Mental Health Day

Today I took a mental health day as part of my vow to not only see life half full, but to live life as positively as possible.  Everyone has a different way of caring for their mental wellbeing.  I find my happiness in exercise, baking, camaraderie, and showing those around them I care through acts of kindness.  Today, I accomplished of those goals.

Remembering to Make lemonade

I didn’t sleep well last night; I was overly optimistic about the ability to sleep in my bed comfortably, as it turns out.  Last night was full of “ow” moments when I tried to roll and instead found myself with a stabbing pain down my sternum at the edge of my expanders.  My husband also received two phone calls from work in the middle of the night.  I crawled out of bed this morning in a foul, foul mood.

My morning was saved by the two c’s: coffee and camaraderie.  Two cups of coffee and a scheduled walking date helped me erase the dregs of last night’s awful sleep and put my best foot forward into the rest of the day.  Ashley and Brooke totally made my morning by being my walking buddies.  I spent an hour improving my body and my mindset.  For that, I can’t thank them enough.  They helped me make lemonade of a sour start to my day, and I’m so grateful because the helped my outlook shift for the rest of the day.

reboot

We all have days that start poorly, and when that happens you need a mental reboot.  Make a list of simple activities that helps you reimagine your day in another way, then be deliberate in spacing them throughout the day to keep the grumps at bay.

Yes, I’m not working right now, so planning activities I enjoy is a lot easier than for you folks who work. BUT, you can still make purposeful plans to make your day more enjoyable that don’t take too much time.  For example, take a small container of your favorite coffee creamer to work for a mid-morning coffee break.  If you’re an office supply junky, start the day with a newly sharpened pencil or a brand new pen.  Play your favorite “power songs” in the car on the way to work and sing at the top of your lungs even if you don’t feel like it.  Smile and say “good morning” to people you don’t know.  There are many ways that you can easily take a badly started day and make it better.  If you like lists, make one and pick three things that you will do on a bad day to make it better so when the moment strikes, you’re prepared with easy pick-me-ups.

Better through baking

pumpkin cookie flour
The beginning of a fall classic.

I know I’ve said this before, but I feel better through baking.  My father-in-law finished a project at  the house for us today.  He replaced the fence between our house and our detached garage; it looks beautiful.  He has a sweet tooth that rivals mine, so I decided to find my happy place and accomplish a tasty thank you all in one.

Since fall is officially here, that means pumpkin everything, and in my house that means pumpkin cookies.

pumpkin cookie batter
Pumpkin, butter, shortening, eggs, and sugars.

I tried a new recipe this year.  Before I cut gluten from my diet, I used a recipe from the Betty Crocker Cookie Cookbook.  Now that I am using gluten free flour, I decided to come up with my own delicious recipe.

The cookies are easy to make and turn out fabulously, if I do say so myself.  They taste delicious with our without cream cheese frosting.  This recipe makes approximately four dozen cookies.  So, these are the perfect cookies for a crowd or to stash in your freezer if you do not wish to eat them all at once.

Time for a sugar buzz–the best way to turn my frown upside down.

pumpkin cookie frosted
Frosted Guten Free Pumpkin Cookie

gluten free pumpkin cookies

ingredients
  • 3/4 c. granulated sugar
  • 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. salted butter, softened
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 c. Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1.5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 tsp ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350.

Combine baking mix, baking powder, baking soda, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a bowl, stirring gently with a fork to incorporate spices, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, combine sugars, butter, and shortening on medium speed until blended.  Add pumpkin puree and mix on low speed.  Add 2 eggs and mix until well blended (as pictured above).

Slowly add dry ingredients to the mixer. Mix on medium speed until incorporated.

pumpkin cookies
2″ dropped cookies

Line baking sheets with parchment paper and drop by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet about 2″ apart.

Bake for approximately 13min or until the cookies set in the middle.  Let cool and frost if desired.

I’m not including my cream cheese frosting recipe, but you can find a good one by JJ on Allrecipes.com by clicking here.

baked pumpkin cookies
Can you smell them?

1 thought on “Mental Health Day”

  1. I can smell them! Smells like fall! My day started also in a foul way as well, so it makes me feel better knowing that I’m not alone.

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