Create Joy: A Holiday Survival Tip
Your Holiday Season may look something like this: Going a million miles an hour—attending parties, wrapping gifts, shopping, seeing family and friends, school & dinner events galore. Then followed by: Thinking of all the things that you haven’t done yet—the people in your life that need gifts or attention, the events and the to-dos that are still on your list, the disappointment of letting people down when you’ve stretched yourself too thin. All of these demands combined with the busy-ness of the season can lead to a pretty joy-less place.
How do you find joy in the midst of chaos? The formula for Joy is simple: Slowing down + being present = JOY
You see, all of the things above—the events, the shopping, the stress—have us racing around and move us out of the present moment. Slipping out of the present, removes us from our ability to access what we need most—joy. It’s a real challenge to slow down and just be where you are and present, when things are flying by you so quickly.
That’s when the art of creating joy is the most important—during the times when it seems like there is absolutely no room for anything else.
I specifically use the phrase “creating joy” because, often, we think that joy is something that happens spontaneously or something that we find unexpectedly. Yes, it can totally be a spontaneous occurrence—but, if we wait for joy to show up on our door step, we could be waiting a very long time. Instead, when you look at joy from the angle fo creating it, it puts the concept within your control and makes it a choice—not something that may or may not happen, if we’re lucky.
So how do you create joy? You plan it.
Step One: Make space and schedule It in. The first step is the most obvious—especially during the holidays—you schedule it in. You find a time on your daily calendar to schedule joy in for 15 minutes—every day. You set an alarm and you honor it, as if it was a meeting with someone or a doctor’s appointment. You don’t skip it. You stop what you’re doing and you create joy.
Step Two: Ask yourself what brings YOU joy. The second step requires you to look more deeply into what joy is for you—and it’s unique to each one of us. What brings me joy may not bring you joy. (This is where the slowing down and being present part comes in handy.) Sometimes, (and the most easily identified) joy is something big, something tremendous—a brith of a child, a wedding, a birthday, a vacation experience, a surprise that arrives from a friend.
But, there is another type of joy that is a quieter kind. This kind of quiet joy fills your heart and soothes your soul. The quiet joy is usually filled by simpler things: a salt bath, a fantastic cup of tea, sitting outside and watching the squirrels, going to the beach to listen to the waves and watch the birds play, looking back on photos that remind you of a happy, positive moment in life. It’s the idea that in slowing down and being fully present in that moment, you tap into an internal joy that is always present. Always.
And from this internal joy, you create an external experience, further filling the internal one that you are already having. And it doesn’t have to take longer than 10 minutes. Something that simple can be that powerful. Creating joy can turn your life around in 10 minutes—or even less.
So, this winter season, don’t wait for joy to arrive on your doorstep. Empower yourself by creating it.