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How to Wake Up Happy In 6 Simple Steps

Wellness

BIC® Soleil® celebrates all who make their own sun by living life on the bright side!


I'm being completely honest when I say that I tend to wake up in a good mood. It's not that things don't happen in my life that try to rob me of my joy, but I've made a conscious decision over the last year to not allow the trials and tribulations of life to interrupt my good vibes. I'm a firm believer that happiness is a choice, and having control over your thoughts can make all the difference in how you go about your day, and can turn any negative into a positive.

But I must admit that it took time for me to get to this place, and I had to learn what to add and subtract in my life to equal a positive state of mind. While I could keep all of these juicy tips on how I wake up with a smile to myself, I'd much rather share them with you. After all, giving is part of the foundation of my happiness, and it brings me joy to see others filled with light, love and purpose.

Happiness is something that you can experience every day, too! I've teamed up with BIC®Soleil Shine® to show how you can Make Your Own Sun®. Here are a few things that I do to get my mind right so that I can wake up happy each and every day and live life on the bright side.

Wake Up to Positive Words

I recently moved into a new place and decided that this time I wanted to do a little DIY and paint my wall in chalkboard paint so that I can write phrases that are both positive and motivating on my wall. It's a great creative outlet, and the power of subliminal messaging is real. Besides, who wouldn't want to wake up to the words “queen," “fearless" and “winner" first thing in the morning? Maybe painting walls isn't your thing (or your landlord's preference). No worries, you can get chalkboard paper or even poster boards and write whatever words make you smile. I'd also advise that you hang them right in front of your bed so that you literally see them as soon as your eyes open.

Add to A Blessings Jar

Two years ago I discovered the greatness of a blessings jar. It's a simple way to never forget to count your wins, and great to revisit on those days when everyone seems to be throwing shade over your sunshine. I found a cute yellow jar (Yellow. Sunshine. See what I did there?) and whenever something good happened, like a co-worker buying me lunch or winning a writing contest, I would write it down on a slip of paper along with the date and toss it into the jar. I, personally, like waiting until the end of the year to empty out the jar and reflect over all of the things that made me happy throughout the year; however, it's also great to reach into every day or whenever you need a pick me up to remind you that life isn't as bad as social media will try to make it out to be.

Clean Up Your Social Media

Speaking of social media, I'm all about clearing out the bad and making room for the good. I've heard some people say that they choose not to get on social media before going to bed or when they wake up so that they stay in positive spirits, and I'm all for that, too! But I have a habit of naturally reaching for my phone when the alarm goes off and scrolling through my social media timeline just so I can wipe the sleep out of my eyes and avoid hitting the snooze button. So instead of completely saying no to social media, I choose to be more mindful of whom I follow. Some of my favorite accounts are ones with uplifting quotes, healthy food pages with bright and beautiful pictures, and travel brands that motivate me to continue working hard so that I can cross that trip to Thailand off of my bucket list. I'm quick to unfollow anyone who's constantly posting gossip or negative images because I truly believe you reap what you sow, and if you're ingesting negativity at 8 a.m., then it's no surprise when come 5 p.m. you're regurgitating hostility towards your boss

Turn On Some Good Tunes

As much as I love to turn up, I prefer to start my day with songs that make me feel good and remind me to be thankful. I'll turn on my “Good Vibes" playlist, which features everything from gospel music to uplifting R&B tunes, and it puts me in such a good place that I feel like I can go out and conquer the day. When you take in good sounds and positive words, you're bound to approach your day a little differently than someone who starts their day off with a “he broke my heart" playlist. Don't know what songs to listen to? Music streaming services have great playlists to choose from that fit every mood. Let others do the work for you so that you can focus your energy on how you're going to be a badass and get your “I'm every woman" on as you conquer the world.

Don't Go To Bed In A Bad Mood

I'm not married yet, but I've heard some partners attest to deciding not to go to bed without clearing the air as a key to a long-lasting relationship. It's something that I think translates into all forms of relationships, including family, friendships, business relationships, and of course, your love life. That argument that may have put you in a foul mood doesn't have to keep you there. Talking things out and coming to a mutual understanding with people (or at least agreeing to disagree) can take a load of stress off of your plate and allows you to hit the sheets with a clear conscience. I find that when something is bothering me and I go to bed without resolution, I toss and turn all night and have trouble getting some shut eye, and nobody wakes up in a good mood when they've lost out on a good night's sleep.

Clear the air. Make sure that you're not harboring any ill feelings towards your friend, sister, cousin, boyfriend, or your boss because at the end of the day, they're not the ones who are going to wake up swinging at the air!

Prepare for the Day that You Want

Those who fail to plan, plan to fail. If you want to wake up feeling like, “I've got this," then you need to get to work the night before mapping out your day so that you can limit as many distractions as possible. That can be everything from planning out your work day and what you want to get done to laying out your outfit so that you're not rushing out the door the next morning thanks to those 30 minutes you spent sifting through your closet. Eliminating stress is key to keeping a smile on your face, and allows you to focus your thoughts on keeping calm and staying positive.

[Tweet "Keep a smile on your face and your thoughts on keeping calm and positive."]

Waking up every day and finding the bright side is something that took time for me to learn but it has been a vital part of my happiness, and it's why BIC® Soleil® is encouraging you to Make Your Own Sun.

What are some things that you do to wake up every day happy? Share them below!

Learn more about BIC®Soleil® Shine at feelthesoleil.com and @bicsoleil.

ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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