I'm all about JOY in life. I have learned the HUGE difference between being "happy" and being "joyful."
Happiness is dependent upon circumstances, where as joy.... is an internal emotion that cannot easily be snatched away by adverse circumstances! God bring JOY! When He remains my focus.... I am able to maintain my joy, understanding He in full control and wants what is best for me, therefore, I have nothing to fear or dread. He is using every situation in my life for His greater purpose and my job is to allow my life to be used for His glory. What greater joy could there be than this?
However, I will tell you, I have truly come to value some of the little things God has lead me to do on a daily basis that truly help my joy thermometer stay stable!! Life can become monotonous, mundane and very routine. You become almost like a robot, just surviving the day, forgetting that joy was meant to be abundant in the company of the Lord.
Winter can really become mundane for me. As a homeschool/ stay at home mom, the long, cold, winter days trapped inside with kiddos can become very, let us say, repetitious! I long for a variance in my day! Here are some things God has lead me to do... to help maintain that joy we all so greatly long for!!
1. ALWAYS, ALWAYS start my day with God. It does not matter if all you have is 5 minutes to pray and read a Psalm or Proverb or any scripture you are lead to. That is 5 minutes well invested and gives God the opportunity to speak into your heart. Never let Satan convince you, you don't have time. You ALWAYS have time for God. Set your alarm for 10 minutes earlier and make Him a priority! This will be the greatest thing you can do!!! Trust me on this one!!!
2. Enjoy a warm morning beverage!! If you aren't a coffee drinker, that is A OKAY! There are tons of awesome warm and yummy drinks out there. Flavored teas, which can also be very healthy, Chai Tea is delicious and you can often find pods for your Keurig, which makes them super convenient as well! This is a great thing to enjoy while you read your scripture and pray!
3. Make your bed! YES! You heard me! Make your bed!! As silly as this may sound, here is why.... first off... your room should be your quiet, peaceful, haven! Make yourself a cozy warm bed with lots of fluffy pillows! It will not only give you a sense of peace when you are in your room but it will be sooo inviting at the end of the day!! Allow one room in your home to be a bit organized... your little haven away from the chaos of the world! Put a candle in your room along with a little table by your bed to keep your Bible, journal, your warm beverage or anything else you need to feel peace!
4. TAKE AT LEAST 15-20 MINUTES FOR YOUR BODY! I try to run/ speed walk 3-4 times per week. I love going outdoors, but I also have a dreaedmill. Even though I often do dread climbing on that thing.... I feel SOOOO much better when I am finished! I do this in the morning.... so I can start my day feeling more energized and accomplished! If you don't have a treadill, buy a video, do some yoga, run your stairs... anything that helps your body!!! This WILL make a huge difference in your day!! Trust me on this one too!!!
5. Find a hobby you enjoy and make a slot of time for it as often as possible! I love to Bible journal. I don't have as much time as I would like to do this, but even if I am able to spend 10 minutes a day at it, it brings me joy! You could spend your lunch hour doing something you love!!!
6. DECORATE your home! This one is huge for me!! My environment has a great effect on my mental health! Though my home is no Better Homes and Gardens, I love to spend time making it a peaceful and cozy place to be. You can do this by spending very little money, just being creative! A great idea is to have a home decor swap with friends. Everyone gets tired of their own things, so if everyone brings the things they want to get rid of, you can just swap!!! Goodwills and Second Hand stores are fun to scour for items as well. A coat of paint can change an entire space!!! Make a place you enjoy being!
7. LAUGH! We need to laugh everyday!!! NEED TO! So, when I feel I am lacking joy in my day, I turn on something to make me laugh... like I Love Lucy reruns on HULU! Or National Lampoons Christmas vacation! Something that always make me laugh and smile! Call someone who makes you laugh or pull up YouTube videos that make you chuckle!! Find a way to laugh!! Belly laugh if possible!!! Laughter is known to boost your immune system and do so much more!! Read the benefits of laughter here....
So... there you have it! Some small ways to make your 2017 a little more joyful!!!!! I would love to hear anything you do on a daily basis that brings you more joy!!!
Peace and Blessings