Finding Joy In The Little Things In Life
We all tend to get so wrapped up in our every day lives, rushing from one activity to another, not really taking the time to pause and actually enjoy the process. We are only human and we all get irritated by problems and dwell on things which most of the time almost certainly will be insignificant a year or so down the line.
I definitely used to do this a lot, especially when the girls were younger; I'd wish for nap time to roll around quicker so I could get things done or just get some sleep. Now that they are older, things are better but some days I'm still guilty of trying to get through the day without cherishing the fun parts.
I don't think it's possible to remain positive, upbeat and stress free all the time- and if anyone tells you otherwise, it's not true! Life is full of ups and downs and our downs teach us lessons which have the potential to help us grow.
"Joy comes in sips, not gulps"
Seeing the glass half full in any situation isn't something I learned when I was a child. 95% of the time we were subjected to negativity, criticism and disapproval so waking up in the morning with a spring in my step and a positive outlook isn't something that comes to me naturally. It's something I consciously have to work on, especially when it's good old PMS time.
I've learned that I have to create my own happiness, my own joy and to make the most of the treasures that are available every day. No one will do that for you, not even your other half. It's your job to tend to your own needs and learn to recognise what's lacking in order for you to live a somewhat fulfilling life.
Here are some of the small things I do to inject bursts of happiness into my life :-)
1) Light Some Candles or Light A Fire
I love lighting candles day and night. Now with autumn approaching fast, it's especially satisfying to light candles around the house; the scent uplifts my spirits and it has a calming effect on me. I'm definitely going to start making use of the fireplaces around the house, there is no cosier feeling than curling up by a roaring fireplace with a good book!
2) Play music
Music plays a massive role in our family. The first thing I do in the morning is put music on our sound system. I have a massive play list that the girls and I put together and I really love the thought of them waking up to their favourite tunes. Music gives me a huge mood boost and there really is no better start to the day for me.
3) Pretty Mugs
These don't have to be fancy and expensive, (my favourite mug is from Tesco's) and for some reason I really enjoy drinking my tea even more when it's in my favourite mug.
4) Invest In Yourself
I have a self care routine which involves me getting my nails done, doing hair masks, working out 3-5 times a week, reading books and getting the odd facial done when I can squeeze it in. During lockdown, I made my own facials and did workouts at home. Do whatever you can manage, however small it is to invest in yourself and celebrate how amazing you are. For you it may not be a manicure, it may be dinner out with your friends, doing some mindful colouring or a weekend away by yourself. Find what brings you joy and treat yourself to it regularly!
5) Listen to your children/other people's children play
My favourite sound in the world is my girls' laughter. Their joy is infectious and it reminds me to be grateful for this time in our lives. They will never be as little as they are right now and one day, Jude and I will look back and say how much we miss the old good days.
6) Wake up earlier than the rest of your family
I do this especially when the girls go to school. I wake up at least 15 minutes earlier to get myself ready, put some make up on, make a cup of coffee etc. By the time I wake the girls up, I'm already put together and I don't have to rush around to get myself ready at the same time as them. That first cup of coffee in peace makes ALL the difference.
7) Fresh Sheets!
Fresh bedding makes me SO happy so I make sure to wash my sheets regularly and spritz them with linen spray. Clean, crisp sheets bring comfort like nothing else.
Hubby and I aren't big on presents for each other and I don't expect flowers from him either (okay, he gets me a bunch on my birthday etc). It's just not something we do for no reason, I guess we show each other love in other ways, haha! But if I do see a nice bunch of flowers in the supermarket, I'll get them for myself. Lately, I've been picking flowers from our garden and displaying them on our kitchen island or the foyer. They brighten my day, especially when they are homegrown!
9) Trying out a new dish
I love cooking and it is simply wonderful to discover new recipes and try them out with fresh, organic ingredients. Eating a home cooked meal is so satisfying and it motivates me to cook even more.
10) Compliment People
Making other people feel good and giving them compliments is amazing, for yourself and for the person you are complimenting! Who doesn't love feeling valued and appreciated? And you, as the compliment giver, also benefit by walking away feeling happier and optimistic.
What brings you joy?