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Do you know what Hygge is? I didn’t until this episode with author Tove Maren Stakkegard. As a Danish-American, she uses her heritage to teach us and her family about hygge. Learn more on today’s episode.

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April Grant 0:05
Welcome to the other side of 40 My name is April grant and I’m here to help women make positive changes with their lives after the age of 40. Let the other side of 40 become your community to find inspiration and support to start the next chapter of your life.

Today we welcome Toba. Morin stuck his dad. She is a Danish American writer and author with a unique, sarcastic and relatable voice in the parenting community. After spending over 20 years in the financial services industry, Toba followed her true calling, and started writing full time, primarily on her blog, Mama in the now, as a mother of four boys. She reports live from the trenches of motherhood, and successfully helps parents everywhere to parent with heart humor, and hugger. Welcome, Toba. Nice to finally get to connect, I think you were one of the first people to respond to my request for guests. So I’m very excited. And I wanted to start with, let’s tell us your story.

Tove Stakkegard 1:22
Okay, so um, my name is Tova. And I’m really excited to be here, I got your email. And I thought this is exciting, because I’m 46. We don’t have to say that. But I am. And I’m at this, this just really spoke to me because it’s a passion of mine I’m connecting with with women in their 40s. So I’m a Danish American mother of four boys. I grew up in Denmark. But we move I moved to Florida in 92 to PnL pair, and I just ended up staying in the US. So I’ve been here 28 years now. And we recently moved to the Seattle area about two years ago. So I’ve been blogging since 2013. And my blog since in 2013, started out as Super relatable community for parents with boys. Because boy, moms just sort of have their own little community. And then over the past couple years, I’ve really found a good big interest in the Science of Happiness and the Danish word cuckoo, which means coziness. You may have seen it around different stores or seen it on the internet with blankets and fuzzy socks, and a hot cup of tea. It’s all about vuca. And I just wanted to get on here today and share about why I think hookah is perfect for women in their 40s. And I just want to give you a little backstory, please do. So 11 years ago, I gave birth to my second son. And he was born full term. There was a C section that was planned, everything went went well. And when he was about five, three days old, he had a fever. So I called our pediatrician and I said, you know, what do I do? How much Tylenol do I give him? He has a little bit of a fever. And our pediatrician said, Ah, you know, if if he has a fever, he needs to go to the emergency room. He’s going to get a lumbar puncture, you’re going to be admitted, like oh, no, no, that’s, I just forget I called I’ll just give him a bath. And you know, we’ll call it good. And he’s like, No, no, you have to go in. So long story short, he had viral meningitis. We have no idea where he got it from. And he was in the St. Mary’s PICU for a week and got antibiotics and everything. And we got him home after eight days. And suddenly, one night, he stopped nursing, two days after we got home. So I called my pediatrician in the morning and he said, Bring him in, we’ll check him out. We ended up being rushed back to the ER and our son was in heart failure. It the virus from the meningitis had gone into his heart and his lungs. And so we were in the ER and I. And we were waiting for a helicopter to Air Flight us down to the University of Miami. And I saw the chaplain walk by our room and I said oh, I’ll say a prayer for that family who needs the chaplain? Because whoever needs a chaplain in a PICU is is bad off. Sure enough, the chaplain went down to the nurse’s station to find out where we were and then you turn around came in our room. So Oh, wow. So he came in? He said, Can I say a prayer? And I said, Yes, please leave them all at me. And so we said a prayer and then he looked at me said do you have other kids? I said yes. I have an Her son is 18 months old at home. And he said, Okay, my advice to you is going to be where you are. And I thought, be where you are, what do you mean? And he said, over the next weeks and months,

you are going to be pulled in all different types of directions. And you need to be present in the moment. And it’s going to be very hard. You’re going to be in the hospital with your infant, you need to be present in the moment, keep an eye on his vitals, keep an eye on how he’s doing, learn as much as you can about his condition, and you need to trust that your other son at home is well taken care of. And then you’re going to have opportunities to go see your older son at home and you need to trust that your son in the hospital is well taken care of you need to be present in every moment. Wow. And I was like, wow, okay, that was and then he left our room. And as he left, I was standing there over my son. And I had this vision of my son as a toddler blonde. And at the moment, you know, he was 10 days old. So you couldn’t really tell his hair color that well. But he was right on with curly hair. And he was running in a grass field looking over his shoulders at me. And I thought he’s going to be okay, he’s going to be a toddler, he’s going to pull through this and he’s going to be okay. And so he did. He’s 11 years old. Now he does have blond curly hair as the only one of my four kids. So since that time, our son ended up being in the PICU for another eight weeks on life support. And be where you are became my mantra be where you are became the thing that got me through being a heart mom, every challenge since then, and it’s been 11 years now. And it’s just everything in my life be where you are, it’s so powerful. The moment can suck, quite frankly. And and if you’re just present in the moment, it just, it pulls you through. So right now as we’re in quarantine here, you know, with four boys, two dogs, and you know, everybody, nobody knows how long we’re here for, right where you are, you know, I I can get out of my head thinking, Oh, this is crazy, you know, how long are we going to sit here and I just sort of dial it back to let me be present in the moment. And I that is more than anything has always been my message with my blog and and my message to other newly diagnosed families and especially in this time right now be where you are. And it’s I don’t want it to be just a cliche, but I want it to be some something powerful. Yeah, as you say each word you’re like, Okay, that, that totally makes sense for me. And, and that is also how I describe the Danish word who go, who did.

April Grant 7:55
So tell us more about who.

Tove Stakkegard 7:57
So who go, it’s, you know, when people say explain who good to me, I really just say it can’t be translated, it has to be felt. So growing up in Denmark, it’s a lifestyle it is. The Danes Don’t even think about it because it’s so ingrained in them when they sit down for a meal, it’s a family meal, they take a long time to eat, let me tell you, and you know, somebody pops over and to visit you, you always take time to sit down, offer them coffee, offer them cake and you just sit down and you talk and you cook at night, you know, you don’t necessarily have the TV on, you sit around and you talk and you play games and you who good just just everything is about connecting with people the connection is where they find their happiness and and their who good and you know, who could can be done alone, too. It’s a feeling. And you can have that by yourself too. These days, I take my dog for a walk, I throw an audio book on my phone and and that is his huka It’s the place where you just feel comfortable, you’re content, you’re in the moment your present in the moment, be where you are. So what is the what is the significance to you about gaining or learning about

April Grant 9:23
as you age and how you know, as you get older, now that you’re you are in your 40s what is significant to you.

Tove Stakkegard 9:32
So I feel I’ve been studying a lot about happiness and what truly makes us happy and people you know, and of course it’s a gross generalization. But in our 20s we think it’s more materialistic things, you know, let’s go out get a flashy job, get a cool purse, get those distressed jeans and get an invitation to a cool party. Those things will make me happy. And you know, scientists have have gone in and ask people, what do you how happy do you think you’re going to be if you have these genes, and then they get the genes and they measure their happiness again, and they realize those materialistic things don’t make us as happy as we initially think they are going to make us the cool purse, eventually, it will end up with drive receipts and crackers in the bottom of it, whether third costs $30 300 or $3,000. The job, it’s going to be long hours, you’re going to have a cranky boss, the distressed jeans, we’re gonna put our foot through that hole in the knee anyway, and blow him out at some point, you know, they’re just not gonna make us that happy. In our 30s, and at least steal from me and I, a lot of the people I’ve talked to, you know, we want a nice car as women, I think we, you know, we strive for a good career, we work really hard at having, you know, a good job with a good title, a good benefits and, and everything else. Fancy wardrobe. And at that point, we also realized, well, that fancy wardrobe, it’s going to need ironing, it’s going to need dry cleaner, that stuff doesn’t make us happy. The shiny car comes with a big car payment. As a working mother, I worked in financial services for 20 years. So with four kids, that was impossible, so we had to make some tough choices. So it’s really hard to, to find that happiness in your 30s. And then I feel like, we get to 40 and just something clicks, you know, we realize, realize, like that fancy wardrobe, why bother? I’m gonna be wearing yoga pants and a graphic t shirt anyway. Right? You know that the the long job title and the big career, that’s all fine and good. But what about a job or career or hobby that really works, speaks to our good personality strengths, and just really makes us happy regardless of what the income is, as long Of course, of course, as long as our basic needs are met of food, shelter, and, and a decent income, you know, but more, I think we realized in our 40s that more doesn’t make us happy, happier, as long as we have our basic needs met, you know, the shiny or purse doesn’t make us happier than that Nine West clutch that we had, you know, yeah, you know, it’s, and that’s at least, you know, for me and a lot of my friends, so I feel 40 is a good time for us to dial it back to basics. It was it was in my early 40s I was dealing with a lot of migraines. And my acupuncturist said, um, how much sleep Are you getting? As is good solid six hours or something? And he’s like, what do you do before you go to bed, oh, I work on my laptop. I’m a blogger, I work to like one o’clock. He said, You need sleep. I can do that. When I get old. He said no, do me a favor, just don’t work in your bed at night and try to get some sleep. It was then this was three years ago, and I stopped working just cold turkey stopped working at night. And I picked up a book, which is something I hadn’t done in many, many years. And it was sound silly, but it was life changing. And that is part of, of who could just dial it back to basics. You know, read a book, you know, you don’t always have to be the best and be the the smartest are all those things. Of course, you should have aspirations in life. But just feeling just getting back to basics. And finding happiness in the moment is, has been really important for me and has really changed Personally, my happiness, and that’s where we’re headed. And especially now that we’re stuck at home, you know, I board games and walks.

April Grant 14:05
So what you described is what I consider like the epiphany moment. So the aha moment the awakening. And I’ve talked to many women, especially once I was considering this podcast. So this podcast started based on my own awakening, I call it last year, where I kind of woke up and looked around and I just wasn’t happy. And so I was searching for what would make me happy. And then part of it is dialing it back. I ended up turning down a lot of things and stop, you know, just seeking stuff to have stuff to build that resume that no one reads. And no one cares about. Because quite frankly, I don’t know if I’m ever going back to a full time day job. So what am i building a resume for? And just focusing more on my family. And, and I really actually have appreciated the quarantine time because we’ve been able to just chill out and not have those added stresses of going here and doing that and getting up. And although I was talking to a friend yesterday, I was very surprised, where she said that her daughter is still in everything. And I was like, really? Yeah, well, it’s all online, they all casual lessons, but she’s still in dance and piano and I was like, oh,

Tove Stakkegard 15:33

April Grant 15:34
I got tired of listening to her tell me that she was still in it. So, um, but, you know, just being able to dial back and just sit with my children, my me and my girls have. So my six and my eight year old, have been sitting with me. And we’ve been watching TV and playing games and talking and they talk so much. Still very much talking. Um, and but it’s nice. It’s nice to just not feel rushed to do something else. Not to be on the way out the door, like, Oh, yeah, we could talk real quick, but it’s bedtime. Or we can talk real quick. We got to make it over here. Or we can talk real quick. You know, it’s just Yeah, what do you want to talk about?

Tove Stakkegard 16:24
So, yeah, we’re reading the dog man series for the second time now for my six year old and it’s great. But we don’t have the time for it. So it’s Yes. Okay. You know, and that’s, that’s what I feel. I can appreciate that slowness, and take it in and be in the moment and not feel rushed. And, you know, there are days during this quarantine, where I’m probably less of a, you know, productive mom, just because the stress of it all gets to you. And that’s when I sort of have to, you know, send myself for a walk with the dog and just say I be in the moment, there’s nothing you can do no amount of stress, no amount of worrying, is going to change the situation. So just be present. And it’s, it has really, truly changed. Personally, my happiness in my 40s, you know, and I’m not saying you know, you shouldn’t have aspirations in life and goals, but, you know, as a, as a writer, and a blogger, I have my list of goals and things I want to accomplish. But I’m also like, I was telling a friend last night I blog, I work without stress, you know, if I have a deadline, and it’s not for a client, but it’s a self imposed deadline, but my kids need me in that moment. I decide, well, you know, what, that deadline is going to have to be pushed, because his his needs right now in the moment are more important.

April Grant 17:55
Right? And I can do that.


you weed. You talked about blogging. So what do you blog about? What’s the name of your blog? What do you blog about?

Tove Stakkegard 18:10
But my, the name of my blog is mama and the now MA MA in the now not in the know, but in the now. And so I blog about my life with the four boys. There’s some parenting tips, blog a lot about Lego because like, it was our life with four boys. Um, and some, some motherhood tips and things like that. And then I’m starting a new blog called hougen. Now,

April Grant 18:36
Oh, wow. Okay, so you are definitely taking this to the next step.

Tove Stakkegard 18:41
Yet, you know, I left the corporate world in 2015. And so I’ve been home, parenting blogging since then. And it’s really, it’s my passion. It’s my using the strengths that I have, you know, working in the corporate world just wasn’t working for me when you’re a mother of four. Yeah, you know, as you know, juggling the kids and the corporate. You know, I loved my job, but when you have to apologize for being a mom, yeah, every day, then that got to be not so much fun. So I love what I’m doing. Now. I’m my own boss. I obviously don’t make as much money as before, but again, not that important that we have our basic needs met, you know, so I, I don’t have you know, instead of five pairs of yoga pants I have four pairs so when it that I’m really enjoying it so that’s a mama and the now and then I also have a Facebook group called parenting in the now and we don’t even talk about parenting anymore. It started out as a parenting group and now it’s just all moms just having a good time in there. Yeah. Oh, good. Yeah. So I you A lot of humor, in my blog and in my groups and everything has to be every moment you can you can wake up and you can be stressed, you can be it feel anxious, and trust me, I have my fair share of that. But then I can also read a funny meme and be like, Okay, that was funny. And you know, I don’t know what but you know, this time is really send out a slew of funny means and you know, good sense of humor and puns and so

April Grant 20:28
Oh, yeah, I had this one. I saw this one meme. And it was a restaurant in Austin, Texas. Oh, yes, I see that. Yeah. And it was just a whole list, it would chair change your marquee every day, I guess it looked like, and just very fun. Whoever was behind it is super funny and creative

Tove Stakkegard 20:45
genius. Yeah,

April Grant 20:47
I was just reading. I was like, there’s more. There’s more. There’s more.

But yeah, laughter has been a great way to get through this. For me personally, just to be able to sit and laugh and joke and watch funny movies and, you know, play tickle with the kid tickle fight with the kids. They love that. Yeah. And instead of trying to force, you know, whatever, or try to wish that this was this whole thing is over. Because we don’t know, we don’t know how long we’ll be here. We don’t know.

Tove Stakkegard 21:26
Don’t we don’t know.

April Grant 21:28
And this, and that. But this is the thing everyone was happy with. The consistency except for life is always unpredictable. every decade, we’ve had some kind of major issue, especially in the US, that has uprooted people and change people. And yes, this is on a bigger scale, and it affects more people, but it’s not new. This particular issue is new, obviously, the virus and be actually being quarantine. But I was around in 2007 2008 we’re in a bunch of people lost their homes, you know, they had their homes and, you know, all of a sudden they couldn’t pay their mortgage, and they couldn’t refinance, and they lost their homes to foreclosure and driving down streets have boarded up houses of a bunch of people who there’s no one living there. And that took years for us to recover. I think we’ll come back stronger on the other side. And but I think acceptance is really the biggest part of just, and I think that’s been what what you said being the now. Yeah, is just kind of accepting. This is where we are today. It’s not great. It’s not what you want it to be. But this is where we are. So what do we do with it now that we’re here?

Tove Stakkegard 22:47
Exactly. And that’s, that’s really cool. Excuse me, what who it is, it’s accepting the moment it’s, it’s not perfect. You know, I, I had a writer or sorry, a reader, contact me on Instagram. And she said, You know, I really like this huka thing. But I see all the Instagram accounts and their styles, you know, scan design homes that you know, have a little fuzzy blanket in the corner, and they just look so perfect. And I don’t think I am that person. And she said What should I do? And I said, Oh, dear God, you know, I just wanted to hug her. I said, I am the least perfect person and all my social media. I am very real I am. You know, this is you see what you get? You know, and I’m, I’m I tried definitely not to have that perfect Instagram account because that is not life. And that is not who good. It’s not you know, it’s, it’s a distressed frame on a wall with a picture of a loved one. You know, it’s not that fancy scan design home. And, you know, I have succulents in every window sill in my house, and it’s not perfect. And I feel like that is what we need to learn is embrace. No, no, this is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination. Nobody here wants this quarantine and this horrible virus that you know, is threatening our loved ones and us. But let’s make the most of it because it’s the cards that we’ve been dealt and as a as a working mom, I since 2017. In my personal life, I’ve had like one thing after another where I’ve said, Okay, once this is over, I’m going to write or I’m going to publish this book or I’m going to do this and you know, first there was you know, my mom was diagnosed with cancer and it’s just one thing after another was just big things. And we moved and everything. And then finally you said the epiphany. So I had an epiphany and it was just last week I said, you know you are just going to Oh selling myself you’re gonna have to stop waiting for the rain to stop and just learn to work with the rain. You know, just yeah, just stop waiting for The storm to pass and just work with the storm because the storms not gonna pass. This is life. You know. And I think I think from being from Florida and I know you’re in Florida, we might have some skills that people in other parts of the country might not have from dealing with hurricanes. Yeah. And you know, my husband and I, we look at it, we get up every day, we look at each other, and we just literally laugh, because if we don’t, then we’d start bigger and probably cry. You know? What day is it? I don’t know. Does it even matter? I don’t know. No, it doesn’t. How many calls do we have? I don’t even know. You know, and we just we just laugh because this is such a weird time. But it’s it. I was telling a friend. It feels like we’re waiting for hurricane that’s just not gonna come. It’s the most anti climatic time.

April Grant 25:55
Well, I don’t know what Irma was pretty anti climatic.

Tove Stakkegard 25:58
Yeah, that’s true.

Unknown Speaker 26:00
All of that prep work. Yeah.

April Grant 26:02
Nothing, nothing.

Tove Stakkegard 26:04
Yeah. Last hurricane we experienced. And then we left. Yeah. And

April Grant 26:11
in that now, I can’t get my mind off of the memes. But you know, I think of the one that says Sunday is not a day of the week. Yeah. And because we’re always waiting, everyone puts everything on the back burner. And in the hopes that they’re going to get more time more this more that. And now we have more time. And some people are doing things and some people aren’t. And granted, I’m not making a judgment call because they’ve got to do what’s right for them. But if it’s more time you needed, you have more time. Yes, exactly.

Tove Stakkegard 26:44
Well, that’s that’s actually when I when I saw your, your email, and you know, your your call for for people interested in a podcast, I thought, well, I could wait for this to pass. And you know, maybe there’s a better? No, no, right now is a good time.

April Grant 26:59
now’s a good time. Yeah. And that was how it was even starting it because I was going to wait to start. And then I said, What am I waiting for? That’s Yeah, like, what it came down to?

Tove Stakkegard 27:12
Well, and I think, you know, bringing it back to women in their 40s. I also think us, I think, you know, some of us are starting to or have already been dealing with aging parents. So we’re realizing we have a reality and thrown in our face that. Not that we’re running out of time. But but this is this is our one shot at life, you know, so we don’t want to waste it because the top layer of our sandwich might be struggling, you know, my sister, and I lost my mom here in December to lung cancer. And so we’re orphans now. I’m a 46 year old orphan. And because my dad passed 12 years ago. And so that was really hard for me more than anything, you know, I miss my mom, I used to talk to her every day. But the thought of being an orphan, and not having your parents. That was life changing to me. And I think that’s something a lot of women in their 40s deal with having to become a caregiver for their parents, or just realizing, wow, the way I viewed my parents growing up, that’s how my kids are viewing me because I’m that old now.

April Grant 28:27
I know right? Now, we’re the ages that when we were young, they’re like, Oh, that’s so old. And it’s like no, not really, not only is it not that old, we could live another 40 years. Oh, yeah. I mean, honestly, we can’t I mean, the average lifespan for a woman is over 70. So we could easily live another 3040, even 50 years. And part of the reason I started this was, I don’t think we spend enough time paying attention to the fact that we still have a whole life to live. You know, our kids are growing up. You know, unfortunately, I have a six year old. So I’m still in it for a little while. But eventually they’ll be out of the house. And I want to have a life that makes me happy. Once they’re gone. Yes. And I don’t want to give up. I mean, I love being a parent, I love my kids. But at some point they’re going to go and they’re going to have their own life. And I don’t want to be the person who’s crying that my children at home, what am I going to do? I want to be able to still be happy and still have my own things and be happy when they come and visit or I go to visit them.

Tove Stakkegard 29:44
So and have your interests and and your strengths that you’re drawing upon, you know your own business or hobbies or whatever it is. Yeah, but I I feel so sad. I talk to some of my friends and during all of this. They’re like I just, you know, I, I realized I don’t have any hobbies, I don’t have any interests. I have so much time on my hands. And yeah, and that’s, that’s really eye opening too, because we’ve been moms for, you know, five to 15 years or more at this point. And, you know, you could sort of lose yourself very easily. Yeah, well,

April Grant 30:22
I wouldn’t even take that a step further. Because, you know, in the last couple years, there’s been this self care movement, you know, taking care of yourself, which, of course, is super important. But everyone gives all these suggestions. And I’m looking at him like, I mean, they’re fine. Like, I don’t mind a good bath, I am getting my nails done, but it doesn’t really rejuvenate me. So, you know, looking and searching for those hobbies that just bring you back to yourself. It really took some time to find it. And I’m still kind of searching, you know, looking, trying different things, going out my outside of my comfort zone. And I really, I don’t, I’m, it’s interesting. I’m very, I like being active, but I don’t like being outdoors, which makes it very hard to be at. But I like the water. So I want to do more like kayaking, and paddleboarding and things like that. And of course, now we can’t do any of that. But yeah, to, to circle it back, I actually have a post on my Instagram and I’ll be putting up another I saw this, another graphic that had all sorts of self care that just wasn’t limited to things you do. Also, including things like meditation, but sleep. Okay, so

Tove Stakkegard 31:45
don’t get enough sleep. It’s like, you just threw me this, this ball that I’m gonna take and run with now because I’m taking this course called the science of well being. And it’s, it’s hosted by Yale, but it’s it’s online. And it’s about the Science of Happiness and how to be happy truly, genuinely happy because as we talked about the career, the shiny purse, the distressed jeans are not necessarily going to make you happy. So throughout the course, they have weekly exercises that you do, and they’re trying to prove to us at the end of the course, of course, that these things do make you happy. So I’ll share with you what those things are. They’re, they’re healthy habits. And I like them because they don’t take you out to the pedicure place and you don’t need to take a bath. You know, they’re just very simple things. And you’ve heard them all of course, but but they make sense. So gratitude journaling, take 10 minutes every night, a very simple things and write five things down that you’re grateful for. Okay, of course, you’re grateful for your family, of course, you’re grateful for the food on your table. But find things, five things each day that you are truly grateful for. And as you remember, your day you sort of, you take it all in and you’re mindful of that moment. And they have savoring. So take an experience from each day, like as you’re going through your day and savor find a moment to savor. So whether it’s you cooking a meal, and you’re thinking, wow, this is going to be a great meal, I’m preparing this food, just really focus to be in that moment. And then at night, write that down, write down how that experience was how it made you feel. And this should only take you a few minutes, it’s a good thing to do, like right before bedtime, but that type of routine, they have meditation for 10 minutes a day, nothing big. So you know, none of this is takes you out of your home, none of this cost money, which is what I like, you know, I like that you can do anytime, anywhere and your income doesn’t, you know, mate, determine whether you’re going to be a success or not. They say make social connections. And that’s something I’ve been trying to do with my houden the now Instagram account, I call it a spread who good not germs. Um, so just make a social connection every day. And I know that’s hard. We can’t go see people in person. But I’ve been texting random people on my contact list people that I’ve sort of lost touch with and just said, Hey, thinking of you, how are you? And you know, I’ve gotten Oh my god, how are you? And I can’t believe you reached out to me today. That type of thing. You know, just my son and I’ve gone for walks, picked flowers and left and the little bouquet at a, you know, neighbor’s doorstep that I knew was probably struggling or something. If you’re scrolling through your newsfeed and you see we all have those people that just have have a bad day or a bad year, whatever, send them a private message, say, Hey, I’m thinking of you, or I saw your post, I hope everything is okay. You know, just make that social connection a little bit deeper than just putting a sad face on their Facebook post, you know, reach out. And again, doesn’t cost any money. random acts of kindness, that’s another good one. And sometimes that’s a little bit hard now that we’re stuck at home. But like I said, you know, you know, we’ve been picking wild flowers, I’ve put them in a nice clean spaghetti jar, you know, little glass jar and leave them on somebody’s doorstep, or we’ve had a box of books that the kids don’t read anymore, on our front doorstep with a note free books for kids. So whatever candle I sold was next to it in case people wanted to use that. Right, right, right.

And then,

so an exercise for 30 minutes, nothing strenuous, just, you know, take the dog for a walk, or go for a bike ride, that type of thing and sleep. So that was part of their self care in this happiness course, was get four nights a week, get seven to eight hours of sleep. And of course, right now, that’s a little bit easier than probably when everyday life starts back again. But sleep is more important than we actually think it is. And then the last thing they they have us do, and I haven’t done it yet, but I think it’s going to be super impactful. And it’s something I probably want to start doing. They said to write a gratitude letter. So write a physical letter to someone in your life who’s made a big difference, if you could, you should probably go deliver it in person, which we can’t do right now. But I have a couple people in mind, I was gonna, you know that it really impacted my life, but I probably not think properly. Just write a letter, they said, you know, 300 words or so call them up, read it to them, mail it to them, but but or maybe do a zoom call with them. But just showing gratitude will help you with your own happiness. And that’s a form of self care.

April Grant 37:16
So I’m amazing. I love

Tove Stakkegard 37:18
those ideas. Because again, they don’t take you out of your house, you can still wear your graphic T and your yoga pants, you know, and they don’t cost money. They take little time. It’s there things that you can do even you know, while the kids are watching Peppa Pig, you can journal real quick or some right, you know, so so the barrier to entry like most of us should be able to get those done and get that.

April Grant 37:45
Yeah, I remember. In high school, I actually spent some time a lot of time, my parents moved far away from my high school and I wanted to stay at the high school I was going to so my girlfriend’s mom, our parents allowed me to stay there, basically three nights a week, my entire senior year. And so I didn’t know I wasn’t sure. And I probably didn’t because I was a kid that thanked her. So I sent her on. When she friended me on Facebook. I sent her this thank you letter, because I was so appreciative of not having to stress about where I was going to sleep at night. Not to say my parents would have let me sleep on the street, you know?

Tove Stakkegard 38:30
In your high school kid mind,

April Grant 38:32
right? You’re like, Oh, my gosh, what am I gonna do? And I asked her and she’s like, of course, come on. She’s like, the only thing they’re Mormon. And so the only thing was, we get up and pray every day at 6am. I was like, Whoa, that’s early? And she said yes. And then most of the people well, they pray before the first person leaves and the dad left at six. Okay, so but then everyone will go back to sleep. So but other than that, and and she made it clear, she’s like, I expect you to participate in that. And I said, Okay, that’s fine, fine. So, and it was helpful because my senior year I was done with school at noon. So we would come back and go back to sleep, come back after school, and go back to sleep. But, um, it’s the feeling of being able to, to thank people and the fact that we have the connection on Facebook to reach out to people that we never we haven’t seen in years. I mean, I know people from I have fourth grade friends on my list of school, I went to elementary school and middle school and high school. And that’s just so it’s nice. It’s very nice sense of community. Yeah. And you can still reach out to them and one of the things so my birthday was on April 20 First. And one of the things that I really appreciated actually about being in this time, is I was able to invite my best friend whom I haven’t been able to spend a birthday with in 20 years. And she could be on the call because I didn’t have to do this. Like, she didn’t have to be a separate celebration, she could be part of the celebration. So I, she’s in Hawaii. And then I have a friend in Baltimore. And both of them I can never see on my birthday because they don’t live here. I was able to invite them to be part of the celebratory activities without, like, doing extra work of Okay, well, I gotta call you, you know, on my birthday, you know, or they call me or whatever, they could just be part of the festivities, like I would, for the friends that are local. So the social connection that has helped me, you know, with the social connection part because I’m, I’m really typically an extrovert. But, you know, it’s okay. We’re at home for right now. Yeah. But I love you.

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