and let them go to glow on

15. Learn how to breathe in health with Emma Seppรคlรค, as she
demonstrates ways mindful breathing brings happiness.

16. Nap in a hammock

17. Run under a sprinkler or take a dip in a backyard pool

18. Sleep with the windows open

19. Get creative and craft a kite, pinwheel, or vision board

20. Feast on plant-based tacos for Taco Tuesday. See recipe and photos
at Dora's Table. She creates Mexican zucchini squash tacos that are easy,
delicious, and fun to eat

Photo Dora L. Stone

21. Fix mouthwatering avocado basil gazpacho. Recipe by Judee Algazi. 
Serve this quick chilled soup with crusty bread, a refreshing one dish
lunch or dinner for those sweltering summer days it's to hot to cook.

creamed avocado gazpacho with chopped vegetables
Photo Judee Algazi

22. Plant basil, parsley, and thyme to raise a mini herb garden

23. Spread a blanket outdoors, and gaze at a starry indigo sky


Additional Ideas from Colors 4 Health

Pick and choose from my Summer Fun Activity Checklist above. Which ones interest you? 

Each one can improve your sense of well-being. All can be done out of harm's way, sheltered at home.

Please comment below and re-share on social media with a link-back to this post.

Which ideas and pastimes motivate you to make plans to do them? 

Which pursuits are included in your Pandemic activities already? 

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

I love to hear from you, and read every comment.

Refrain from putting links in your comments please. I won't be able to publish them that way.

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Monday, June 1, 2020

Budget Friendly Activities to Inspire Joy

I've decided to nix most TV news and skim through the barrage of pandemic reports in the press and online. 

I sense it's better for my mental health to focus on things that help me remain calm, carry on, and inspire joy in me.

You probably need an encouraging word or two yourself. That's why I offer ...

Budget Friendly 

Activities to Inspire Joy

Refresh with plants, greenery, and flowers ๐ŸŒด

Plants improve air quality, by exchanging stale air in our homes and offices with fresh oxygen. Plants are natural humidifiers, preventing or easing irritation to eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. According to a NASA study some plants even filter out toxic materials

No matter how down we feel, research reported on the NIH website indicates spending time in green spaces including parks, backyards, a plant nursery, or walking in a field of wildflowers elevates mood and even adds years to lives.

If we can't go outdoors, a simple way to commune with nature is to recall a moment from the past when we were hiking, rock climbing, biking, running, or strolling in the great outdoors. 

Using our imagination helps us recall fun times and associate sounds of a bubbling brook, children laughing, or the pleasing aroma of a pine forest with joy. 

We can take our fantasy further and visualize birds or butterflies flying about, conjure up animals strolling in their natural habitats, imagine people gathered at a picnic or tennis match, or see ourselves with our friends and relations, frolicking in an ocean or lake. 

Tilling the soil and planting seeds or potting plant cuttings we get from a friend, are low cost activities that bring joy. Studies show that spending quality time outdoors can reduce stress, is good exercise, and refreshes mind and spirit.

Focus on Heart-opening Journal Writing ๐Ÿ“ƒ

Put pen to paper and journal about small personal or career victories. We need not discount any effort. The tiniest step forward can be designated as the success of the day.

Journal to make a list of all the kind, caring expressions we would use to comfort a friend. 

Doing this helps us prepare for a time when we forget we can use gentle words to comfort ourselves. For another self-compassionate idea, read this from Dr. Kristin Neff.

An additional journal activity for joy is to write this phrase in a journal... "I am enough just as I am." For extra coaching on this read 9 Practices to Help You See You are Enough.

In the evening, devote a few minutes to recount all the good things that have occurred during the day in a journal. 

Grasping a pen or colored pencils in our hand rather than using an electronic device, is a tactile way to wind down before bedtime, as well as ground us.  

Ending each day with a grateful heart, helps us sleep better and encourages pleasant dreams. 

No time or desire to think up journal topics or journal write in a blank book?

Make it easy on yourself and pick up a copy of the interactive, guided journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. 

I wrote it and published it at Align Publishing LLC just for women. Colors of Joy is affordable, attractive, and fun to use. 

It supports the journal owner as she does journal activities that were designed to increase joy.

Here's how to order it now!

Learn why a joyful reader said Colors of Joy was right for her.

"I recently received this book as a gift from a wonderful friend. She knew that things were changing for me...and that I had a willingness to start experiencing life once again. What she did not know is that this word ‘JOY’ has always had a special meaning for me, especially at this specific time.

This book has given me the opportunity to apply color, instead of words, to this blissful state of mind...a very different approach. It’s an invitation to considering another place for myself, that’s not in the extremes of either black or white thinking. Living within the many colors of the rainbow is where JOY resides for me, and I thank you for this practical and integrative guide to help me along with my process!

Accept Responsibility for Joy Now ๐Ÿ˜„

Some may blame other people for their current unhappiness, or think happiness is dependent on things like losing weight or falling in love. 

Others base their happiness on praise and recognition from the people in their lives. They find it difficult to take pleasure from their own accomplishments or be thankful for those things that are working in their lives, unless someone else approves. 

This is a mistake.

Accepting responsibility for our own joy means seeking healthful ways to tap into joy, and going after them.

Joy depends much more on our own sense of personal value, than it does on other peoples' opinion of us.

When we make an effort to discover which things we love to do and do them, we are well on the way to a joyful life! 

If we already know what inspires joy in us, we need to do it more often. 

"We can never overdo joy. " Nancy Andres๐Ÿ˜Ž

True joy is not dependent on whether we are on our own or live with a partner or family. It springs from inside.

The art to true happiness lies in finding enjoyment in simple things like savoring that first cup of coffee or tea in the morning or laughing, because we're wearing our favorite pair of sneakers.

Try this. Observe what happens to your outlook, when you consciously give thanks for food, shelter, and clothing. Also, set aside time to relax, act silly, and find pleasure in just being. Note how your body as well as your mind responds.

Joy is also a by-product of self-discovery. When we learn from our experiences, mistakes as well as progress become opportunities to grow.

Joy can spring from risking to try a new thing, or doing the same old same old. It depends on our mindset.

The pandemic has been an eye-opener for many of us. COVID-19 has given us a chance to notice our frame of mind, when we're left mostly to our own devices.

Although some places are reopening to the public, it may be wise to continue to do solo activities, and feel both happy and protected. 

Personal happiness improves when we feel self-confident. Being comfortable in our own skin helps us recognize our gifts, talents, areas were we still need work, and love ourselves wholeheartedly. 

For peace of mind, I make a decision to let go of fear and surrender to how outside circumstances unfold.

I believe that if we trust ourselves and our judgement, and appreciate the people and circumstances in our lives, we’re better able to sense the Universe is taking care of us all. 

Living simply and joyfully makes our lives sparkle and feel heart centered.

Consistent self-care activities help us build emotional flexibility and  sense joy, even on challenging days.

If life seems too hard or lonely, we don't have to tough it out alone. It's healthy and self-caring to share our pain with a friend, support group, spiritual counselor, or therapist. No one needs to feel isolated. Read What to do when you don't think you can afford therapy. ๐Ÿ˜“

Please comment below (no links in your comment please, as I won't be able to publish it that way).

I read every comment and appreciate your visit. ๐Ÿ’—

Do you think you're generally a happy person? Please explain.

Share your thoughts, feelings, and ideas about how you're dealing with stress during the pandemic and what brings you the most joy. 

If you like what you see, please pin this post and like it on social media. Please remember to link back to this post. 

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