Podcast 103: Pick Your Moment, How to Be Happier During a Tough Time, and a Deep Dive into #Happier2017.

It’s time for the next installment of  Happier with Gretchen Rubin.

We’re coming up on our second anniversary of the show! To celebrate, we want to do an episode of highlights from the previous year. So if you have a favorite try-this-at-home, a great before-and-after story of something you tried, a favorite funny moment, let us know. Email us at podcast@gretchenrubin.com or call 77-HAPPY-336.

Try This at Home: Pick your moment. When we mindfully choose the moment for a challenging conversation or task, we do better. Easier said than done.

Happiness Hack: If the traditional Valentine’s day isn’t working for you, celebrate a different relationship in your life — maybe your relationship with yourself, with friends, with siblings.

Deep Dive: We take a look at the #Happier2017 project on Instagram. We had so much fun with this — we enjoyed posting our own photos, and even more, seeing what other people posted.

Listener Question: Clare asks, “I’m trying to get pregnant, and it’s hard not to feel a pang when I’m around people who are pregnant or when I see newborn babies. How do I stay happy?”

Demerit: I get a repeat demerit for not making an appointment to get my hair cut.

Gold Star: Elizabeth gives her seven-year-old Jack a gold star for being “Star of the Week” at school, and presenting in front of his class.

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Happier with Gretchen Rubin - Podcast #103

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Want to know what to expect from other episodes of the podcast, when you listen to the award-winning Happier with Gretchen Rubin?” We talk about how to build happier habits into everyday life, as we draw from cutting-edge science, ancient wisdom, lessons from pop culture—and our own experiences (and mistakes).  We’re sisters, so we don’t let each other get away with much!

Want a new podcast to listen to, with the same vibe as Happier? The Onward Project is the family of podcasts that I’ve launched, for podcasts that are about “your life–made better.” The first shows are Side Hustle School and Radical Candor. Elizabeth’s show with her writing partner, Sarah Fain, will be Happier in Hollywood, so stay tuned for that.

HAPPIER listening!

  • Denita

    I am glad to read about Elizabeth’s gold star because the end of the episode was cut off and I didn’t hear it! Thanks for your great podcast.

    • gretchenrubin

      Sorry about that – the glitch is now fixed!

      Gretchen Rubin

      Visit my blog

      My podcast, Happier with Gretchen Rubin
      My books:Better Than Before —New York Times bestseller
      The Happiness Project —#1 New York Times bestseller
      Join the discussion on Facebook @gretchenrubin

  • Mimi Gregor

    I love the feature that lets you make appointments online, My massage therapist has this, and it’s great to be able to see all the possible appointment times laid out in front of you, so that you can pick the most convenient time for you with the masseuse of your choice.

    As far as haircut appointments go, I know that my hair needs a cut every 8 weeks. So the last appointment of the year, I make all my next year’s appointments. I just hand a list of the dates to the receptionist when I come in, and when I leave, she hands me a printout of my appointments for verification. It’s so easy to do it this way. (I hate talking on the phone, so this works well for me.)

  • Jeanne

    In my youth, I used to think that picking your time, not to mention your battles, was manipulative. Like it was kind of dishonest if I didn’t speak up right away. Over time I learned that picking the right time is not only good sense, but also good manners. It is not kind or helpful to put something on someone when they are not receptive. Giving my husband space and consideration is better for both of us.

  • Working on having self-discipline and picking the right time to bring up things that bother me has been challenging but worth the effort.

  • Laura Jolna

    I really empathize with Clare’s pregnancy situation (this week’s Listener’s Question) and applaud you for discussing a tough topic. I wasn’t able to get pregnant and then having Lupus prevented me from adopting. It’s weighed on my heart and emotions for years. I’m now in my mid 40s and have weathered many social occasions where it’s taken everything in me to smile and participate in celebrations.
    One issue I continually deal with is when people I meet ask my why I don’t have kids. It’s the most incredible thing to me that someone would ask this question, without any idea what wounds they may be opening.

    • Gillian

      I can’t believe that people are so rude that they ask you WHY you don’t have kids. I don’t have kids either. People often ask IF I have kids. When I answer no, they leave it at that. I’m 69 and I don’t think I’ve ever been asked Why.

  • Rebecca

    Looks like Galentine’s Day was officially started by Parks and Rec’s Leslie Knope! https://www.bustle.com/p/how-did-galentines-day-start-leslie-knope-is-responsible-for-the-best-day-of-the-year-29898

  • Kelly

    i’m like Gretchen and want to get things settled immediately (I’m an obliger). my spouse (a rebel!) hates this. I’ve had to learn to pick my moment. sometimes I end up missing something b/c it’s better than upsetting a rebel…that’s the obliger in me wanting to please others…I try to plan as early as possible so that it doesn’t get to this point…

  • MerryMary

    This podcast reminded me of my mom’s marital advice. I know this sounds hopelessly outdated, but she said to wait until after dinner to give your husband bad news. Don’t lay it on him as soon as he gets home from work and is still stressed out from the work day. It sounds corny but it was good advice.

    • zilly

      This is good advice for anyone – I find this esp with my teenager, when he first gets home from school is not the time to nag him about the list of things I need to nag him about – he’s hungry mostly, and also just needs a little break. So I think your mom’s advice goes beyond marital to any relationship, give people some time to decompress from their daily grind before jumping on a difficult issue (or any issue, really).

  • Gina

    I wanted to comment on the listener question. I myself was never in this situation as I am so blessed to have had two children with little issue. I have a few close friends who have dealt with infertility and have been in the listener’s situation. One was while I was pregnant with my first child and it was uncomfortable as she wouldn’t even talk to me. I know it’s because she has have troubles of her own. I have my own spin on this. My sister died from leukemia when she was 25 and I was 35. It pains me when I hear people talk about doing things with their sister or how they don’t know what they would do without their sister, when friends talk about their kids going to visit their aunt and spending time with her. There are plenty of memes and posts on social media – “like” if you love your sister. Even though it was 10 years ago that she passed away, it still pains me every day – some worse than others as I wonder what she would be doing and how we would be dealing with issues with my parents together and I wonder what type of relationship my kids would have with her. She would be the fun aunt. Anyway, I wanted to just point out that there are many people dealing with infertility but that your advice can be taken for not just infertility but so many other life circumstances as well. There are lots of issues that people deal with that your advice can be used – love the “be as happy as you can be”.

  • Trying to conceive: a theory. We’ve all probably heard rumors of women who have their menstrual cycles “sync up” when they’re in close proximity for several months. One theory of why this might happen is pheromones. I have known several women who suffered from infertility of unknown cause, who underwent IVF for the first child and managed to conceive a second without intervention (surprise!). I’ve heard of others who adopted a baby, and found themselves pregnant soon after the adoption.

    What if there’s something to that whole pheromone thing? What if there’s a pheromone produced by infants or nursing mothers that can trigger fertility in other women? What if, by avoiding infants, you’re denying your body a chemical trigger that tells it “Babies thrive in this environment, go ahead and have one?”

    Just a thought. I have no scientific evidence to back any of this up. But if encountering babies makes you feel like you’re being proactive about your own pregnancy, and not sad – then it seems like a win to me. (I do note that this probably won’t work if you have some sort of diagnosed cause for infertility – but there seem to be lot of women who don’t know why they can’t conceive).

  • K.M.

    Thank you SO MUCH for giving permission to sometimes not attend a baby shower, etc. I was in a similar situation as Clare last year and my office was having a baby shower for a coworker. When I RSVPed my regrets to the host (who was also my good friend and boss at the time), given my emotions – which she was aware of, she gave me the biggest guilt trip and told me that it wasn’t optional and I needed to go and support my coworker. So then I felt so discourteous, and of course I went, and then went home and cried after. It was the loneliest feeling to not even feel supported myself and to feel like I was being rude! So I just can’t tell you how important your advice is, especially since I consider you both to have great manners!

  • According to http://www.theatlantic.com, “Galantine’s Day” started as fiction from the 2010 airing of “Parks and Recreation” and has since become an up and coming tradition. I have searched the web and 2010’s Parks and Rec episode is the earliest finding and rendition of the once fictitious ‘holiday’. Pretty cool – turned on to Parks and Rec by my older kids and love it!

  • Emily Burns

    I just booked my haircut whilst listening to the demerit!! My hair gets to the point of bothering me, and it goes on and on. I have a good hairdresser just around the corner so my fatigue isn’t really an excuse. I think it’s an underbust thing? Plus the phone call puts me off! So, this time I’m going to book in a next one but for 12 weeks times not 6 (I always cancel these if I try).