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The Little Things

pink and white flowerPhoto by @theheartdept for

At the end of the day, one of the main goals of self-care is to feel good.

One of the best ways I’ve found to feel good- especially when I’m not feeling good- is to focus on the little things.

After a lot of trial and error, I’ve developed these 3 mini-strategies to help me focus on the little things when I want and need to:

1. Think Big Picture

This one is similar to Activity #1 from my Top 10 Self-Care Activities.

While "big picture" might sound in conflict with the little things, when I’m frustrated I almost always am overreacting to something in the present that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme- AKA the big picture.

How will I feel about this 5 minutes from now? 5 days from now? 5 weeks from now? 5 months from now? 5 years from now?

This strategy helped me this morning when my dog peed on me and threw up twice before 9am.

When you think big picture, you realize that this frustration you’re feeling is probably just a little thing.

And that most of the other "little things" we take for granted in life are actually pretty good (think health, people that love us, where we live, basic necessities, being better off than most of the world, etc.)

2. Stick To Your Go-To’s

A strategy I use to appreciate the little things regularly is to:

  1. Consciously be aware of which little things bring me joy and fulfillment
  2. Incorporate these little things as much as I reasonably can

For example, here are a few I’m loving right now:

  • Waking up rested without an alarm
  • Great workout sweat and the post-shower and meal
  • Out to dinner al fresco
  • Cups of cold brew coffee
  • Sunsets outside of our high-rise condo
  • Long walks in Chicago
  • Desserts from my wife, mother or mother-in-law
  • Texts and/or calls with family and friends
  • Weekly golf with Joseph
  • Nostalgic smell of grass taking me back to childhood
  • Downtime with my wife and puppy

By knowing my top little things, not only do I enjoy them more in the moment, but I also get to enjoy the anticipation of them happening. 2x the fulfillment.

To get started on this strategy, make a quick list of some of the little things that bring you joy. Don’t think too hard.

Then, try to incorporate these every day or every week. You deserve it.

Because the better you feel, the better you’ll be able to serve others in your work and life.

3. 1 Level Up

If I get stuck in a mindset where the little things are frustrating me (it happens), this 1 Level Up strategy helps me reset.

For example, let’s say my wifi stops working.

If I use the 1 Level Up strategy, I think something like "how lucky am I to have access to and be able to pay for high-speed wifi 99.4% of the time?"

If my flight gets delayed, I think something like "how lucky am I to be able to travel?"

If you try these strategies, let me know which one resonates with you.


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