Wife to my high school sweetheart, boy mama to sweet baby boy Macrae, and two fur babies Shiloh and Milo, a full time high school history teacher, and overall enthusiast for life. Avid podcast listener, iced coffee drinker, and organized chaos manager. My passion is to encourage and inspire. To cultivate an intentional life, a life full of joy and an abundance of grace.
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Goodness, what a time to be alive. I am sure you are feeling the same complexity of emotions as I am. Whether you are working through the adjustment of working at home or for the stay-at-home-momma, the added responsibility of becoming a home-school teacher, or a business owner who is facing the tough decisions and uncertainty of what the next few weeks and possibly months could hold, I am sure your emotions are feeling a little out of control. I have been talking with many of you via Instagram and feel like there is a need for a little sprinkle of hope to inspire you to find a little joy today. This post is not about de-emphasizing our current situation across the country and world, but rather, an attempt to cling to a ray of sunshine, a flicker of positivity to try to find a tiny bit of positivity in the sea of despair. So in an effort to try to bring a little light and life to your day, here are 16 ways to find joy today.
If you know anything about me, or how I like to blog, then it should come as NO surprise that I love lists. I am all about the list. In fact, the first thing I did upon learning about the work-from-home and quarantined situation was to draft the most epic to-do list including everything I could ever possibly want to get done in oh, just about every area of my life. However, that’s not really a list you need to see, so instead I created another list. Inspired by YOU completely, this list will hopefully give you a reason to smile and find joy today. This list is all about finding JOY despite the mess of crazy and uncertainty out there, so here are 16 ways to find joy today and everyday! And the best part is, you can start right now!
Our lives are SO busy. We hardly ever have time to get proper amounts of sleep, or exercise. Yet, we fill our schedules with overwhelming amounts of tasks and responsibilities and we wonder why we feel so stressed all the time. Well, friends, if right now can teach us anything, than let it teach us to find rest and comfort within the walls of our own home! And while most of us are finding ourselves with a little extra time on hand than usual, why not utilize this time to try something new! Maybe you have always had this idea to start a blog, well NOW IS THE TIME. Or maybe you have always wanted to play around with your make-up and do something a little different, or style your hair differently, NOW IS THE TIME. One of the easiest ways to find joy today, is to do something entirely new and extend yourself endless amounts of grace in the process!
It can feel WAY easier when the doors around us start closing in to retreat to our own version of comfort, but I strongly encourage you to utilize this time to continue pressing forward to your goals and dreams. And with it being the middle of March, approaching the transition to official spring time, use moments like these to rekindle your personal fitness goals. Whether it is a simple 30 minute walk outside, running around with the kids as they play in the backyard, taking the dogs to the park, or utilizing a variety of online work-out programs, do something good for your body. Just think, 30 minutes of exercise everyday releases the stressors and toxins your body is so tiredly carrying and will provide you with much needed rejuvenation for heart, mind, spirit + body.
Mindfulness is SO important. Use time today, tomorrow and the rest of this week to dedicate specific moments to practice mindfulness. This is a skill set that can absolutely carry you far in life, and for so many of us we rarely make the time for it. Therefore, use the little bit of time you have now to own it. Own your mind. Own your thoughts. Own your life. To make practicing your mindset even easier, try using apps such as Aura, Calm, and Headspace.
Aura – Aura, another great mindfulness app with tracks as short as 3 minutes long, helping you by meeting you exactly where you are at. With guided mediations, peaceful audio tracks, Aura personalizes itself to fit you and your needs directly.
Calm – Calm, an app with a compilation of a variety of guided meditations, soothing music all intended to help users sleep better and reduce stress & anxiety
Headspace – Headspace, another great app that teaches you how to meditate and release all that you are feeling. With guided exercises and practices to help promote fuller sleep, and reduced stress and and anxiety, teaching you life-changing skills in just a few minutes a day.
Is it just me, or do you also have different sorts of journals and things laying all over the house and struggle to specifically commit a purpose to one. Well, what a great time to focus on journaling. Start by recording your thoughts, your feelings, writing down your fears, your hopes, your dreams. There is so much power in the written word and I will bet you will find that your heart is in a little bit lighter and more joyful space for doing so!
Thankfully, with Disney+, Hulu & Netflix we can definitely take a load off and unwind, but rather than binge watch the latest craze, go back and re-watch something that brought you joy as a child. Maybe it is your childhood favorite movie, or the television series you watched throughout middle school or high school, but find some time to relax and take it old school, plus this is a reat way to truly unwind and let your mind decompress.
I love to read. And I know that so many of you feel the same way, and if you were asked what is keeping you from reading we would all sing a chorus of “I don’t have time!” Well, now we have a little more time than we usually do – perfect for sitting back and relaxing with a good book! Have a novel that is on your list you haven’t gotten to yet? Or what about the stack of books sitting on your nightstand. Or even better, where are my Harry Potter fans at, why not re-read the whole series. Do yourself a humongous favor, and FIND JOY by getting lost in the power of a good book!
Oh this may just be my favorite one here! Drink coffee slow. We are always rushing to go somewhere, to beat traffic, to head out the door, to pick up the kids, complete the next errand, but now we are purposefully to choose sitting still and resting. Even if our sitting still and resting feels a little more chaotic, take these moments and embrace them. Make that extra cup of coffee and drink it slow. Also, might I add, that drinking coffee from my favorite collection of cute coffee mugs absolutely makes my heart so happy!
Step number eight for finding joy today and everyday, turn off your phone! Well, actually, don’t do it yet, keep reading the rest of this post, THEN turn your phone off. We spend so many minutes wasting away by the endless scroll. And the problem with the endless scroll, especially now is that helps create a door for comparison (the thief of joy) to enter in. So do yourself a favor and create a schedule for your day to include specific chunks of time where you and your phone are in a separate location. And then watch and be amazed at how GOOD your heart feels!
Probably, one of my favorite activities, yet something I never really get to do, unless I am at the beach with my fam! But, make a priority to enjoy all the moments, even the slow and uncomfortable ones and get lost in a puzzle. Don’t have a puzzle, well here are a few fun puzzles that I just found on Amazon just for you to ship right to your door as soon as possible! You are SO welcome!
I am doing this one in a little bit (after I finish this post of course!) but so many of us have cabinets full of all the baking ingredients, but hesitate to spend the time to get lost in batter and flour. I am so excited to flip through my Magnolia Table cookbook later today to bake some chocolate chip cookies to warm my heart and soul, and I strongly encourage you to do the same. Have little ones around? This is such a great thing to to involve the entire family and create memories that last. I will always cherish the memories 0f my sister and I surrounded around my mom and the mixing bowl, each with spoons in our hands!
Use these sweet moments to cultivate and cherish the time spent with your people. Whether that is your immediate family, or a friend via phone, MAKE THESE MOMENTS COUNT. Allow yourself the time and energy to pursue the relationships that drive you and carry you through this life. Tell your people exactly what they mean to you. And keep doing it. Relationships are one of life’s most joyful things. Spend time cultivating your relationships, and JOY will cultivate in your heart!
One of my favorite things to do!! Vacation planning. Unfortunately, none of us right now are really able to enjoy this luxury of actually traveling, instead spend some time planning your dream trip. I do this all the time. I plan everything out from where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. Then, when it is finally time to execute the vacation, everything is already planned! I did this years before our Pacific Northwest Trip and when we finally made the plans to take the trip, it was so refreshing to have an itinerary all set up.
My current mantra. Organize. Simplify. Declutter. One thing I am choosing to be positive about in the extended time away from work is the time it is allowing me to focus on organizing the space in our home. I made a list of the places I want to tackle, and I am trying to accomplish something (even if it is just a small something) every day. And it feels so good.
I am a firm believer in always being a learner, perhaps that is the teacher in me! Whether it is a new hobby to create, or a language that you have always wanted to learn, or a subject you have always been interested in learning. Plus, there are great free online classes you can take to keep the learning going more permanently. Trust me, this one may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I think there is power in knowledge. Even if that means listening to a podcast of a new topic. Do yourself a favor and challenge your mind and thinking. There is much joy to be found when the mind is full!
Whether it be your home office space, bedroom, or living area, look around your home and get creative with new opportunity. I always love changing up our decor and moving things around from room to room. It always adds a fresh perspective and another breath of fresh air to a room. I have currently been rearranging my office space, now that I am in there most of the day and I am loving how it has turned out. Plus, a happy home makes for a joyful heart + home.
Where are my words of affirmation love language people at? (This girl here!) The power of written words and hand-written cards will always be something that has the ability to unlock deeper levels of bonding, love, and friendship and is often forgotten these days! What if we were to sit down with a new package of notecards and a pen, and start writing little notes of encouragement and appreciation to the ones that mean the most. Can you even begin to imagine the feelings of joy and love that this will release as we lift up and affirm the people who mean the most to us in this life.
And a sweet little bonus JUST FOR YOU! Get outside! We spent the evening walking our dogs last night and it absolutely lifted our spirits to get out of the house and be outdoors. To feel the fresh air calming our nerves and quenching our anxieties. Play in the yard, go for a walk, a hike, go to a park, just be sure to keep your distance! Or do you have a porch, spend some quiet moments just reflecting, or reading, and most importantly, breathe deeply when you feel the spring breeze blow by. This my friends creates joy.
Well sweet friends, there you have it 16 ways to find joy today and everyday! I hope you were encouraged by this list and if you really were moved to try something out i would love to know! My heart is to encourage as many hearts as possible and if you love what I shared, it means the world to me when you pass it along as share as well! Stay healthy, stay happy and stay strong sweet friends! Much love to you!