What do you have in your bucket of joy resources? Things that you enjoy, that make you smile or laugh, or that get you fired up. It might look like a complete mish-mash of things to an outsider or seem like a bit of a weird collection, but to you, these things mean everything.
The things that I love and that make me happy are indeed a strange mix of quiet, thoughtful pursuits (like baking, cross-stitch and doodling), right through to the loud and exhilarating (like loud grunge music and motorsport). People who know me because of one thing, might be surprised or confused at the other activities I enjoy – to them it might seem like polar opposites with no clear link. But they don’t necessarily need to be linked.
And it is these things which make us unique. All the things we love, all the things that bring us joy, and things that make complete sense to us. Often we have attachments to things because they remind us of happy times when we were doing that activity with people that are important to us. Baking reminds me of spending time in the kitchen with my mum when I was little. Loud music reminds me of going to gigs with friends. I became a huge fan of motorbike racing because my first love used to do it.
In difficult or unsettling times, it is even more important to remember all of these things that make us happy. So, when we do feel stressed or lonely, we have something familiar that we can go to, and that we know will make us feel a bit better.
In some of my most difficult times, I often lost interest in doing a lot of these ‘unimportant’ things, or put them aside because they weren’t of interest to people I was with at the time. But our identity is built around these things – they are the resources which become even more important when we are losing our way, or losing our sense of self.
Whatever these things are for you, try and find some time in your week to invest in making yourself happy. It doesn’t need to be done for anyone else, or to serve any particular purpose or outcome. Just do it to bring a little bit of light into your days – this in itself can help to lift your mood and improve your outlook. Try planning something that you would enjoy doing after life returns to a little bit of ‘normality’ – maybe there is something that you have always wanted to learn, or a long-forgotten hobby or interest that you put aside to focus on other things.
And please don’t think this will make you look selfish to the people around you – in fact, if you usually put off doing fun or frivolous things out of concern of what other people will think, or if you feel as though you should be doing something more important, then it is probably even more important to make time for it!!
Photo credit: @timmossholder via Unsplash.com