Forgetting the Joneses

Katie Corbett holds the book "52 Small Changes"

By Katie Corbett

 

It can be easy to compare your life to that of others. You might buy things you don’t need and do things you don’t want to do simply to keep up and try to make yourself “look” happy.

 

In “52 Small Changes for the Mind,” Brett Blumenthal encourages us to forget about what others have and focus on what we truly want. Here are some benefits I have noticed in my own life of living for myself and not worrying about what others have:

 

  • I am more satisfied with my own accomplishments, because I’m doing things I truly want to do.
  • I save money, since I’m not buying things to keep up with everyone else.
  • I have more to give to others because I’m not using resources to keep up with others.
  • I’m not stressed about what others think of me.
  • I have more time because I’m not wasting it looking at the lives of others and wallowing in jealousy or sadness that I don’t measure up.
  • I’m happier because I’m truly able to enjoy the present.
  • I have time, money, and energy to plan for my own hopes and dreams.
  • I’m more grateful for what I have.
  • I’m not nosey when it comes to the doings of other people.
  • I’m happy with who I am because I’m not comparing myself to others.

 

Are you finding yourself spending money, time, and energy you don’t have because you’re trying to keep up with others? Are you neglecting your own goals because you’re trying to do what you think others want you to do. If so, I encourage you to take some time for yourself and reflect on what you’d like to change. Do you need to stop looking at social media? Avoid long conversations with certain people? Start a gratitude journal?

 

Let me know what you decide to do. I’d love to hear more about it.

 

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The Joys of Experiencing Nature From Your Cubicle

Katie Corbett holds the book "52 Small Changes"

By Katie Corbett

 

Winter in Wisconsin is a frigid affair. Temperatures regularly dip below zero degrees Fahrenheit and snow blankets the ground from December through March. Due to the lack of sunlight, I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder during these freezing months, which makes me more prone to unhappiness at best and depression at worst.

 

One winter a few years ago, I read “52 Small Changes for the Mind,” by Brett Blumenthal, in hopes of finding a way to brighten my mood. I was working a job as a part-time writer and didn’t have much time to spend outside during daylight hours. I was also missing our family’s annual trip to Florida because I needed to work through the end of the year.

 

In “52 Small Changes for the Mind,” benefits of going out in nature are outlined. I wanted to incorporate nature into my cold days. I was really bummed about missing out on Florida sunshine and time at the beach. I read that even looking at pictures of nature and having plants in your environment can help boost mood and productivity.

 

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m totally blind, so seeing pictures and plants don’t have the same benefits for me as they might for someone who can see. I wanted to find some other way of appreciating the great outdoors. Enter YouTube.

 

I decided to try listening to videos of the ocean. I wasn’t sure how it would help; luckily, it did. As I plugged away at spreadsheets and wrote articles, I listened to the sounds of waves, seagulls, and ocean breezes. On sunnier days, I made a point of stepping outside during my lunchbreak for some much-needed vitamin D. With a little creativity and curiosity, I was able to push past what might have seemed like understandable excuses and make my wintertime more cheery, or at least more bearable.

 

What are some ways you can incorporate nature into your workday? I’d love some more ideas, so let me know in the comments.

 

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