• rachaelkool

Mindful March: Challenge yourself to more gladness, less madness

When I was in college, I loved March Madness. My friends and I would get together to watch the basketball games, eat crappy delicious food, and make our brackets to see who was the best guesser (although some would argue they were educated hypotheses). One year, we timed a Las Vegas trip with March Madness and got to enjoy all the hype and excitement about how tight some of these games were!

March is also the time of year where we start getting glimpses of spring. I know when it's really getting close because the smell in the air changes. This got me thinking about making a little challenge to keep this month moving because I'll admit I have my sights set on spring break!

This time of year is hard for many. Not only does the sun not shine much, but you're cooped up inside and it's easy to fall into a slump. This slump can bring about a lot of negative thinking and some pretty crappy emotions. I don't know about you guys, but sometimes I even get upset at myself when I realize I'm thinking negative or feeling crummy and I don't even know why.

This is where mindfulness can make a big difference!

Every day I head outside, I smell the air. I don't know if anyone else does this but there is a total smell the air has when it is wintry cold. My husband thinks I'm weird. He always smiles and chuckles when he sees me out there, head back, eyes closed, sniffing. I'm waiting for that brisk air to fade away and start to give the smell of spring. I've already been enjoying the earlier sunshine in the morning and it still holding on when I get out of work.

Did you know those are both mindful tasks? I can't tell you how many thoughts I have in a day, but it's A LOT. These simple tasks pull me out of my head. Make me stop thinking about all the things I was hoping to get done that day. Help me recenter and evaluate what the day has been like in order to keep myself in a nonjudgmental perspective. Keep my stress level in control so my emotions don't ooze all over my kids when they get home from school.

So I thought we would have a bit of a challenge. See if we could create more moments of gladness in this month that can get a little maddening. I've created a sheet with 25 challenges on it. I have a Starbucks gift card with your name on it if you participate.

You have a few ways to enter.

*Join the private Facebook group (https://www.facebook.com/groups/2464770617176029/) *Post pictures on Instagram and tag @theartofrelationship

*Follow @theartofrelationship

*Post pictures on Rachael Kool Counseling page

Every time you tag or post you will get an entry! As a bonus, if you get five in a row, you have a chance to win the $5 gift card. The more entries you have the higher chance you have of winning the $15 gift card! Then you can take that gift card and go have some coffee or tea and drink it mindfully. You may have enjoyed the challenge so much you won't even have to think about it to just do it naturally. Bonus if you are in Grand Rapids, come on down for the workshop where we will be creating wooden bead key chains! Then that'll complete the center activity. I have a little mindfulness trick to go with them too. Can't wait!! (click the pic below to sign up)

Looking forward to seeing what you guys do! You have the rest of the month to go for it. Don't forget to save the pin for easy access :)

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