By Anne Peters, LMFT
We are now officially a year into the pandemic; a year into mask wearing, social distancing, and certainly an increase in worry and fear. It has not been easy. Although we are hopeful we will continue to make progress towards returning to a new normal, we know we are not there yet.
A coworker of mine presented this idea of “pockets of joy.” I love this idea. We cannot take away the overarching fears, worries, and unknowns, but we can instill small pockets of joy (or COVID breaks) to step away briefly and truly experience a moment of joy. We would love to know – where do you find your pocket of joy?
Here are some ideas and ways I’m going to welcome more joy in my life moving forward. I’m thinking of all the things I miss from life pre-pandemic and how I can bring some of this into my life, safely, for the time being.
1. Get dressed up – OK, if I’m honest, I’ve been LOVING living in comfy pants for the last year. However, I miss the confidence from putting on my favorite outfit. If this is something you miss, pick a day and get jazzed up! Set up a Zoom get-together with some friends and all wear what feels most comfortable to you.
2. Bring in some new life – Get some fresh flowers or a new plant and set it in your home. It’s no secret seeing or smelling some beautiful flowers can bring us joy.
3. Get wrapped up in a story – Pick a book off your shelf and get reading! There’s no better getaway from everyday life than to escape into the pages of a book. Get a recommendation from a friend or sign up with your local library. So many libraries have online options to read your book from your device – for free!
4. Enjoy memory lane – I just did this yesterday, and felt so much peace. At first, I was worried I would begin to feel sad about the experiences I cannot currently do (travel, gatherings, concerts, etc.). The feelings I got were the complete opposite. I started to feel so grateful for the past experiences of my life. I started to think about what I am most excited for when I’m able to get back into the “real world.” I also looked through every single picture from when my 65-pound dog was a 7-pound puppy, and really, what’s better than that? (So cute!)
5. Be still – When was the last time you sat in complete silence and allowed yourself to just be? It’s a gift to be able to simply be with ourselves and our thoughts. Get a cozy blanket, sit back, and enjoy the peace and quiet of life.