Let’s face it: Some days, staying positive can be a challenge. But just when we’re feeling low, oftentimes something in our daily lives will inspire us to pause, reflect and smile. These are the things we were hoping to capture in this round-up of smile-generators.
We surveyed locals using Facebook, asking these questions: “What do you do to stay happy? What activities, events, people or things are guaranteed to make you smile?” And we received so many responses, we’re providing them in two parts. Below, Part 1. By the way, we love that so many of these have to do with family, friends, playing, giving back and learning crazy-cool things!
“Riding my snowboard in the Sierras makes me feel free and powerful, and gets me out of my head.” ~ Andy J.
“Sweating it out at Full Pedal, running on the Steamboat Ditch trail, happy/coffee hour with friends, spontaneous lunch dates with my favorite superhero/husband, unexpected acts of gratitude, movies with my son, online Scrabble with my dad, my unicorn work slippers, Too Soul Tea, my mom's cookies, hanging out in the hammock, and donuts with sprinkles. Lots of sprinkles.” ~ Heidi P.
“Bikram yoga, Rum Sugar Lime, being outside, my dog.” ~ Devon R.
“Golf, golf and more golf with my favorite partner — who happens to be my wife.” ~ Larry D.
“Helping others, giving back, hanging out with my little people, eating healthy, date night with the hubs.” ~ Melissa M.
“Traveling with the wife, playing with kids, reading. watching baseball.” ~ Emerson M.
“Punching and kicking (editor’s note: She means kickboxing), teaching others to punch and kick, obstacle course racing, trying new, physical things that seem hard or crazy, and mastering said things.” ~ Jessica L.
“Things that make me smile/and or happy? ICE CREAM (SO DAMN MUCH!) Also, watching my son play baseball, spending time with friends, traveling with my hubby and son, watching a wonderful rom/com, me time when I can decompress and enjoy quiet. And being grateful every day for the many blessings in my life.” ~ Stefanie M.
“A short run every few days does wonders for my psyche.” ~ April C.
“Travel! Whether local, national or international, I enjoy the planning as much as the actual trip.” ~ Dave A.
“Visit 5-, 4- and 3-year-old nieces, hang out with my 12-year-old Big Brother Big Sister ‘Little,’ volunteer with friends, go for a walk, drive or bike ride with husband, explore NV with bestie — looking for history, eagles, hot springs, etc.” ~ Liz M.
“Snow days are magical. Especially when you have a clean house, coffee and children sleeping in. :) Oh, and snowshoeing with the kids to Chickadee Ridge (ok, the complaining I hear on the way up is not cool, but the view when you get there is worth it!)” ~ Julie B.
“Travel with hubby; play with my grandbabies; exercise everyday if I can; lunch with friends; reading and writing of course; plus, I'm kind of a daily meditation or prayer person.” ~ Jacci T.
“Bicycling, despite the hostile and/or aggressive automobile drivers.” ~ David P.
“Camping. It’s the best down-to-earth family time where we (mostly) don’t have to worry about life’s stresses — and I keep a gratitude journal, so I stay focused on the positive.” ~ Maureen J.
“I smile when I hear a song on the radio that reminds me of my wife. I also smile every morning when I walk into work and see her. My first glimpse of Lake Tahoe from Highway 50 driving toward Glenbrook brings a smile to my face and a (happy) tear to my eye. Watching the Great Reno Balloon Race Dawn Patrol does the same. Our dogs, Stella and Bob, are guaranteed smile-fetchers.” ~ John M.
“Working and just being in my yard; being with my grandchildren; shopping...can’t forget that one.” ~ Debbi W.
PS Even more ideas can be found in Part 2!