Happiness sometimes seems like a foreign concept. We get so caught up in the chaos of life, moving forward each day in a blur. Not always take stock of what we are grateful for, nor appreciate what makes us happy. We live in a world where we feel we have to to pay bills, be successful at work, be fabulous parents and have a Instagram ready house. Whilst some of those things are important, the pressure we and social media place on us, is insurmountable.
In a Rut
This is obviously not great for our mental health. We feel exhausted, lack motivation and interest, we feel just, to quote the teenagers in my life, ‘meh’. It’s not the best way to feel at all. But how can we find ways to get out of that rut we so often find ourselves in?
I have a quote on my office wall. I see it every day, sometimes it is conscious, but mostly I see it in passing whilst working. It’s there though, reminding each time of one of the things I strive to achieve.
“Take time to make your soul happy.”
One little line, reminding me that I need self-care and something in my life that truly fills me with joy.
Find That One Thing That Makes You Happy
I don’t think happiness is a constant. It changes. At different times I find different people, events, activities, fill my soul with warmth and happiness.
Of course children come top in the list. Being a mother is rewarding in so many ways. I adore it and at times my heart sings from being mummy. It is tough though, probably the toughest job on the planet. So, it’s not all roses and can make my soul incredibly sad and heavy.
Then there is writing. My second passion in life and a task I enjoy immensely. However, again this can be time consuming, stressful and tiring at times. Making sure to hit deadlines, communication with partners and other individuals connected with my work, as well as ensuring I am writing about what I love, mental health.
That is my third area of joy. Helping people with their mental health, studying and training to be a counsellor, as well as researching and learning every day. Yet again it has pitfalls. The mental health field is taxing at times, the topics heavy and stories difficult.
There are other hobbies and activities I enjoy, but those are the main three areas of my life that bring me joy.
Being Happy is All About Balance
They key I have discovered, is balance. As with everything in life, no matter how good something is, without balance it can become monotonous, stressful or even uninteresting.
So, with everything that I do in life, I approach it with a view to keeping it balanced as much as I can. Now, being a mother is one job that can be challenging to attain that equilibrium. Life happens, things go wrong, people get sick or unexpected events occur. It’s never easy and never going to be completely balanced. So, instead I approach it in the best way I can. Do the best I am able, be the best mum I can be and fill our home with love.
With everything else, balance is much easy to get to. It is vital to be flexible and plan for unforeseen circumstances that can alter those plans. I write when I can, have a calendar but leave space to move things around as and when it’s needed. A sick child might mean I can’t work as much as I would like or need to, so I have back ups for that. As with working with other people, covering events and so on, I have back ups and remember to be kind to myself. After all, I want to feel happy, not down and anxious.
Enjoy Don’t Pressure
As I said before, enjoyment is worth it, good for your mental health and indeed the deep fulfilling sense we get from our soul. Heaping on the pressure for your one thing though is a bad idea. You might want the kids to be better behaved, meet a certain deadline, complete a project or bake that cake. That’s all great, but if you stress yourself out in the process, you lose that enjoyment.
I have heard many people say ‘it’s the journey, not the destination’ and I subscribe to this wholeheartedly. The act of spending time with little ones playing games, building dens or baking is only fun for you if you give yourself over to it. Finishing that project is a wonderful achievement, but doing it by dressing yourself down at every turn will take that joy out of it.
Take stock of the wonder, step back and smell the metaphorical roses, remember why this makes your soul sing.
We have lots of tips and ideas for finding wonder and boosting your mood on The Wonderment throughout the year. Don’t forget to join the conversation over on social media too. You can find us on TikTok, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and Twitter.