It can be so easy to slip into a routine of only doing the things that have to get done and forgetting about doing the things that bring us joy and renew our spirits. It’s easy to forget what those things even are when we are frazzled or overwhelmed. That’s where a “joy list” comes in handy.
When you have a quiet moment, stop and think about all the things that bring you joy. These can be big things like “vacationing with my partner,” or small things like “drinking a mug of green tea with honey.” Write them all down and keep the list somewhere where you can find it easily. When you are starting to feel burned out, depressed, anxious, etc., look back at your list and commit to doing 1 or 2 of the things on it (or more, if your schedule allows) to renew yourself.
Here’s some ideas to get you started!
If you have…
only 5 minutes:
- Breathe deeply 10 times to relax and refocus
- Stretch your neck and back muscles
- Listen to a song that you love
- Apply some DIY sugar scrub to your hands and feet
- Organize a drawer or small space to feel accomplished
- Take a walk outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine
- Soak in a tub filled with warm water and lavender oil, oatmeal, or bubbles
- Watch an episode of your favorite show with a mug of hot tea or a glass of wine
- Call a friend and catch up on life
- Take a nap! This can do wonders for your outlook on life
- Give yourself a DIY manicure or pedicure
- Start a book that you’ve been wanting to read
- Check out Living Social or Groupon for discounted tickets to shows or discounted restaurant options
- Have friends over for a game night or ice cream sundae night
- Start/finish a craft, sewing, or painting project
There’s also some things that deplete us or steal our joy that aren’t as obvious as a fight with a partner or an unexpected medical bill. Things like:
- Unproductive Conversations. Everyone knows a certain person for which trying to explain something or discuss something with them is futile. This can cause a huge amount of stress. It can be ok to not answer someone’s incendiary email or text when you know that responding is futile.
- Certain TV Shows. If watching house renovation shows makes you feel frustrated and unhappy that you can’t renovate your home the way you want to, or watching bridal shows reminds you of a sad break up, it might be time to step away from them (or other shows) for awhile.
- Facebook. I noticed recently that a friend wasn’t posting anything on Facebook, which I thought was odd since she usually makes posts regularly. I asked her if she was ok. She told me that she was taking a hiatus from Facebook since it was anxiety-inducing and addictive for her. It made alot of sense- my husband jokingly reminds me to stay away from Facebook’s trending topics section since it is full of bad news. It’s hard to balance knowing what’s going on in the world with being overwhelmed by the barrage of it on Facebook. However, if knowing about all of it and not being able to do anything about it is stress-inducing, it can be ok to step away for awhile. Check out Salon.com’s interesting article on the connection between Facebook, anxiety, and stress here.
What would be on your “joy list” of favorite things? What do you do to renew your spirits?
Image from pixabay.com
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