In honor of my April blog “Celebrate Life!”, I compiled a list of things you can do to actively celebrate the life you are living right now. If you haven’t read it, check it out or simply read through the list below. There should be something for everyone!
Celebrate Your Health
- Donate canned or shelf stable food that doesn’t fit into your lifestyle any more to an organization that could use it. Research local food pantries in your area on their guidelines. You can also give away the food to a neighbor in need.
- Invest in yourself where you are in your journey, not just in where you wish to be. Instead of buying a pair of jeans or a swimsuit you hope to one day be able to wear, buy a lovely, comfortable functional, workout outfit (with POCKETS!!) in which you feel confident and powerful. While you’re at it, pick up a great pair of quality but comfy sneakers that are up for just about anything. I really like New Balance 555s. I can do anything except long distance running in mine and they are so comfortable that I have worn them to the point of no longer being attractive.
- Start a community group focused on an activity you enjoy such as walking, biking, hiking, yoga, P90X, jazzercise… What better way to celebrate an activity you enjoy than to share it with friends.?
- Start a journal, scrapbook, Instagram account or blog to document your journey. Many people have found that the support of an online community is really encouraging to their journey to fitness and health. It also makes them feel accountable to continue so that those who have cheered them on can see the results of your hard work. However, a scrapbook and journal can let you see the same progresses you have made over time along with tracking what works and what doesn’t in privacy. Through my PCOS journey, I’ve kept a food journal and found out my body doesn’t like gluten or soy. So, now, I avoid those foods.
- Buy that bike you’ve been drooling over and go for a ride. Tis the season to get the ol’ bike out and go enjoy a nice bike ride around town.
- Enjoy your guilty pleasures but in tiny servings. My husband and I have gotten more joy from a giant (table) spoon of ice cream served special tiny bowls than we ever have from a giant serving of ice cream.
- Plan a meatless Monday. Find recipes you really enjoy and are excited about creating. Indian and Nepalese food really lends itself to vegetarian/vegan cooking and is rich, hearty and filling. I also like every recipe I’ve ever tried from The Minimalist Baker. In fact, I’ve mentioned them before here when I was talking about recepies I enjoy
- Lift up your sisters. Know someone who is on a journey with health/fitness/weight-loss? Is she struggling? Show up and go on a walk with her. Offer to make her a (healthy) dinner or lunch. Is she excited about dropping a few pounds? Don’t sneer at her or act jealous or say “It must be so nice to [be young/have time/have money/etc] and for the weight to just fall off!” Celebrate her! I guarantee, no matter where she is in life, the weight did not just fall off. It took time and energy and effort. Take her shopping for a new outfit or out for coffee.
Celebrate Your Faith
- Color in the margins of your Bible. Mark it up. Put poems in it. Press flowers in the pages. Document your family tree. Its your Bible.
- Make or buy a special prayer box. Use it. Refer back to it often.
- Get up at dawn (or your child’s nap time – do you), grab your coffee or tea and have a breakfast (or lunch) date with Jesus.
- Spend time praying about and discovering your unique ministry. Take the first step, whatever that looks like.
- Start a gratitude journal. Look for things to be thankful for and write them down. Make a special point to personally thank the people and loved ones who make it on that list.
- Make your own praise playlist. Find worship songs you really truly love (Has anyone heard Eden from Vineyard music yet??) and why not throw in some uplifting or inspirational songs you just love in the mix as well. Some of the secular songs out there have brought me closer to Jesus than what I was listening to in church at the time (Israel Kamalawiwo’ole, Mumford and Sons, Bon Iver, and The Fray are all in my worship mix. #sorrynotsorry.)
Celebrate Your Mind
- Learn a new language – or at least how to say “Hello”, “Goodbye” and “Thank you”. It makes me so excited when I recognize another language and can communicate with another human that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to, even a tiny little bit.
- Be a Total Geek about something – I love books and history. You can tell because I talk too loudly about it and for too long. I spend too much time finding out little facts “no one” cares about (but me). It is 100% okay to be that way. Allow yourself to be a little too excited about something. Celebrate your weirdness.
- Learn a new skill – make it fun, something you’ve always wanted to do. You can enroll yourself in a college course, or invest in Lynda.com or another learning website, or you could simply get on youtube.
- Be Creative – I’m talking about creating or finding a project that you can put your own personal stamp on – something that is unapologetically you. Don’t feel like you are a creative person? Create your perfect planner or calendar, create a dinner menu and prepare it, weld, code a website or make a new computer program, create a party plan and host it. You are probably more creative than you think.
- Write a Poem – New to poetry? Write a highly structured poem like a limerick or haiku. If you feel like a challenge, write a sonnet.
- Write a journal filled with your thoughts.
- Create a hobby group- Knitting, sewing, books, writing, music, jewelry making, photography, decorating, women in IT, home repair/do it yourself, dog training, chickens… the possibilities are endless. Advertise to friends with similar interests as you or in your local paper or community social media page.
- Blow bubbles
- Throw on a facemask or have a full-blown (DIY?) spa day.
- Spend an afternoon doing something you personally love and that makes you happy.
- Love your feet – Scrub them, soak them, file them, moisturize them, cut your toenails and put a wild color on those tootsies. Or have someone else do it for you.
- Go visit somewhere you have always wanted – if no one wants to go along, go by yourself.
- Learn how to do something that makes you feel like the Wonder Woman/Black Widow/Jamie Bond that you are. Examples include: preforming car or home maintenance, deadlifting, welding, defending yourself, horse riding, tango, or rock climbing. (If you already know how to do these things, congrats! You are well on your way to being a superhero/international spy.)
- Take a risk with your “look”– granted, you may have to check with your workplace dress code before dying your hair neon green and sporting a spiked collar to your Monday board meeting. However, experimenting with a fun pair of colored or patterned jeans that you secretly love, a mani in a wild shade you’ve been too afraid to try or a pixie cut you’ve been drooling over, or even that tattoo that’s been on your pintrest board for the last 5 years is an excellent way to shake yourself out of a rut and celebrate your uniqueness (and hair grows back/can be redyed).
- Reconnect with a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Invite her out for coffee or, if she lives far away, then schedule a facetime call with her to catch up.
- Buy a pack of birthday candles and put them in your purse. Pull them out whenever a friend has done something that needs an instant celebration like the start of a fitness journey, paying off a debt, or any goal or acheivement – small or large- that they have completed. (This idea was in a book I once read and it really stuck with me, but I no longer own the book! If you know the title of this book or the author, please let me know so I can properly reference it.)
- Invent a holiday with your friend(s) or find an obscure one (National Grilled Cheese day, Scrabble Day, National Wine Day, No Diet Day). Set up reminders for yourself and celebrate it every year. Make a big deal out of it.
- Buy a gift for a friend, don’t wait until a holiday to give it to her. Make sure to include a little note sharing how thankful you are for her.
- Go on errands together. – Nothing says you love someone like sitting for eons with him or her at the DMV.
- Go for a hike
- Find out local park’s community clean up days and participate. If your park doesn’t have one, ask how you can help in organizing one.
- Find a lovely place to have a picnic, sit and read, sketch or just bask in the beauty around you.
- Donate your time or money to a nearby park’s nature or wildlife preservation efforts.
- Plant a butterfly or bee garden
- Go on a photography walk and try to capture the beauty around you.
- Plant a (native) tree.
- Take a blanket and pillow and watch the stars.
Celebrate Your Neighborhood
- Organize a block party or BYOM (Bring your own meat) cookout. Invite all your neighbors.
- Offer to pull weeds or mow for an elderly or disabled neighbor.
- Bring your neighbor a favorite dessert or beer. Don’t know their favorite? Make it a goal to find out OR bring yours. It’s a good way to start up a conversation.
- Organize a neighborhood cleaning or repair day. This can be as simple as grabbing a few trash bags and some gloves and picking up trash or as involved as cleaning up yards and lots, repairing fences, trimming shrubs and trees, raking leaves and painting playgrounds. Just make sure to research what your community requires and ask permission from your neighbors before you take it upon yourself to clean or repair their things.
- Do a no RSVP required monthly gathering like a board game night or potluck or bonfire.
Celebrate Your Home
- Plant lots of plants, both inside your home and out. If you are a serial plant killer (like myself), invest in pretty a pretty rock garden/xeriscaping or high quality faux plants.
- Commit to doing spring cleaning this year. Check out Marie Kondo’s Konmari Method. Yes. I’m obsessed.
- Find a home repair project that is within your budget and that speaks to you. Plan a weekend to do it. Painting your trim in a room can cost as little as $15 and can make a HUGE difference. Is it a big project? Host a “barn raising” within your friend group to volunteer to help in exchange for food, drink and company. Make sure to have things to do for all skill levels and plan activities to keep kids entertained and out of the way of the power tools.
- Create a home dream board for all the projects you would like to get to and ideas on how to decorate each room.
- Host a “Plant the Garden Party” – Provide food and drink for your friends and ask that they bring their favorite vegetables or herbs or flowers from a plant nursery for you to plant your garden.
Celebrate Your Family
- Host a family celebration at your house, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or a graduation or birthday party.
- Send someone in your family a “Thinking of you” card, post card or goodie bag via snail mail.
- Plan a just-because-family-adventure like going on a hike or a weekend trip.
- Plan your family’s perfect vacation together with your family and set a date to do it.
- Take your kids out on solo dates and just focus on him or her as an individual for an afternoon or evening
- Celebrate your family member’s achievements like graduations, sporting events and remember them on special days like birthdays, wedding anniversaries and holidays. Show up to events that matter to them. If the family member lives far away and you can’t make it, call to see how things went. Keep a stack of cards ready for birthdays, holidays and achievements.
- Create family traditions. Keep them.
- Call family members and make a point to be involved.
What do you think? Do you have a way you like to celebrate your life? How many things on the list have you done before? Do you have any plans to do any of the aforementioned ideas? Was this helpful to you? Let me know! I love to hear from readers, so make sure to like and comment!