10 Ways To Create Joy Every Day And At Work
From the government shutdown to the looming tax season, it’s no wonder Marie Kondo has sparked a hit with her new Netflix series this year. Every day is filled with more to do, even if what you do gives you joy…somehow it’s too easy to lose it (joy or otherwise) in the everyday.
So in the spirit of tidying up, this month we make room for joy.
“Joy is strength.”–Mother Teresa
I hear you already: what the heck does that mean? Just like mentoring, I think we can’t wait for joy to fall in our lap. Yes, technology can help. Incidentally, Marie herself is raising $40 million to do so. Whatever comes of it, you can be sure that all the apps/books/products in the world are peripheral to the point: taking action.
Mentees often share with me about not having time for meditation, exercise, or self-care. Then ask me with great curiosity what it is that could make them happier. Sometimes it helps to hear it from somebody else.
Sometimes I also think we humans get more mileage from complaining than actually doing. Complaining is something we can all relate to. But doing? We’re tuned to be scared of doing for fear of failure, exposure, or downright criticism. Complaining shields you from this risk and reaps plenty of sympathy.
Then you wake up one day wondering what happened.
The good news is life goes on. The bad news is life goes on. So what’s your theme this year? Have you stayed true to it? If not, is there any little step that you can take to get closer?
“Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.”-Joseph Campbell
And if you’re interested in joy being your jam this month too, here’s a list of our favorite little actions we’re trying to create a little joy these days:
Bring Your Own Mug to work. Treat yourself and save the planet by bringing your own cup to work. Bonus points if it includes an inspiring quote to help you stay motivated. It’s also a fun conversation starter.
2. Thank somebody who you normally wouldn’t
Coffee baristas, cashiers, security guards, mail delivery folks…take the time to notice people and they will return the favor.
3. Message an old co-worker or friend to say that you’re thinking of them
With all the communication options these days, do we really have an excuse? Now whether they read it and respond is a whole other issue. And, by the way, *not* your problem.
4. Venture outside for a 10-minute solo walk with only your keys or ID card
That’s right: no phone, no friend, and no goals. Be it the parking lot, around the block, or up-and-down the stairwell. See what happens.
5. Make eye contact with a dog
They won’t return a weird look, I promise. Extra points if you wave at them.
6. Light a candle and observe the flame for 5 minutes
7. Make something that you would otherwise buy
Before you buy that need-to-have-item, is there any way to make it yourself? Do a quick search before plunking down some cash and you may be surprised what you find. Check out this laptop stand that I made out of a shoebox!
8. Go to a thrift store (or dollar store) and buy something interesting under $5
Classic exercise courtesy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way. When everything is affordable, we can let go of a budget mentality and focus on what “sparks joy”.
9. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen, shelter, or hospital
Maybe make a vacation out of it by joining one of these international Habitat For Humanity builds around the world.
Close the shades, turn on that Top 20 station that you never listen to, and just dance as if nobody is watching. Because nobody is watching!
Give some a whirl and let us know how it goes!
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”–Edith Wharton