When was the last time you deliberately did something you enjoyed? It doesn’t matter if it’s cliché or something entirely unique, as long as it fills up your joy tank, it’s valid. Is it having a large group of people over for lunch? Could it be reading a new book on your bed? Would it involve lots of people and noise and energy or quiet and stillness and peace?
Enjoy (a verb).
Originates from Middle English and a stem of Old French > From the Middle English word enjoyen, which means ‘to make joyful’. > Old French ‘enjoier’, meaning ‘to give joy to’.
Low mood can be a sneaky thing and by sneaky I mean it can lead to depression. At the end of last year I had a downer, constantly in Mum-mode and managing the household. Never feeling like ‘me’, but just the mum-version of me. In short, I was no longer having any fun and was starting to lose sight of who I was. Little moments of joy would pass me by without me even noticing and my days were becoming full of to-do-lists and high expectations. And so, after some good self-reflection and advice, I decided it was time for more joy.
One of my top enjoyen tricks at the moment is to blast out some fun music and dance around my house with my little people in tow. Nothing changes the atmosphere like a playlist of songs that have your little people jumping around and giggling with you. A few little spins through the air and some quick leaps around the dinning room table just seem to help me shake off my tendency to be caught up in ‘adulting’.
Adulting (a verb).
To do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups.
Coming off the back of a season of low mood, I have been thinking a fair bit about joy and ways to cultivate it. I think one of the best ways, is to be aware of it and make it something you notice within yourself. The little joy moments within your day can make a world of difference, if you embrace them. Often though, I’m too busy adulting (or parenting) to notice and I need to deliberately set time aside every few days and do something I love. Scheduling a weekly ‘joy session’ is a great place to start if you’ve stopped being able to recognise it in your daily life.
From my experience, deliberately making time for joy and silly fun is important in our crazy, over-connected culture. The more I am able to bring joy into my life, the more joy I can see. The more I see, the more I treasure and embrace.
And so, let us embrace the silly, fun, delightful, surprising and awkward moments of life. Let’s take a moment to look at the beautiful flower on the tree you walk past every day. Let’s have a laugh when someone does a fart during dinner – the sound of a trumpet coming out of a bottom, what’s not to laugh at? Let’s run a bath and read a book. Have dinner with a close friend. Have dinner with 20 strangers. Go for a bush walk. Bake something new. Colour in that drawing. Sip that coffee while looking at the view. Paint a fence. Paint your hand. Spend a morning in the garden. Spend a morning in the surf. Go on a date. Watch a movie. Go on a holiday. Laugh at the spilt drink. See that new exhibition. Go to that new shop you saw the other day. Take a language class. Watch a bird play in the bird bath. Giggle at a clever quote. Sing loudly in the car. Start a blog*…
Whatever the things are that bring you joy, join me and deliberately do at least three of them this week. Sure, life can be difficult and boring at times, but if we can cultivate joy while doing it, then we’re onto something.
Love Jess xxoo
*(Oh that was for someone specific, I don’t know who you are, but you do. Now get on it and give it a go! Apparently it’ll bring you a lot of joy)