How do you respond to a simple “How are you?”
Some people put an incredibly positive spin on everything. You ask them how they are and they enthusiastically respond “fantastic”! And they mean it. Other people respond “lousy” and proceed to tell you every last detail of why their life sucks. Other people mumble “good” or “ok” and give the obligatory “and how are you?”, then walk away before you even have the chance to respond.
My response could be any of the above depending on the day, my mood, and my health. I strive to be healthy and enthusiastically responding “fantastic” (and meaning it) seems like a wonderful answer to such a simple question.
When I am doing what I need to do to stay grounded, it is much easier to be a positive, upbeat, fun person. This is the version of me I am happiest with and proud of, the me you want to hang out with! When off, kilter, I might tell you why I am tired, I might complain about work, I might just shrug my shoulders and leave you guessing.
Responding “fantastic” and meaning it doesn’t just happen for me, it takes work. Here are some mandatory things I need to do, every single day to stay grounded, in order to be the best me I can be:
- Take Quiet Time Daily – this is not something I should do or could do, if and when I find the time. This is a part of my morning routine and at this point, I don’t have to think about doing it. It takes 10 minutes first thing in the morning and puts me in a positive frame of mind to start the day.
- Sculpt My Day – I love planning out my time to include more than just chores and what must get done. When I Sculpt My Day, I remember to include small steps toward my BIG goals. I don’t always take the time to do this and as a result I don’t make progress on some of my goals. I do this on my Google Keep page and when I get lazy it says “Sculpt November”. Honestly right now it says “Sculpt Oct/Nov”. Guess it is time to get back on track!
- Stay Positive – I have a few mantras or affirmations that I repeat to myself to keep my head screwed on tight! Yup, I am the crazy gal talking to herself while driving down the road. When I catch myself complaining about something or being negative, I just change the self talk to positive and continue with my day. Oozing negativity is not only unhealthy, it is also contagious which affects those around me.
- Have a sleep routine – For me, sleep is precious as I go through periods of time when I don’t sleep well which makes me cranky. Last night I went to bed at 9:30PM and woke up at 12:30. I couldn’t fall back to sleep and ended up on the couch. I got up to take the battery out of the clock (the ticking drives me crazy) and again to shut the blinds as the street lights were shining thru the window. I like to say I have a window of opportunity to get a good night sleep and if I follow my routine I can reach this nightly goal! My routine is:
- Go to bed between 9-10PM (if I stay up later, I get a second wind and then I can’t fall asleep)
- No caffeine after noon
- Get up between 5:30-7
- No more than 1 beer (if I drink beer #2, I fall asleep but wake up after a couple of hours and then stay awake all night long)
- Keep my days manageable (when I pack in too many activities my brain doesn’t turn off and I can’t fall asleep).
- Carve out some alone time – If I didn’t live with my honey, I would probably live in a tiny house in the woods and only leave for food, beer and emergencies. Yup, I would make a pretty good hermit.Alone time is my opportunity to decompress, to relax, and to plan. At work, I am surrounded by people, lots of people. I work in a nursing home that operates 24/7 and has nursing staff, therapists, visitors, maintenance, laundry, housekeeping, food service staff not to mention 200 residents. I get so much social interaction at work that I have to force myself to make plans with family and friends outside of work. Alone time gives me the ability to be a better partner, friend, therapist, sister, and daughter.
- Spend time in nature – I love walking in the woods, swimming in the lake, kayaking and biking. I love feeling sunshine on my face and wind in my hair, I love the first snow, the falling leaves, the first signs of spring. When I spend time every day outside enjoying the beauty around me, I am a much happier person.
If I do these 6 things every day the chances of my answering the question “how are you?” with an enthusiastic “fantastic” increase by 100% Yes, I have done the math. If I miss even 1 of the 6 mandatory steps to stay grounded, you are more likely to hear “fine”,”ok”, “tired”, “alive”…
Some people get stuck in a rut and never answer a simple “how are you?” with a positive response. These people drain the energy out of a room in 10 seconds flat. Don’t be one of these people!
Choose health every single day by doing what it takes to keep you grounded. If you haven’t figured out what those things are, feel free to follow my 6 steps. I promise they won’t hurt. Leave a comment if you do something daily to help keep you on track!