Grounding, Happiness, Life Hacks, The Projects

The Great Maternity Leave Projects: Using Instagram to Boost Happiness

Why you should read this:  Instagram can be an extremely powerful way to boost happiness. I share with you a daily technique that is not discussed anywhere, yet is a daily practice that the most successful people have.  I’ve creeped their instagrams.  And I also share a mindset shift when it comes to setting up good vibes for your day.

Reading time:  Less than 5 minutes



Most articles we see online deal with the evils of social media, and how they can make you feel worse.  I do believe that comparison is the thief of joy and that you should be the gatekeeper of what flows into your iphone or computer screen.  I wrote about the benefits of a digital detox, too.  However, what nobody talks about is how you can actually harness social media and make it work for YOU.

I am going to share a technique today that has made a huge impact on both of my maternity leaves.   It started as a project and is now a daily habit.  So many people talk about starting a gratitude list in a journal but honestly, on mat leave, it has been super tough to do that – even though I journal every single day.  So, I decided to export this practice to instagram.

It is a way to start with a positive mindset and gets you feeling thankful for everything.

The Importance of Energy Flow

I’m not a reiki practitioner, or a yogi but what I do know at 33 years of age, is there are energy flows within us and between people, that our mortal human brains can’t comprehend.  We haven’t even figured out a way to explain them with the scientific method yet.

Most days I wake up bursting with happiness, good energy and excitement. But I’ve also felt the flows of negativity, bad energy and skepticism. One squabble with my husband sets up this weird frustrated energy that gets my mind into a place where I could pick apart everything in my day that has not gone right.  One bad nights sleep and two feisty babies can set me off on the wrong energy path for the day.

Even though we can’t explain energy flows, we can control them.

The 3 Things that Create Good Energy Flows

I’ve studied many people.  Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracy, Thich Nhat Hanh, Pema Chodron, Buddhism, Christianity, contemporary philosophers like Jason Silva, masters of business and success.  Lewis Howes from School of Greatness.   Different religions, thinking systems, philosophies.  ALL of them talk about energy flows and how to create them.

Here are the 3 things that create good energy flows.






These Words Ain’t My Thang

Confession:  As soon as I start using words like these, the academic in me rolls her eyes a little.  In my life coaching certification there was hugging and dancing, many estrogenic moments, and a lot of words like these, and I was the one sitting in the corner with a coffee, observing and horribly uncomfortable.  So if you catch yourself moaning, just bear with me, I HEAR YOU.  It’s not my style either.

I’m just picking words from the English language that come close to what I want to convey.  I wish there were less cheesy ones, too.  

So let’s get to the real, practical application of these.  Then in a week’s time you can come back and tell me “Carina, this shit works.”

What you Need to Do Right Now.  Download Two Apps on your Phone.  

Download two.  Yes two.  

Instagram and any “collage” app you can find on the I-Tunes store that doesn’t hammer you with in-app purchases.  Oh wait, they all do if they are free, haha.

This isn’t a project for others.  This is for you. So, go ahead, can keep your instagram private if you like.  But I encourage you to share.  It’s not egotistical to do so.  It’s great. And inspiring.  And your Mama friends will be helped, too.  How nice will it be for them to have YOUR post on their feed, that is inspiring? It will break up all those stupid “get a six pack after having a baby in only THREE months.”  Blah.


Here is What You Do:

Create an instagram image using your camera roll and collage app. Your image is going to:




This simple practice will take maybe 3 minutes, and is pretty fun with the collage apps out there when you get the hang of them.  You don’t have to put these words down if you find them cheesy.  Most of my Instagram posts are “had a blast today doing…”  or “this person/thing/place is awesome.”  or “looking forward to…


Important:  Anchor this Habit with one of the Things You Do First Thing in the Morning

Habits are hard to start.  They say it takes 21 days.  But what they never say is in those 21 days of trying to get started, we forget at least 10 times. lol.  One day of forgetting and you are back at square one.


So do that Instagram post. It puts us into the head space of thinking about what we are excited about, thankful for or proud of.  As soon as we think about any one of those three things, our energy shifts to a nice, feel good, flowy energy. 

Tip:  Think about people in the mornings.  People always have things they must do in the morning.  If they miss their coffee, that’s it, they’re “off” – if they have to rush, that’s it, it’s hard to correct the bad energy from that.   People are hardcore about their morning routines.

They are all trying to set up good energy for the day by “avoiding”  things that trigger bad energy.

What if we set up good energy for the day by “doing” things that trigger good energy?  

Treat this with the same sanctity as your other morning routines.

Setting up a good energy flow and mindset first thing in the morning should be as important as washing your face.  Shit, that’s a terrible example. I’m sitting here with mascara from last night on my face.

Setting up a good energy flow and mindset first thing in the morning should be as important as your morning coffee or tea. Ahhh, yes, that’s better for a mat leaver. 

And if you need some extra listening to boost you, to help nail this home, have a listen to one of my favourite podcasts, the School of Greatness.  Lewis Howes and Michael Hyatt talking about “celebration badges” and how setting up good energy flows is KEY to achieving your goals.  It’s weird, I was plannign this entire article out on a run, listening to the SoG podcast and their conversation turned to EXACTLY what I wanted to write about.  Sometimes the universe slaps you in the face with hints and you must listen to those hint-bombs.  This was mine.

It’s a great conversation and starts with them discussing Lewis Howes dancing on a cruise ship having a ball (cue crush mode.)   Also, it’s a damn nice switch up – listening to two grown guys talk is a nice departure from our daily communication, which can revolve around “what was their poo like” “when did they sleep last” and “how many hours I did NOT sleep last night.”

Haha.  Enjoy, Great Maternity Leaves, enjoy.  And use the hashtag #thegreatmaternityleave in your instagram posts so I can see! I can’t wait!






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