We all have hope for the best year ever -whether or not that is true may depend on how you view “the best,” so let’s start by making the most of each day of your life in Naples.

Here are 24 suggestions for 2024 :
1. Start your day right. Rise with the sun when you can, make your bed, and drink a large glass of water.
2. If your schedule permits, it’s hard to beat watching the sunrise over Baker Park.
3. Many among us are trying intermittent fasting and those that aren’t are having a protein packed breakfast. Take your pick or your doctor’s advice!
4. Have a pet? A morning walk or exchanging a little affection is always a day brightener.
5. Speaking of pets, there are many organizations devoted to the care and shelter of animals awaiting adoption. Domestic Animal Services and the Humane Society Naples are just two that come to mind. Blankets, bowls, towels and treats are among many items on their wish list.
6. Is it time for a coffee break? I’m going to give a smile and a shout out to one of my favorite people, Imani Nyumbwe, from the downtown Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru. His positive attitude and winning smile (as well as his great colleagues) ensures my day starts right when I am able to visit.
7. There are many others who cross my path or yours, sometimes fleeting. I’m pledging to be more intentional; thanking those who have brightened my day and doing my best to make theirs a joy, too. Even a heartfelt thank you can make all the difference in the world. A compliment, sincerely paid, will have a similar effect.
8. Time in nature always does us a world of good. If you are inside at work or reading this at home, take a break and step outside. Look up. Look around. I just did this and delighted in the sound of birdsong and the whisper of rustling palm fronds.
9. Other friends and my daughters go to their favorite music for a mood boost and it’s a great reminder to put those favorite tunes on blast or replay. If music isn’t a universal language, I don’t know what is.
10. Speaking of music, this is an invitation to break out and dance. If you haven’t recently, I promise you’ll be glad to shake it off!
11. Take a moment to learn about the community around you. If you’re new to Naples (or not!), the Conservancy of Southwest Florida offers a wealth of information, advice, tours and programs to learn more about the unique Southwest Florida environment and those amazing creatures that share this home with us. The von Arx Wildlife Hospital assists thousands of injured native creatures every year. Find out how you can minimize your impact and lend support to this organization, by educating yourself and helping wildlife thrive.
12. Pause. Respond, don’t react. Quite possibly you’ll save yourself a few headaches in doing so.
13. Rest. Meditate. Watch your breathing. Do nothing for 2 minutes. Then three… or more.
14. Laugh out loud. Watch a funny movie. Read or tell a funny joke. I’m hoping to see comedian Nate Bargatze next month. Maybe I’ll see you there and we’ll laugh together!
15. Reread a favorite book and share your suggestion with a friend. Or share a favorite passage. I’d love to hear from you if there’s a quote that bears repeating.
16. Ixnay on the negativity. Happy people beget more happy people. We can’t be Pollyanna all the time but we can look on the bright side. We can look for the silver lining. We can remember that tough times don’t last but tough people do. And that support is out there if you are in need. The Collier Resource Center is one organization which can point you in the right direction if you are feeling a bit lost or at a low point. There are so many avenues to resources in our wonderful community. Should you need guidance, please reach out for help and encouragement.
17. Florida may be the Sunshine State, but sometimes we will have cloudbursts. But rainy days often bring beautiful changes to the sky and keep our plants, trees and flowers happy. If you haven’t been to the Naples Botanical Garden, please put that on your list for this year, or even this week.
18. Oranges emblazon many Florida license plates. Did you know smelling citrus fruit scientifically is shown to boost your mood? It’s time to take a whiff.
19. Have a creative break. Many times people say they aren’t imaginative, but look back to your childhood to see what you enjoyed doing, making, playing. Adult coloring books are everywhere, but certainly there is inspiration from your past or new directions for your future.
20. As to creativity, embrace works produced by others. Art is where you find it and there are countless art organizations and galleries dedicated to supporting our local artists as well as those with national acclaim and beyond.
21. Write it down. I’m certainly at a point where list making is a daily routine, but I also want to remember the random things that pop into my mind that would otherwise float away unless I take pen to paper. Do you journal? Many scientific studies tout this as a surefire way to lift your spirits, especially if you journal about gratitude.
22. Plan a trip. Even as many elsewhere are planning travels to Naples, understand that anticipation about a future pleasant event is always good for us.
23. Be present with loved ones, colleagues, friends and acquaintances. The gift of time and attention is truly priceless. It reminds me of the saying that there is no time like the present. Also, the present is a gift. Even if you can’t be with people you love, take a moment to call, text, or even drop a snail mail letter to them. Today. Now. That’s a gentle reminder to myself, too.
24. End your day in Naples with a sunset on the Gulf. Time to reflect, then, back to lucky #13, above.

Email Karen with your article ideas concerning Life in Naples (especially as to local charities and their activities):

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