When the world around you has taken a negative turn, it's easy to get lost in the tornado. You and your family members may end up cranky and sad. That's when it's time to seek out small ways to turn things around. Here are some suggestions:
1. Remember to be grateful. People tend to focus on the negative things that happen during any particular day. At dinnertime, or bedtime, ask your children to tell you three positive things that happened. They could even write them down in a journal, so they can always look back at them.
2. Share your gratitude with others every day. Two simple words, "thank you," mean a lot, and can really brighten someone's day. Model this behavior for your children, even by waving at other courteous drivers, and most likely they will follow your lead.
3. Focus on helping others in small ways. One mother made this suggestion, and received a little gift back herself. Click here to read the story. Sometimes, a few spoken or written words can mean more than other time consuming pursuits. A phone call to a grandparent, or a letter to a friend or relative, can mean a lot. For more ideas, go to helpothers.org.
4. Remember the best of times. Look back at old photos, home movies, and books. Make a scrapbook, or even a memory box with things that make you smile. You can even ask your children to draw or write about a happy memory.
5. Take a trip to your local library. Books, like Chicken Soup for the Preteen Soul, Chicken's Soup for the Teenage Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Mother and Daughter Soul, by Jack Canfield, will make you realize that you're not the only ones going through difficult times. There's something for everyone at the library.
6. Exercise together. Take a walk, or bike ride, around the neighborhood with your entire family. Go to the playground. Play basketball. If it's raining, take out the hula hoops, or dance to your favorite music.
7. Listen to your favorite music. Whether it's classical, pop, or country, music has a way of lifting us up.
8. Prepare a healthy meal or snack together. Find recipes that will help you sneak more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet.
Do you have another way to turn your day around? Please feel free to add to this list.