Friday, January 2, 2015

JOY

With the new year approaching, I am sure that we all have begun making our new year's resolutions. For me, my resolutions usually sound like this:
1. Go to the gym at least 3 times a week
2. Leave school before 5:30pm
3. Be optimistic
You don't want to ask me how many of those I usually wind up sticking with. The answer is, unfortunately, a resounding ZERO. I usually do pretty well with my resolutions for the first week or so, and then life gets busy, and we all know what happens next.
This year, I have been inspired by my fellow Life is Good playmakers once again to focus on JOY in my resolutions.
Our last Life is Good booster in Boston was quite the event. I'll give you a quick recap… seven of us drove up in a minivan with antlers and a red nose. Our driver was no other than SANTA CLAUS, and our co-pilot was an elf. We hit MAJOR traffic on our way up, and then walked to our destination through the streets of Boston… in our pajamas and slippers. And yes, still with Santa and the elf.
It was the most FUN that I've had in a long while! No, it wasn't just being in the outfit that brings me the most joy {yoga pants, a sweatshirt, and my 3D penguin socks}, but it was being with other playmakers and playmakers in training SHARING how we make joy happen. This booster inspired me to share these joy-making ideas with all of you.
Let's face it. Smiling is contagious. I have experienced first hand being in a crappy mood and having someone's smile completely change my day around. The most common theme at our LIG booster was smiling. Smile at everyone you see, even if you don't know them. It's guaranteed to bring some joy to their day, even if it's only for a little while! Also, it's really hard not to smile back at someone who's smiling at you, and once you've smiled, it instantly makes you feel a little better. It's like tricking your brain into thinking that you are having a good day!
This is kind of along the same idea as smiling, except it requires some extra effort {yes, you have to speak or wave!} By saying good morning, you're letting the other person know that you acknowledge them, and they are important enough for you to say good morning to! What a compliment that is! Sometimes it's even a chain reaction… you say good morning to someone, and then they feel the urge to say good morning to someone that they see! Keep spreading the joy!
This is one that I have personally been working on this school year. It brings such smiles to my students' faces when I am silly and I am able to laugh at myself! You know those brain breaks we put on for our kiddos? Well, next time you put Go Noodle on, stay and do the dance with your students instead of rushing to prep something for the next activity. Even if you wind up making a fool of yourself, your kids LOVE seeing you dance with them, and it puts a little pep in your step as well. It has definitely brought a smile to my face on many mornings! Did you know, laughter has been shown to reduce stress?
Are you ever having a rough day and then you hear your favorite song on the radio? I have! Playing music that we associate with good times or having fun can help make you happy! I definitely have an upbeat group of songs that I listen to {and maybe sing to} on my way to school each morning. In fact, as a result of this LIG booster, we have petitioned our principal to allow us to play music over the loudspeakers in the hallway and classrooms. Child-approved music, obviously, because it will be playing as students come in as well. I can't wait to start when we get back… I know it will help lift some spirits in the wee hours of the morning!
Everyone loves feeling appreciated. Next time someone does something nice for you, go out of your way to say thank you later on, or leave them a note. Even a note on a post-it goes a long way, it doesn't have to be anything fancy! In fact, notes of any kind can raise someone's spirits by letting them know that you're thinking of them. Last year, my co-worker and good friend, Erin, got me flowers and a card when my dog died. I didn't think that anyone would acknowledge how I was feeling because it was my first year teaching, and I didn't know everyone THAT well. This small act of kindness made my whole day. It was so nice to know that someone was thinking of me!
One thing a lot of playmakers shared at the LIG booster was how they always complain when they have to wait in line at the food store, or when they are are stuck in traffic driving home. Next time that happens to you, try putting a positive spin on it. Think about how lucky you are to have money to be ABLE to wait in line at the food store, or how lucky you are to be ABLE to have a car to be stuck in traffic in. This type of thinking will change the way you look at things.
The LIG booster inspired me to create and spread joy in my life. I've recently explored the whole Random Acts of Kindness idea, and I am blown away by all of the joy that this movement has created! Next time you have a few minutes, check out the website and all of the amazing ways that you can create joy not only in your life, but in the lives of others. If this doesn't inspire you to create joy, maybe these tips from some fellow teachers will!
So… do you want to start spreading JOY? How about starting with your students? Check out my Positive Postcards available in my TPT store to send home little notes of encouragement with your students OR grab this freebie to keep track of the happy calls or emails you send parents!

1 comment:

  1. Love all your suggestions to have joy! What a great resolution, especially since it will benefit so many others as well. Best of wishes to you this New Year!

    ~Laura
    Luv My Kinders

    ReplyDelete

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