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{Photo credit: With A Red Bird On My Shoulder}

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of this fast-paced, ever-changing world; especially while trying to balance work and family life. In a day and age where technology has taken over human interaction, it is no wonder many have forgotten the cliche, yet poignant advice: Take time to stop and smell the roses. The following is a list of ten things you can do to rediscover the world around you and find beauty in daily life.

  1. Take a walk (or drive, if time permits) with no direction. Leave your cell phone at home (or at least in your pocket) and bust out your camera. Take the time to discover your neighborhood, or that old, windy road behind your house that leads to an open field of cows and dandelions, in a way you never did before. Take photos of the dew on the grass, muddy paw prints, cracks in the sidewalk. Observe the beauty in these things you would otherwise ignore.
  2. Introduce yourself to a stranger.  Strike up a conversation with the bank teller, the woman in line behind you at the grocery store, the man next to you on the park bench. This is harder than it seems. Many people tend to shy away from interactions with strangers. But everyone has a unique story to tell. Meet someone and learn something new. You might even form a friendship or gain some valuable networking in the process.
  3. Laugh with your children. As overwhelming as your list of daily tasks might be, it’s easy to sometimes forget to enjoy your time with your children. No matter how busy you are, stop what your doing throughout the day and really be in the moment with them. Laugh with your children and enjoy seeing the world through their eyes.
  4. Bake a batch of cookies. Nothing brings back the feeling of childhood like the aroma of chocolate chip cookies flowing through your home. Make sure to eat one while it’s still warm to really get the endorphins going!
  5. Pick a bouquet of wild flowers. Or cut a few roses from your own garden. Arrange them in a vase in your home, and enjoy their simple beauty.
  6. Dance.  Create a play list that makes you happy, turn it up and dance throughout your house. Dance with your husband, with your children or alone while doing chores. This is an instant pick-me-up.
  7. Listen to the rain.  There’s something so refreshing and peaceful about a good storm. Cuddle under a blanket on your front porch and listen to the rain with your loved ones.
  8. Place a bird feeder outside of your favorite window. You can listen to the birds sing and watch them flutter about throughout the day. Point out different breeds to your children and make a game of them spotting new birds.
  9. Cuddle with a pet.  People who own pets live less stressful lives. Sometimes all it takes is a short nap with a purring cat on your chest to make the world right again after a hard day.
  10. Turn off your electronics.  Turn off your cell phone, computer and TV for an entire day and rediscover the beauty of a simple life. Take a walk…read a book…put on a play with your children. Enjoy life in the now.