Create the conditions for joy. Find ways to bring joy into your life (not add it to your to do list).
Reflect on what brings you joy, what makes you happy. Think of simple things – a walk on the beach or in the woods, catching up with that friend you haven’t connected with lately, spending time gardening, or cooking. Wandering has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health. When was the last you just wandered someplace, letting your curiosity lead and guide you?
Avoid the urge that many of us list-makers have to add joy to your list of things to do. Akaya Windwood phrases it as “reach for the joyous moment” rather than view joy as another obligation.
Joy & Health are connected. Healthy habits create room for joy.
When we struggle with our physical, mental, or emotional health it can be harder to discover joyful moments. Yet many folks with chronic pain or other health conditions find way to keep healthy habits going. What movement can you do to keep yourself active physically, at hat ever level works for you? What healthy foods can you include in the nutrition you give yourself – can you experiment and find new combinations or healthy alternatives?
Same with mental health – what are ways you can improve how much rest you give yourself, or motivate yourself more if you find it hard to get going? From writing to reading to sitting quietly to meditating, there are many practices that can support mental health and will compliment other healthy habits.
Be Kind vs Being Nice.
This is one of my favorites pieces of advice from Akaya and Rajasvini. Being nice can sometimes mean not being authentic and can be draining. Forcing yourself to be nice when its not what you’re feeling can seriously sap your energy and exhaust you. Working on freeing yourself from being nice does not mean that you are unkind.
We can say difficult things with kindness. We can disagree without being unkind.
It is okay to be angry. You can be angry and not mean.
Refuse to be mean or unkind with one another.