Joy is possible .. Joy is our natural state. Life and the crazy world we inhabit tends to remove us from this natural state at times. Sometimes you need to gently intervene and take back what is rightfully yours! It’s not always about big change, or big goals or taking the plunge from your comfort zone .. I’m actually a bit over that one. Call them life hacks, or tactics or simply just ways to shake things up a little! I have tried and tested each of these, and hope that they may help to create some more joy in your world.
♡ Use the Bedtime functionality in your iPhone .. you will find this in the Clock. It allows you to set your daily sleep and wake times, and choose from some lovely soothing sounds to wake you either every day, or only week days. Since implementing this my sleep has improved, I’m more aware of having a consistent bed and wake time, and waking to the sounds of the ‘birdsong’ has become a familiar part of our morning routine!
♡ Install this app. Explore the different sound tracks and tune in to suit the time of day. I use it several times a day.
♡ Log on and sprinkle kindness. Allocate 10 minutes of your online time every day to sharing compliments and kindness with others, go through your newsfeed and like the positive posts, share a few kind words on as many posts as you can, just because. Do it with love and expect nothing in return.
♡ Give something away everyday. Either something you don’t need at home, give it to charity or a friend. A compliment, or a piece of advice or wisdom to someone who could benefit from your own knowledge!
♡ Start every morning with warm water and fresh lemon + a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar.
♡ Let go of resentment and anger. I have one sibling, my baby brother. He was my best friend for 40 years. It’s now been almost a year since I have seen him, and since his only nephew (my precious 7 year old) has heard from him. At some point in the last 3 years we lost him from our lives, and no amount of me asking myself what I did wrong has brought him back. There is no greater pain than that of a small child asking on his birthday why his only, beloved Uncle has not called. The emotions have been varied and it has taken me a year to lessen the tears, and the anger. It is not an easy ‘life hack’ but one that needs a mention in any list. Let .. it .. go.
♡ Watch this short video. I first saw this about a year ago and this 1 minute practice has helped with my anxiety, during the bedtime routine when I am often exhausted and in many other stressful daily moments.
♡ Walk away. Take a short walk if someone or something is causing you stress or difficulty, preferably outdoors in the fresh air. Make it a long one if you can, even better!
♡ Take a cold shower. Make the water as cold as you can handle, trust me this is one of the best ways to improve your energy levels and clear your head, not so easy in Winter though! I do this most days now that the weather is warmer, it only needs to be a short few minutes.
♡ Laugh. Watch something funny at least once a day, preferably more. It is not wasted time to find and watch funny things on the inter-webs.
♡ Down size your wardrobe. The less options you have the less stress it is getting dressed every day. Have a look into where your clothes are most needed in the community and spend a few hours on a serious cull.
♡ Write it down. Keep a lovely notebook or journal by your bed and at the end of the day write a list of the things that you loved that day, the moments that stood out. Free write, don’t overthink it. Even if it is just a string of words.
♡ Spend less $$. Pretty simple. Stop accumulating stuff. Unless it has a purpose or gives you joy, you most likely don’t need it, or you are buying it to fill a hole in your life somewhere, look for the hole and fill it with something more meaningful than just more stuff. Try a new hobby, time with friends and family, reading or meditation.
♡ Plan a weekend getaway. Research, explore and discover new places in your state. Have you ever made a list of all the possible places you can drive to and from in a weekend?
♡ Stop comparing. It doesn’t matter how big the neighbour’s house is, or whether you are wearing the latest labels or toting the latest phone, none of that matters in the end. Stop spending your precious time trying to keep up with an imaginary standard that is most likely fabricated and has a snapchat filter on top anyways!
♡ Take off your shoes. If you can, take them off at least once a day and plant them firmly in something natural such as grass, sand or the ocean. Have you ever stopped to notice how often your feet are trapped in shoes, on carpet, in air con, public transport or under a desk? Consider them a sign of your need for more earthing!
♡ Embrace your body. If you need help doing that, click here.
♡ Accept that not everyone will like you, or love you. If you are always taking things personally, worrying about what others think or if you’re spending time trying to impress others, life can be a lot lovelier and less stressful if you realise and accept that you don’t need everyone to like you. It really only matters that you like you, everything else flows from there.
♡ Get creative. It doesn’t always need to be in the traditional sense, creativity as defined by Elizabeth Gilbert makes a lot of sense to me, including this quote: “Your own reasons to make art are reasons enough. Create whatever causes a revolution in your heart.” (Elizabeth Gilbert). Don’t over think it, just make some time to make something. Have you thought about making little albums from your Instagram photos, mixed media vision-boards from all of your magazines, or turning all of your children’s artworks into a scrap book they can keep forever?
♡ Remember that joy is not about perfection. Joy is your natural state, it is not something that will arrive when you tick off a list, or when you achieve your goals. Joy can be found even in the messiest and most difficult of times too. Striving for perfection or believing that perfection actually exists are the things that diminish your joy!
♡ My final thought may seem a little confusing at first, when you have just read quite a long list of ways to find more joy in life! My final thought is that the art of allowing life to unfold, rather than resisting what is, can be so filled with joy in itself! Joy is always there.
I hope you find something in this list that feels like joy to you!