Well it goes without saying that life has been interesting over the last 18 months. And, that we are sick of saying that and talking about the pandemic. All of us have been on our own journey and no two have been alike. Where there was once light-heartedness there has been sorrow. Where there was taking the easy route there has been a constant juggling of time and priorities and often money.
However, there have been some good times as well. As a family we’ve eaten together, learned together, sat together and planned what the future could look like together – I have seen my family grow and thrive in the main, recognising that also the tole on the children has been difficult to navigate. But, also the uncertainty and continuous change (or staying the same) has been draining. Can we re-set joy and look for the small moments and hold them dear?
We can’t just wait for things to get better as life was always complicated and nuanced and that is not likely to change only increase in complexity. We have to grab happiness where we can find it and choose to embrace it. But how?
Be generous with time
If we are lucky happiness is a feeling that we don’t have to think too much about, but it can also be a choice! To find it wherever we look and though we must all acknowledge that we can’t be happy all the time we can change our own narrative.
You can bring joy and happiness to others with simple acts of kindness. Maybe just a ‘how are you’ or ‘thank you’ text can make someone’s day – and it feels good as well. If we make these acts new traditions, we can build positive vibes and spread the love. I’m not going all hippy on you but being generous with words and deeds helps both sides.
Your time is precious
On one hand be generous with time but on the other you can’t always dance to others tunes. If what you are being asked to do can’t work for you then don’t fret about saying no or offering a different timeline. Not always possible at work but in your personal life, just know you cannot always fit it all in! People get that, so be kind to yourself. Your health and your inner joy do mean that getting everything done might not be possible. And that’s ok.
Small is beautiful
We have (and many of us still are) been dreaming of large gatherings, long far away holidays and sporting extravaganzas and when these seem impossible, we get sad. There really isn’t a better word for how we are feeling – we feel sad. But the everyday can bring joy. A great book, a fancy home cooked meal you’ve never tried. Just taking time out and pausing life. All these things can be joyous and wonderful. It’s just changing how we think.
Getting back to nature
When lock-down hit and we were confided to quarters, many of us built a routine of getting out for that hour a day and walking, running, welcoming the small freedom we had. It is proven that walking in nature is good for the soul. Walking reduces cortisol levels (helping you respond better to stress, regulate your blood sugar and fight infection). As well as that it increases your heart rate releasing serotonin to stabilise mood and bring a sense of wellbeing – making us feel better.
It’s never going to be perfect
Being happy and finding joy doesn’t mean everything is going to be perfect but you can learn that imperfection is not the enemy. It is just how it is right now. Maybe turn off social media every now and then. These people are not perfect, they are working very hard to create the illusion of perfection. Who has the time when there is so much to get on and do? Like live!
Breath and remember you are in control of your life and your happiness and that it is yours to take control of. It won’t all work out, but we can build better habits and choices to help us feel joy in the things around us.
“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for.”