The lecture may sound something like: “You’ve never used any of that stuff you ordered on Amazon, why don’t you just get rid of it, what are you saving it for? Or “Why did you even order it if you weren’t going to use it?”
It might surprise you to find out that today I’m not talking about giving away material possessions…or even money or time.
Feel free to hit your forehead with your hand and call this a face-palm moment. Here goes:
You’re giving away, your joy! Without even being aware of it, you’re giving away TONS of joy on a daily basis. When you’re feeling beat down, burned out, worried, overwhelmed and you don’t know where to go or what to do and you’re sick and tired of being sick and tired (Shew! Even writing that out makes me feel like I’m stuck – and I’ll bet you feel it too!), it’s a classic pattern of being stuck in the vicious cycle of giving away your joy!
Let me explain why keeping some of your joy for yourself is helpful:
When you make slight shifts in what you do, your mood increases. You get a bump in motivation, which leads to an increase in more motivation! The best part is that by making some minor shifts in what you do, you can have more motivation and keep your joy.
How can you limit giving away all of your joy?
First, become of aware of it! Second, ask a friend or someone who can support you in your desire to regain yourself. Next, and most importantly, make a list of three things that you really enjoy doing. I mean really enjoy. It’s time to make a plan to engage in your own life activities for the sake of feeling more joyful.
It’s helpful to list three things you enjoy doing that are within your ability and means to do quickly. Give yourself permission to do these three things within ten days.
Here are some practical, easy examples of things you could try:
Spend time with friends! Reconnect with former friends, meet new friend and get back on track to see your family. Call, video chat, send emails or good old fashion cards and letters through the mail. There is still something very special about seeing a hand written card or letter in the mailbox. That never gets old!
Schedule regular down time with your spouse or significant other. Schedule it a half hour two times a week. What I’m talking about here is simple. Schedule this for an at-home get together. Get up a little early or have the kids play in another room, or have family or friends watch kids for these half hours while you and your honey just chill.
Get out! Run errands by yourself for an hour, two times a week. Go out for coffee two or three times a week either alone or with a friend. This coffee break needs to last for at least 45 minutes. You need it to recharge. Not just for the caffeine in the coffee, but for yourself and the relationship that you have with your friend who came along.
Move! Head for the hills – go for a walk, play tennis, run (start slow if you’re just getting back into it). Take your kids to the park…or dogs to the dog park.
Create! Give yourself a huge increase in joy by jumping all in to a beloved hobby that you’ve put on hold! Doing something creative is one of the most powerful things you can do for yourself.
It’s not about not giving. Give. Give with openness. But also remember that this is about balance and helping you to receive too. By taking care of you and allowing yourself to be cared for, you’re opening yourself up for joy and fulfillment.
Hopefully after reading this you have a little more inspiration and hope that it can be done!