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by Jill Rumbley-Beam

If you have been already wandering around this year, feeling a little bit dazed about the new year, I am here today to help clear the fog. Yes, it is 2024. It is a year we can face with trepidation or with anticipation, with nervous giggles or from behind fingers, we are not sure if we are ready to peer through.

But let us take a peek anyway and see…way off on the horizon as well as within touching distance…moments providing promise and possibility.

With all this in mind, here goes 24 ways to uplift yourself in 2024.

• Show grace. Webster defines grace as being courteous and showing good will. Whenever you become impatient with someone, just remember that they may be having a bad day. Hopefully if we cross our fingers, they will show us grace too.

• Make your bed. This is an early morning accomplishment that can kick start your day and who knows it may lead to something else. If you want to change the world, make your bed, was said by William H. McRaven in a commencement speech for the university of Texas 2014 graduating class. He said if you make your bed every day you have accomplished the first task of the day. Making the bed is about setting an intention to do the little things that bring about an orderly thoughtful responsible balanced or successful life.

• Look out your window for a sunset. Research shows that sunsets have many psychological effects that enhance the long-lasting satisfaction in life and it has been said that watching a sunset can reduce stress. So next time you are having a rough day, find a sunset and watch your worries away.

• Set an intention. My morning mantra is please let me be nice and please do not let me do anything dumb. I have now added another one please let me make even a moment in someone’s life a little better today.

• Smile. It takes 43 muscles in your face to smile on any given moment. It only takes 11 muscles to frown. I am going to smile so I can burn more fat in my face.

• Channel wonder. When my brother was little, he would play outside and come in and talk about his experience but he would also add the phrase, and all the sudden…. I never thought of our little neighborhood as being very exciting but he would talk about whatever with that feeling of wonder. I call this over marveling.

• Fail to get discouraged. I watched an interview on NPR and it was about ants and if you watch ants closely, a lot of what they do just does not work. She did this interview because most of the ants in her children’s ant farm were dying. They became easily discouraged and they never get anywhere.

• Sign up. Sign up for a class or something to give you more purpose Have you ever signed up for a time management class and did not have time to take it?

• Listen. To the birds, to a child, to the person making conversation, to the silence in a tranquil night. Do not listen to gossip.

• Eat. Consider mealtime a celebration every day. Sometimes you must forget about the calories and savor the taste. When I think of eating, I am reminded of one of my favorite musicals. Oliver, where there is a song titled “Food, Glorious Food. Even though the kids got gruel, they turned that gruel into hot sausage and mustard, cold jelly, and custard, they turned their gruel into a big juicy steak through their wonder and imagination.

• Drink. Drink water. It is good for your body. Your body is 60% water. Water helps with digestion, absorption, circulation, and it helps create saliva. Water can help control calories after you eat that wonderful meal. Water helps energize muscles.

• Feel what you feel. Crabby, lonely, sad, angry. You are feeling that way for a reason and just allow yourself to go with it. Not forever but just for a few minutes. Then say to yourself, do not worry be happy.

• Befriend an animal or watch an animal show on TV. Animals provide comfort and peace, most of the time.

• Reach out. Sometimes, we find ourselves in a rut. Reach out to someone you have not talked to in a long time.

• Mourn. Losses are going to happen. Woody Allen said, I’m not afraid of dying, I just don’t want to be there when it happens.

• Rejoice. The sun rose or maybe not but you are vertical. Webster defines rejoice as being delighted!

• Get all nature dizzy. Turn on the nature channel and experience nature. Get some seeds and plant something.

• Savor stillness. Take a few minutes to mediate. Woody Allen said, “God is silent now, if man would just shut up!

• Ask someone’s name. People love being called by name. That shows we care!

• Write something. Send a card or write a note. It is so easy to email these days.

• Laugh often. Laughter cures a multitude of ills.

• Say yes. Get out of your comfort zone.

• Find a hobby. Do something you’ve always wanted to do!

• Be the best you can be!

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