This is a very difficult year for many. Maybe one of the hardest. No doubt. We are all suffering from constant trauma, crushing stress and debilitating fatigue without much respite from the daily challenges we face. For me, I have trouble sleeping at night thinking about the division, hate, sickness, the suffering of others, climate change and the civil unrest in this country and worldwide.
But in the midst of troubling times, there are gleams of light shining through muckiness revealing the joys hidden underneath. It takes intentional effort to see the goodness when all things seem dark and dreary. I know I find it extremely difficult to be positive and to see the limitless sky beyond the raging storm.
The truth is, there are places in your life to find happiness and discover joy no matter how difficult things are. For our mental and physical health, it’s vital to find ways to create peace, develop a calm state of mind and recharge your energy.
Here are some ideas to discover joy in the midst of darkness. I admit I need to practice these and hope you will too.
- Gratitude: Be grateful your loved ones. Relationships are precious and should never be wasted. Take time to reflect on the support you received throughout the years. Love and generosity from others are gifts to cherish.
- Be creative: Creativity is healing. If don’t create, I get depressed. Literally. The good news is you don’t have to be Picasso to be creative. All you need is the willingness to play with a curious mind. Maybe it’s trying a new recipe, writing a short piece of poetry, or coloring with your child. Make it fun with no expectations of excellence.
- Play with your pup: If you have dog, cuddle it, play with it or take it for a walk. If you don’t, play with your friend’s dog or watch cute doggie videos online. Two of the most joyful things are babies and dogs.
- Get outside: Spend time in nature by going for a walk or watch a sunrise or sunset. Look at the full moon and see the stars. Meditate by looking at a beautiful flower. Seeing Mother Earth working her magic creates feelings of hope, wonder and reverence.
- Spend time with your kids: When I spend time with my kids, all of the stresses melt away. The bubbly giggles and goofy words coming out from their mouths always makes me laugh. The joy of motherhood is never-ending nourishment for the soul.
Times are hard. Sometimes it feels it won’t get better. But it will. This too shall pass. In the meantime, smooth over the edges by discovering the joys in your life. It will make your days a little bit easier with a little more peace. And little more peace will go a long way.