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This Journal Is Anti-Racist & Every Kid Needs One

It’s the official companion to “This Book Is Anti-Racist.”

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The Commencement Speech No One Asked Me to Give (Yet)

Photo: Paul Schultz
 
I wrote a commencement speech that no one asked for. Here’s why:

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By virtue simply of having 654 children, I spend a lot of my life with today’s youth, and I…

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What Would Your Kids Bury in a Time Capsule?

What would you have your kids bury in a time capsule? Would you jave them put pictures?, CD’s/ Concert tickets?, maybe a video of themself or letter to their future themself’s. Many people bury time capsule’s all over the world. Many school have their…

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Happy Mom Tip #47: Stick With Your Routine

As a life coach, I’m a huge proponent of personal growth, and growth usually means change. Becoming happier often means re-engineering a bad habit, or starting a healthy new routine (like exercise or meditation). But sometimes the best thing that…

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Happy Mom Tip #48: Memorize Two Lines from a Poem

We often forget that inspiration — along with its cousins elevation and awe — are positive emotions that make us feel more content, joyful and satisfied with our lives. One way to bring more of these positive emotions into our…

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Happy Mom Tip #46: Write a Love Letter

Have you seen the moving five minute video from StoryCorps about Danny and Annie? (If not, your happiness tip is to watch it now.)

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The little love notes that Danny would leave for Annie defined…

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Happy Mom Tip #45: Skip Those Christmas Cookies

I’m a big fan of high-fat foods; fat tastes good, after all. And research has shown that some types of fats, like Omega-3s, can calm us and even have antidepressant effects. But other studies show that trans-fats, or partially hydrogenated…

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Happy Mom Tip #44: Listen to Your Favorite Songs

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” –Plato

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Loads of research shows that music can uplift and restore the spirit–so much so, in…

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Happy Mom Tip #43: Hang Out With an Animal

My parents recently adopted a dog, which has given me a new perspective on how animals bring happiness to humans. My parents were happy people before they met Cody, but rarely have I seen a sentient being bring so much…

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Happy Mom Tip #42: Say No to Someone Besides Yourself

Are you always saying “yes” to everyone around you, but never making time for yourself? Saying no takes practice for most people, but it is a necessary life-skill in today’s world.
Say “no” to several requests or this week, but…

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Happy Mom Tip #41: Automate a Hassle

Ever feel like much of your time and energy is going into something you don’t really want to do? If so, find a way to make that thing a habit that you don’t have to think about anymore.
For me,…

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Happy Mom Tip #40: Commit to Kindness

One of the easiest and most powerful ways to feel happier is for us to do something nice for someone else. It’s also a great way to make the world better: odds are, your kindness will radiate outward. Research shows…

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Happy Mom Tip #39: Lower Your Expectations

These days we expect our spouses to be our partners in just about every realm. We expect them to be our co-parents, our household running mates, to provide for our family financially, and to be our lovers.
There is an…

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Happy Mom Tip #38: Call a Friend

Our friendships and close relationships–both how many we have, and how positive they are–are one of the best predictors of our happiness. But in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, our friends often get short-shrift.
This week, make time…

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Happy Mom Tip #36: Ignore Your Kids

“Is the author of Raising Happiness really telling us to ignore our children,” you ask?
Yep. Sometimes—not always, of course—we need to not be so kiddie-centric. We Americans are obsessed with our offspring compared to European nations, to the detriment…

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Happy Mom Tip #37: Take 20.

Feeling moody or agitated? Study after study shows that taking some time—20 minutes, to be precise—to focus on our breathing can make us feel better. Here’s how:
• Sit in a comfortable, yet dignified, position. If you are in a…

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Happy Mom Tip #34: Stop Stalling

We all do it sometimes, but procrastination is not a happiness habit. Often we know what we need to do, but we just don’t feel like doing it, and so we delay getting started until we feel stress.
Which means…

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Happy Mom Tip #35: Make Your Task List More Fun

So often we parents face a long list of boring daily tasks. This is not good for our happiness! This week transform your task list so that you enjoy life a little bit more.
• Want more family time? Prep…

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Happy Mom Tip #33: Exhale. Twice.

When we exhale, our heart beat slows down slightly, which is probably why long, deep exhalations are associated with relaxation and well-being.
If you are feeling anxious or tense, doing a few big exhalations can help.  Here’s how:

Inhale deeply…

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Happy Mom Tip #32: One Kind Thing

Helping others makes us happy.  But how do we foster kindness in our children?  
Try asking these two questions at dinner tonight:

What is one kind thing that someone else did for you today?
What is one kind thing that…

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Happy Mom Tip #31: Have an Easy Morning

Feel rushed an tense before your day is even started? Wake up earlier tomorrow—possibly a lot earlier. How much time do you really need to be fully ready to go before your kids wake up?
This is the only time…

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Happy Mom Tip #30: Learn Something New

This week’s tip: Learn Something New.
Your kids are back in school; should you be, too?

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Our brains grow and change throughout adulthood depending on what we do with them.  Do a lot of math,…

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Happy Mom Tip #29: Take a Power Nap

This week’s tip: Take a power nap.
Did you know that napping for 20 minutes is often required before a major effort in the military? Elite athletes also tend to use power naps to improve performance. (I certainly know that…

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Happy Mom Tip #28: Spend Some Time Alone

This week’s tip: Spend Some Time Alone
A Harvard study indicates that a bit of solitude can make us more capable of empathy
towards others. Empathy is one of the foundations of happiness, in part because the social connections empathy…

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Happy Mom Tip #27: Play a Game That Makes You Happy

This week’s tip: Play a Game That Makes You Happy
Games can provide the “exhilarating rewards, stimulating challenges, and epic victories that are so often lacking in the real world,” writes visionary game designer Jane McGonigal in her book Reality…

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Happy Mom Tip #26: Take a Blatant Nap

This week’s tip: Take a Blatant Nap.
Why do we feel so guilty when we rest? Rest and relaxation are NOT vices, and we shouldn’t treat them that way. Happiness requires that we take regular breaks, and that we don’t…

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Happy Mom Tip #25: Don’t Buy That Thing That You Really Want

This week’s tip: DON’T Buy that Thing that You REALLY REALLY REALLY Want
There is often a big discrepancy between the way we think we’ll feel when we own something and the way we actually feel when we have it.…

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Happy Mom Tip #24: Turn Off the Boob Tube

This week’s tip: Turn Off the Boob Tube
Advertisements tend to make most people insecure and materialistic– two things that aren’t happiness habits! Perhaps this is why people who watch less TV tend to be happier. (Though we don’t know:…

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Happy Mom Tip #23: Expose Yourself to Someone Else’s Pain

This week’s tip: Expose yourself to someone else’s pain.
Often, we avoid pain (our own or others’) in an attempt to be happy. But when we ignore or deny another person’s pain, we miss an opportunity to feel good. Yes,…

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Happy Mom Tip #22: Let Yourself Feel What You Feel

This week’s tip: Let yourself feel what you feel.
When we feel stressed out (or sad or disappointed, for that matter) life offers a host of ways to not really feel those negative feelings. (For example: drugs and alcohol. Facebook.…

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Happy Mom Tip #21: Get Enough Sleep

This week’s tip: Get enough sleep!
Sleep is one of the most important happiness habits we know of. Lack of sleep, of course, affects our functioning and our moods in a multitude of ways. Sleep deprivation can make us depressed,…

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Happy Mom Tip #20: Imagine Your “Best Possible Future Self”

This week’s tip: Imagine Your “Best Possible Future Self”
Practice thinking optimistically about the future by taking some time to write down your hopes and dreams for yourself in 5 or 10 years. Where will you be living? What friends…

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