Finding a moment to be joyful can sometimes feel like we are in totally uncharted territory.
In a time like this, during quarantine (even as it eases down), one can easily focus on the negatives, oh how the economy is shrinking fast! How some school children are still missing out on classroom teaching - how difficult it is to home school these children in the meantime, but why don't we vent about the good times, such as having more bonding time with our families, not having to commute daily to work (just like most people are still working from home where possible), saving money by not buying non-essential items. I am thankful for that!
What about our health, our strength, our shelter, there is so much to be grateful for.
A song comes to mind and it goes like this...
Count your blessings, name them one by one...see what God has done and it will surprise you what the Lord has done 🎶
So, here are some ways of reminding yourselves of the blessings in your life:
1. Write down one thing you are happy about today – for me it was the delicious dinner we just had as a family!
2. Name one person (it could be a friend or family member) you made happy today – I made my daughter laugh by the words I used to describe something weird.
3. Think of an act of kindness you could practice frequently (be kind to yourself and others) – Going out of my way to shop for a friend, I enjoy helping people.
4. Consider a negative habit you could drop from today – Avoid complaining!
5. Identify how best to relax yourself – I need to get enough sleep!
6. Remind yourself it's fine to eat your favourite meal (in moderation) – I cook a lot but I am not afraid to get a take – away.
7. Take care of yourself (physical exercise or a pampering session can be included here) – I enjoy having a massage but with the current situation, I have to be patient with the easing of the lock down. Also, I recently enjoyed the long walks I had with with my family.
8. Appreciate the little things in life. The best things in life are free! For me, I seize any opportunity to chat and tell stories to my children. I also appreciate listening to their own stories and watching videos they make with their friends.
9. Enjoy the present moment you find yourself in, but don't forget about the progress you have made so far! This allows me to remember that I have accomplished many things in life.
10. Learn to celebrate yourself even in a small way – you can treat yourself to a small purchase, pamper yourself as after all you are wonderfully created!
The photo above shows me happy to receive the surprise birthday cakes placed in front of me as well as other goodies, on my birthday! We must learn to be grateful for everything, I am a great believer that as long as we have life, we have hope. Therefore stay tuned, stay present, stay thriving, stay positive and never give up! There are several ways of keeping a positive mindset as mentioned above. Do not dismiss spending time with positive people, and practice talking to yourself positively, in a way that would encourage yourself. Be humorous - laughter is good medicine for the soul.
As humans, we experience "waves" from different directions, it may be a small wave or a big wave but how we choose to 'surf over' it, is what matters. I used to worry about every little thing; I made a "mountain out of a molehill" but looking back now, it was all self-inflicted injury, caused by my obsession to please others (even if it meant displeasing myself). I have learnt to focus on things that fill me up...things that bring me peace, joy and happiness. Our coping mechanisms will alleviate further stress. It is better to remove ourselves from negativity and toxicity that are affecting our lives, rather than complaining all the time about it. When we aim to be better at responding (reasonably) to sad times, we become better versions of ourselves. It is not possible to eradicate all the problems in life but one can choose to be intentional about happiness and cherish the joyful moments that have been created. For instance, when I look through some old photographs of my children, it puts a smile on my face, as it allows me to reflect on how far we have come together as a family.
Let us endeavour to make the most of the current situation we are in and change our outlook on life because there is beauty to be found around us, if we dare to search further. Perspective is the key!
Whatever is good, noble, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy, think on such things ~ Phillipians 4:8
What has been giving you joy recently? What are you grateful for?