Creating Happiness Our Top 8 Tips
Creating happiness is all about the choices we repeatedly make for ourselves. It is about freeing preconceived notions and thoughts, to be able to all yourself ALL THE FEELS, of the joy of life. Relish in the small moments of joy and allow yourself to #createhappy
Find your CALM to CRUSH your day!
Watch the full interview here
1.) Highlight the small moments of good, focus on them and ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL JOY IN THEM, despite what the rest of the day has been like. Write them down and relish in the small moments that lifted your spirits each day.
2.) Say “no”. If nothing else has proven itself in this pandemic, it is the idea that we spend a lot of time in life on things we don’t want to actually be doing. When our “normal life” stopped, you may have identified those items in life that are not as important, and maybe you don’t really miss doing – make sure they are either at the bottom of the list OR they are excluded. When things are coming back to normal.
There is nothing to be gained in this life by continuing to spend time doing things you wish you weren’t doing, if you are miserable – change your circumstance. MOVE! You are not a tree. Don’t stay stuck in misery. Let in the joy.
3.) When you’ve found the things you love the most, plan them first, prioritize them first and make sure you help them flourish and grow. Loving yourself means intentionally creating happy and allowing joy.
4.) Try on a child – like perspective.
Children have the BEST perspective – everything is new and exciting. Everything can be a game. Everything can be fun.
5.) Remember your love.
A book I recently read highlighted how important it is to keep “playing”. We put things down that we used to love (drawing, singing, dancing, music, reading, sports, card games, writing, you name it.)
Somewhere along the line, we have decided that once you get a job, it is time to “put down childish things”. But why put down something that you love because everyone ELSE thinks you should be “growing up and moving on”. … p.s. – maybe they DON’T even think that, maybe only YOU do.
Either way, try to remember what ignited a fire in you in the past. Some part of you that is still waiting to sing, dance and write again.
6.) When there is JOY – ALLOW YOURSELF TO FEEL IT.
This might be easier for some than others, and Yes, we already said it here. BUT, it is so important.
Sometimes as a self-defense mechanism, we have built up walls. We have numbed ourselves out. We have made sure we don’t feel the “bad” feelings, or the unwanted feelings, but that has other consequences too. Make sure you’re letting your guard down, and opening the door to let in the good, you need it, we all do.
7.) Allow yourself to dream.
Same line of thinking as your child like thoughts! What would your life look like if you could create it any way you wanted? Some things in life aren’t going to change, but others are VERY within our control. Create your happiness by NOT SETTLING. It might look a little rough in the work it takes to get there. But it will be SO worth it in the end.
8.) Learn lessons the first time.
Maya Angelou – “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time”
And guess what, when a situation in life, between, family, friends, career, etc. happens – learn your lesson THEN. Learn to change your approach, to grow. Learn to do what you have to do, to make it different the next time. Don’t stay on the “race track of life”, going around the same circle, wondering where the hell the exit ramp is.
You gotta build that baby sometimes!
P.S. – this also goes for lifestyle changes and dietary habits!
Hello everyone. Welcome to our third edition of the resilient mama series I’m Kelly Cole and I’m your host for today I am here today with the lovely Erika Prell.
So a little bit about me so as Kelly said my name is so my middle, the middle of last name is Erika Fehrenbach Prell, you know, it’s a lot for a lot of my friends call me ESP which is kind of me. Oh I love. Yeah, right. I live in Wisconsin so I used to live in Madison, Wisconsin, I now live in Altoona Wisconsin, which is a small town by Eau Claire which is about an hour and a half, south, east fish from the Twin Cities. That’s probably our biggest landmark So, um, as Kelly said I’m a nurse practitioner my background was in cardiac surgery. That was my jam. When we moved here about four years ago I did take a cardiology position for a while, and then I found out I was pregnant and a bonus baby, so I have a 12 year old son, I have an eight year old son and then a one and a half year old daughter, and the hours that they wanted me to work was, it was a very reduced schedule, which is great.
That’s what I wanted, but it wasn’t really going to jive with the big kids and the little kid so it spreads right now I’m not working as a traditional NP but I started a business a year ago with my friend Jackie white, it’s called soul shine life connections and our mission is to help inspire and guide people to live their best life from a mind, body, soul perspective so that’s what I’m working in I guess you could say now, I love. Yeah, yeah, I’m glad to be here.
Now, in working with some of the people that you end up working with that are looking for that connection. So, Our group is all about moms that are struggling with anxiety and really in that place of being motivated to do something new and go forward.
We love to approach it from the standpoint of lifestyle and nutrition, and that’s kind of what what we do. I personally had like this giant shift. I guess about two years ago now so I had my second baby, and I had back to back babies my, my oldest was two and a half and then I had a newborn. And after that I had just been in this place of I felt really poorly I did not feel well I was not taking time for myself, I was, I had like this giant kind of realization that I needed to change something I was doing Yeah, and I had this huge diet change which unintentionally led to this wellness journey, I ended up losing a significant amount of weight, even though I wasn’t trying. Then other things fell into place too, I realized that you needed to take care of yourself, you needed to have time to let your mind be quiet, and breathe. Because so much of that was me not really taking that time and you just go go go go go and not allow her any quiet time in my brain too. Do you have any kind of insight into that or do you see similar worries.
My gosh, well I mean a big, big part, I wouldn’t say that we only talked to two moms but that is what Jackie and I both are we’re both moms of three. So my kids are a little bit younger Jackie’s kids are older she’s got a senior in high school a sophomore in high school and then an eighth
grader but man, you know, the thing about when you become a parent, especially if a lot of it falls on the moms that you get in this like busy, busy, busy doing everything for everybody else, putting everybody else first and you forget to fuel yourself and fill yourself up.
And it’s really hard I think you get in this cycle of the mom guilt right and the thought “ I’ve got to do all the things to do “all the things” for other people”, but if you’re not filling your cup up first. You can’t fill up the cups for other people, it’s that whole, like, I love that analogy of, you know, you put your oxygen on first and like when you’re a mom, you’re like, No, I want to save that person I want to save that little person first, but no if you and we know this as an NP, right that if you literally don’t have oxygen coursing through your body, you can’t make the right decisions you can’t do what you need to do for other people so you have to take care of yourself first.
And as a mom, as a woman, you need to and it might go against what you’re thinking but you really need to let that go, let that go because that doesn’t serve anybody, and really take care of yourself first, so that you have the energy and the drive and everything to take care of other people and it’s exactly what you said it comes from all tie pieces I mean if you’re feeding yourself good thoughts but you’re eating a really terrible diet and you’re not drinking water and you’re not getting exercise like those all go together.
And am I perfect at all of them. No, it’s all a work in progress right but they definitely feel a difference. I’ve done some different things with my diet too and I realized this real connection between what fuel I put in my body when I get out of my body and there’s certain things I’ve taken out that I realized don’t serve me well. A lot of what Jackie and I do too is about your mindset. It’s all about making it fun and whatever one of my most recent ones with all the stay at home to teaching children thing is like we go on a morning walk and I call it morning recess.
What I realized is, I get super excited about exercising, they’re certain ways I’ve always found when I can exercise where it doesn’t seem like I’m exercising like I love playing soccer. Yeah, because it’s fun. So like when we talk about recess it brings all those feelings back of like playing kickball I mean we don’t play kickball, we just go for a walk for like, yeah, like joyfulness Yeah, like find out how you look forward to recess and I’m like, that’s what I’m calling exercise from now and it’s, it’s fun does that make you want to like go, I don’t know, it just, yeah.
My business partner, Jackie and I really like to talk about self kindness, instead of just self care because I feel like self care when you think about that and I mean I love spider man I love that stuff but like self kindness is that kind of a bigger concept I think of self care it’s more about what you’re saying to yourself, how you’re talking to yourself, like you said, being quiet, taking time to think meditate or just having quiet time quiet thoughts journaling that’s a big one. Gratitude journaling is so huge that’s kind of a newer thing that I’ve done in the last year, really helps get your mindset and I’ve been working with my kids on that actually during this time that we’ve been off about trying to find the positives and flipping something from a negative to the positive. That’s really huge. If you can keep your mindset in the right place, really helps with, with everything. I mean really, it does.
And it’s kind of a recurring theme so far but keeps coming up on this every time we keep coming back to the mindset and kind of like I feel like it’s got a few different pieces you know you’re first of all you’re totally right about self care because I think a lot of people think self care only equals like sitting in a bathtub with a glass of wine or reading a book or whatever candles or something like, that’s not the most thing or that’s not the most real life for people. Right. Kindness is just that overarching concept of it so yes, the care of yourself in a way that’s just like suffering from yourself like people are really mean to themselves like they would ever say to other people, the things that they say to themselves.
Yeah. And so I think that it’s so important to talk about it, kind of like underscore it and you’re like, just be nice, be nice to you. We have in my group we call it screw it Friday. And basically, it’s kind of this like concept that I have these little boxes and if it lands in the box that is like not important, like you don’t have to do it to live and survive. And it’s not really serving me and making you happy or filling you up. You probably need to “screw it” like you probably need to get rid of it. And I think that all that stuff is connected like you’re doing that moment of quiet, maybe that is something you think about what what am I spending time on that might be overwhelming me stressing me out adding on to the layers of anxiety that I’m having that I should probably just say screw it to like what is taking up my time, and my thoughts and my actions that I maybe don’t really need to be doing so, you write I love that. That’s great.
Yeah, I wanted to ask you, so I think that one thing that came up for, for me, as a nurse practitioner
. I feel and I still feel this way so what I do now, I see people in the hospital in a hospitalized situation. And I see. I specialize in pain management and so I see really the gamut of just regular stuff surgery pain, whatever. And then we also see some pretty significant chronic pain, but never sure to have an actual source that we can find. And to me it always leads back to emotions, it always leads back to stress, anxiety that coping skills that are not present.
Right, it’s very telling. To me, I’m sure that you’ve helped patients like that, or people like that in your career as well. But I really think that for me it was kind of almost part of the impetus for me to want to go forward and do something more than my nurse practitioner job because I was like
well they’re coming to us at this point and what if we would have just had somebody to talk to you before they ever got here, like, you’re so far down the road. Not that we can’t help you, but just, I wish somebody I wish that you know you found this earlier I wish that you had these concepts earlier I wish you know, and so I thought like how can I like cast that net out bigger and make this bigger impact, like beforehand. If anybody’s searching and looking and trying to find something that they can be a part of beforehand before it ever got to that worst spot and God knows I, you know, really manifested so many different things.
It’s very variable depending on the person, and I was just looking at something today that was talking about people having panic attacks and how that was their manifestation they started just having like continual panic attacks their anxiety just kind of went consistently escalated that to the point of consistent panic attacks and I was like, that’s another one. But I, I just feel like I can tell that you wanted to have that other impact too. Yeah, you wanted to be able to have something as a co creator of something that’s having this bigger impact in a different kinds of impacts, but you kind of like get to be at the point where you’re catching it earlier, or being as forward action in the proactive hundred
One hundred percent. Yeah. Yeah, I mean I loved cardiac surgery, and part of a big reason why I went into cardiac surgery was, which is actually the resiliency piece is my dad’s best friend died of a heart attack very unexpectedly right before my sophomore year in college so he was very young, he’s only 47 and his death is the only reason my dad recognized his own heart. Heart pain. Three months later, and took it seriously and found out he actually. He went in, he had stress test which means you decide if it’s pass or fail, he failed that you think you went for like I don’t even know like a minute probably and they’re like yeah you’re done. And then he had a calf like I think about my Miss tells you when it was I think it was a 98 or 99, but there was a traveling cath lab that came in like a bus Isn’t that funny to like the smaller town. I have never heard of that but okay. They don’t
do it anymore. Okay, anyway so I just happen to traveling while I was coming and so he had a CT Scan and then they’re like, you’re going to be taken to Madison tonight for surgery tomorrow, I mean, they didn’t even let him go home. So, that so my dad ended up having like bypass surgery, and where the resiliency piece, came from me and like when I was thinking about resiliency when you when he talked to me about that I’m like, it’s so hard to think as a nurse, right when you’ve seen people that have had had things and been through things way harder than you have that you’re like, it’s hard sometimes to find like that thing. You know what I mean like, like, oh, but that was way harder. But the thing is, it
You see so much, and you’re always seeing the worst of the worst right yeah. So I was thinking back.
And the whole point like resiliency, is started when you start having adversity and really I mean I see this in my daughter like her adversity right now is not falling down when she’s carrying things. Like, that’s a big deal to her because that’s the biggest thing that she’s overcome at this point. Yeah. And so as you get older, you know, you start going through bigger and bigger things or whatever so eventually you’ll hit something that really pushes you into the resiliency and I would say that this instance with my dad and his best friend was my big point of developing resiliency I think as an adult, and the part that were the resiliency was that I was equally grateful that my dad was alive.
But I was equally guilty that my dad was alive, if that makes sense because the only reason I knew my dad was alive was because his best friend died. And it was like why did I get to keep my dad when his family so Bob’s family was very good friends of ours his daughter Katie is a couple years younger than me she’s one of my very best friends. Why did she lose her dad, when she was 17 and I got to keep my dad when I was 19 so that was really hard to work through, and eventually what got me through it was actually talking to Katie, and her mom and her, her older sister and they were like, Bob. My dad was gonna die anyway, like he was going to die anyway, that was his path. And if he knew that he saved his best friend’s life. That would make him very happy, like, yeah, they’re they were very, they were very grateful that Bob death saved my dad and so because they were grateful with it I’m like well then I don’t need to feel guilty right so that I would say, you know, it’s in the darkest times that you learn your resiliency but that is also why I became a nurse practitioner in cardiac surgery, and similar to what you’re saying is that in cardiac surgery you’re seeing people at the very end of a big disease process right you’re right. You’re not, you can help prevent them from coming back for future, but that process is already there and I would try to talk to their families, a lot of cardiac diseases are hereditary especially when you’re talking about bypass surgery and things like that. But that is what drove always drove me I always wanted to get people earlier before any new things happen because how we treat ourselves and what we’re doing to ourselves definitely can set you on different paths, whether it’s, you know, Heart disease or anxiety or even different things and it’s all comes back to like the beginning right and how we are freeing ourselves so absolutely that sorry that was kind of a roundabout answer.
You’re just tying it all together so like, truly, your story is beautiful.
That is such an interesting place for you to have been for in that turning point where you were, you know, having multitude of emotions, for obvious reasons, but also to be able to recognize it, and then turn around and not just be okay with it for you after having that conversation with your best friend and her family but also turn around again and like use that and project and be there for many other families that were going through something similar? Later on, how
much of a different perspective did this experience bring into your career?
When I think that, I mean I don’t think, I know that was why I was so good at what I did and why it was still a very, very challenging population, the patients are not challenging but you know, you know what I’m talking about.
I sure do. Yeah. Yeah, I mean, you know I treated each patient and, I didn’t know what the patient was going through but I knew what the family was going through. And, yeah, it led to some interesting interactions, sometimes. If someone would say something like “well what do you know about this?” I’m like well, actually…!
Oh, I thought, well that is such a good story, and I really, you know, part of the resiliency piece sometimes, you know we talked about the stages that kind of come with it, and it’s like the struggle that you kind of convert into thinking like, how can I overcome the struggle and more of like a challenge. And then challenging into like growing, and then growing with it and like, but it none of it comes without the struggle, none of it comes just like you said, without having adversity, without having something not going your way. And you know what my kids are two and five so when we say things that are like, life is hard sometimes like just such a overall term for, you know, like, they’re gonna later they’d be like, Mom, you didn’t really tell me like what was that I’m like, I cannot even go into all those details all the time but yeah like. That’s what I meant when I said that. Yeah.
Yeah, well and I would say, um, so there’s a book actually that I’m about midway through right now because it seemed like a really great book for this. What’s going on right now everything in the world. I can’t tell you everything that’s good about but I can tell you a man, the very first like the beginning, quote, was like, Okay, this is amazing.
So, Sheryl Sandberg she wrote a book called” Lean In” quite a few years ago but her her husband passed away unexpectedly a couple years ago and she wrote a second book called “Option B”, and it’s all about resiliency after grief, but it’s not just about grief, but it’s how, in her opinion because she had this huge grief story is how she came back from that but it’s resiliency face adversity and finding joy, it’s amazing. So if you really are looking and it’s very easy read like it’s been an easy read so far. But if you’re looking for a really great resource to get started, I think books are such a great thing and. And that’s a great book I mean, the very first quote that she had so she was talking to one of her friends was her co author about how all she wanted to do was go back to when her husband was alive I just want to go back to the time I just want to go back to the time and he said to her, and I’ll censor it slightly but he said, “Cheryl. Option A, no longer exists. It’s time to kick them out of option B”.
But sometimes the chapters closed and never will open but it doesn’t mean doesn’t mean the next option isn’t going to be just as good or better, right so I don’t know I just thought that was a great quote I think it’s such a great thing for this time, because it’s something that never really came out of the stronger, you’re looking for, you’re looking for the blessings in those stressing.
So, The people that are spending their quarantine time sitting in a place where they might be okay with learning and growing. Do you think that people will come out of this more aligned. Use some, do you think that people that are looking for the growth that are okay. In the mentality of growth might come out of this a little stronger, a little bit, you know, in a better mindset, please, a little bit more ready to say screw it to this yeah that’s not, you know, serving them. It’s like, ultimately what I’m hoping for for people, you know, I love that you asked me this because this is like 100%. So soulshine wheelhouse.
And actually if you guys, we have a blog, and it’s on findyoursoulshine.com and we have a blog and a bunch of the things we’ve written recently we’re like finding your blessings and you’re stressing I wrote one about coming out COVID strong. So 100%. This could be.
So, the way I’m looking at it is once one of the things, especially as busy moms that we’re always asking for. We’re asking for things to slow down now nobody everyone asked for it but no one really expected it to happen or to happen like this, but all of a sudden our schedule is completely cleared out and so here’s an opportunity and this is what I would really encourage people to do to really look at what’s gone from your schedule, what like take an honest look at what do you really miss.
Who do you miss, because that’s going to show you where your priorities are, who do you miss what do you miss. What don’t you miss. Yeah, because this is your upper back. Yes, you got to do over on your schedule and you can literally rebuild your schedule in your life as things are coming open and we’re able to do more things the way that you want to do it and you feel like your priorities with your time, because one of the things that’s a mismatch we often have like in our mind, our priorities. But when you look at your time and where your precious time is going might not be in alignment with what your priorities are and where you spend your time is where you actually are putting your priorities.
And if you’re feeling like that. I hate the word “balance” because I don’t think it’s possible to be “balanced” but that where you’re like dreading to do something, you’re like, this isn’t you know it’s because you don’t have that, it’s not, it’s way out of alignment your priorities and your time out of alignment. So here you have an opportunity to lead with your priorities now, and it might sound silly, but you need to schedule them just as much as you schedule like the meetings, and the work, because if it’s on your calendar, it becomes protected time, and the things that I miss seem like we have had a lot of family time.
So I’m not missing that right, but I do know that some of the family time like these walks and the kids, we didn’t do this a lot. I love that that’s something I want to keep doing with my, my kids and my husband, super fun. We really are enjoying them. That’s something that I’m going to make sure it’s scheduled in to do.
I miss doing things with a couple of my girlfriends that are really tight. Definitely I’m gonna schedule those in, you know, So, I just think this is such an opportunity that we are given. What do you want to turn that into an opportunity, instead of an inconvenience.
I completely agree with you, I mean, you know, my husband, usually. My husband is at work and Monday through Friday nine to five normal stuff and I flex my schedule for 10 to 12 hour days, you know, normal nurse shifts, you know what I mean.
But, him working from home has been quite an interesting experience. It’s not perfect all the time, obviously. But, like, there’s other times when he can just come downstairs and, like, be with us when he is like listening in on a meeting or having lunch or whatever and my kids just love that. So they are so excited to be able to see daddy more. And like, that’s a huge thing and I just keep like planting little seeds because I’m like, “that’s a big deal”, and that time like, you know, I’m just kind of like how many companies, you think might realize they still get good productivity out of their employees if they’re at home?
How many employees will thinking “I need to work from home from X amount of days for my mental health” because they realized that, they do better they when aren’t commuting. Or they do better when they sleep in a little more, or whatever, I’m hoping that people just take a stand for themselves, and in end, find themselves in a place where they really really want to be.
That’s what I get out of this. I hope a lot of other things come out of this but I, you know, there has to be silver linings and I really want that to be one of them. I hope that people will find that for them. This isn’t perfect. This hasn’t put any perfect situations in for most people. Obviously, it’s a lot of stress for some people, and everybody’s approaching it from a different scenario but even me being either working in the hospital or being at home with the kids constantly while my husband’s trying to work like that has been a lot of the same time I see such beauty in the fact that like we have that time that was extra and time with all together that’s extra because what we’re constantly doing is running for everybody else and “going going going going going”, and we always spend a lot of time with a lot of people don’t you don’t have time to spend “ just for us”. Right? And that’s huge. And I’m willing to, I think that this needs to be higher on our priority list and we have to say no to some things sometimes. And I think that’s okay. And so, you know, just having that realization, even for us and I think that there’s just so much to be like a positive coming out of us if we can find it.
Yeah, “Sometimes you have to say “no” to the good, to get the great”.
Well, thank you for giving me your thoughts on that. I mean, we are in agreement.I love it. I knew we would be!
All right. Well, tell us one more time where we can find you.
Yeah, so you can find us We are soulshine life connections we are on Facebook with that name we’re on Pinterest of that name or on Instagram with that name and then our website is findyoursoulshine.com.
Anybody wants to connect with Miss Erika, you can find her there.
Anybody who wants to join our free community in The Whole Calm, just like the stage, and that is our free community and if anybody is feeling any type of anxiety that they need more intervention with. We have “three minutes to calm guide” which is at energy2thrivetribe.com/calm.
So, anyway, thank you so much for joining us, Erika!
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