Finding joy in the everyday little things

Finding joy in the little things of  "everyday life".....this is something that has been on my mind a lot lately and is my number one goal for this year.  My main focus this year has been to look for joy everyday,....and it's not because I am unhappy!  I just feel like the last 10 years of my life have flown by and I want to do everything I can to make sure I'm enjoying and making the most of it. Now that the crazy Corona-Virus Pandemic has hit, its made me really focus on the little things and not take for granted the normal everyday!

I'm a busy mom of 4 very active kiddos and sometimes I feel like I'm focusing too much on the crazy to-do list then actually enjoying and embracing it all. Anyone else feel that way??  I know the to-do list is never going to go away, there will always be dirty dishes in the sink and huge piles of laundry to fold, but I can look at it all differently. I can enjoy the huge to-do list because I know all too soon I'm going to miss it. 

As I have focused on finding the joy, I made a list of things that have helped me.

Always have a Grateful Heart  

Gratitude is the fastest way to find your joy.  Its not easy to always be grateful for the huge piles of dirty laundry, but all those dirty clothes mean I have a house full of happy kiddos making memories. And all those dirty dishes sitting in the sink right now mean we have plenty of food to eat and a warm house to live in. When you have a grateful heart, you see all the blessings that surround you. 

Something that has helped me is to think about all the things I am grateful for and writing them down in a journal. Each morning as I wake up I try and write down a few things and each night before bed I think about all the things that made me smile that day. Pretty soon you have a huge list of everything you are grateful for. Doing this helps you see all the little things in life that make you happy and you are grateful EVERY SINGLE DAY! You'll soon realize how the huge to-do list becomes a huge blessing. 

Be Present

"These are the good old days" I love this quote!  If your like me, you spend a lot of your time thinking about the future and better days ahead.  This is something I have stopped doing.  Its not bad to think about the future but you need to stop waiting for better days.  You need to start living for now! This time of your life right now is NEVER going to repeat itself, so we need make the most of the time we have right now. 

Try to enjoy every moment, even if its just a regular Monday night dinner with your family. Try to notice every smile, taste every bite, feel every breath, every step, every kiss.  Someday you might long for these regular Monday night dinners surrounded by those you love most. You will never get these moments back. With each passing day we get a little bit older and these regular every day things will be in the past.  Trying to be present in every moment of every day can bring us some pretty magical experiences. 

Surround Yourself with Uplifting People

Its can be very difficult to find joy when you are surrounded by toxic people.  Gossiping, complaining, nagging, and negativity.  These are things that we all do from time to time.  Sometimes its nice to vent your frustrations to your girlfriends and get whatever is bothering you off your chest, but we all know those people who tend to take it to the next level. They are constantly negative and gossiping about others.  If they are bringing down your positive energy you might want to think about staying away from them.  

I've started to pay attention to the way I feel and my energy levels.  If I start to feel negative about something, I try to change my focus. I don't like the way I feel when I'm in a negative environment, I tend to get moody, have outbursts of negativity and take our my frustrations out on someone else.  I hate feeling that way. This is something I'm still working on.  I'm trying to pay more attention to the way I feel and my energy levels when I'm surrounded by others. It can sometimes be hard to distant yourself from others who make you feel this way, but this is your life.  You need to surround yourself with others who make you feel happy and good about yourself, who smile and laugh often, and who look for the good in others.   

Find time for yourself

It is so important to take time for yourself. I know as a mom it can sometimes be so hard to do. We give so much of ourselves that we somehow run out of time to take a time out for us.  When I was a new mom I felt like I needed to give my everything to my daughter. Then I added in another baby, and then another, and I had 3 kids under the age of 4.  Time for myself was non-existent. I remember feeling trapped and lost. I didn't know who I was anymore other than just a mom to 3 little kids.  So, I started going to the gym.  I started taking Zumba classes at our local rec center and put the kids in daycare for an hour.  It was so NICE! I started to feel like myself again. I realize now how important it is to do something for your self.  A little self-care and self-love can do so much for your happiness!

Find something you like to do, read a few chapters in good book, go for a walk, get a pedicure, do a five minute face mask and soak in the tub.  There is nothing wrong with treating yourself, making yourself feel good, and appreciated.   

Learn Something New

You are never too old to learn something new! Don't be afraid to grow!  Find something that interest you and roll with it. Take an art class, a photography class, learn a new language, read a book, play a new sport. You might discover a new talent, find a new passion, or meet your soulmate.  I personally love learning new things! I love using my brain and mastering a new skill.  If I'm not learning I feel stagnant. I want to learn and keep experiencing as much as I can in life. It makes me feel happy and keeps me busy.  It doesn't matter how old you are! Find something that sparks an interest, keep learning and living life! 

Learn to Let It Go

Let go of things that you can't control.  This is something I still have a hard time with.  Sometimes things happen in life that are messy, ugly and just don't go the way we wanted. If there is nothing we can do about the situation, then we need to just let it go and move on. Worrying about these types of things just add more stress and leave you feeling unhappy.  This is especially important to those little, stupid things that we tend to let bug us everyday.  If we can't control them, we need to let them go and not them control our day or our mood. 

Last, Be Still

Taking a time out to just be still for 5 minutes can be so uplifting. Listen to your thoughts, feel yourself breath.  We do so much running around everyday, taking care of others, trying to complete the do list, and meeting deadlines.  Try taking a few minutes out of your day to just be still.  Say a prayer out loud, talk with God about the things that are on your mind and heavy on your heart. Try not to think of everything that needs to get done and just take 5 minutes to be still.  When you feel like life is flying by and every day is pretty much the same, be still, listen to the world around you and find your joy.

 

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