Cultivating Joy During Grief and Sorrow
Today I want to talk about when joy and sorrow meet aka simple things I am doing to cultivate joy in my life daily.
If you read this blog post or this Instagram post, you’re well aware that my season of life is much different than I expected or wanted it to be. And while I wish I could just hurry up the grief, I can’t. At the same time, I have a hard time with the emotions I am experiencing and want genuine joy back in my life.
As someone who loves control and likes to know what to expect, this season of living day to day and not knowing when waves of grief will come is extremely challenging.
We live a very simple life. I do laundry all week long and run errands and carry snacks with me everywhere we go. We have cobwebs in the corners and plenty of house projects to keep us busy for a year. We have a budget and I always buy too many groceries. We go to church on Sunday evenings and go for a lot of walks. We love fresh air and family time and will always be willing to travel for the people we love. And as I sit on my couch in the evenings and watch Joel tickle Knox and the house is filled with giggles and the pitter patter of small feel running up and down the hallway, I am struck with how beautiful my life is.
It’s incredible how my life can be so incredibly full of joy and sorrow at the same time.
There are a few things that I have intentionally done to cultivate more joy during this challenging time. If you’re in a place where you want to cultivate more joy in your life or you’re also in a season of grief and want to add some sprinkles of joy throughout your day, read on.
When joy and sorrow meet: how to cultivate joy when life is hard:
Find a tangible thing that brings you joy and surround yourself with it: for me, this is plants or fresh flowers. Ideally, pick something that. Flowers or fresh eucalyptus are a few dollars here and there and it was worth the small investment to have something beautiful in my home. I find great joy in beauty and because I spend the majority of my days at home, it is important for me to create a space that feels warm, joyful, and beautiful. In addition to that, having a clean house is incredibly important to me. So, making sure I spend a few minutes every few hours tidying up actually brings me joy. Some days I don’t always have the energy to do a lot, but keeping a clean house sparks joy for me. So I focus on that and prioritize it.
Get outside: or do some sort of physical activity that bring you joy! For me, that’s walking or running. Fresh air is an incredible source of joy and if you can get outside, you should. It will renew your mind and body. And it’s no surprise that exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy (<-- can you name that movie quote!?). Anyways! Make time for yourself. Make time to move your body. Make time for deep breaths. Make time for movement and peace and solitude. Eventually, you will have small moments of joy. And the moments will get longer and longer. MY daily walks or runs are major moments of peace and clarity for me. So I make these walks a priority for our days.
Find one small thing you’re grateful for: there is always something to be grateful for. Even on my darkest days, I can always find something to be thankful for. My go-to picks for what I am thankful for include Knox & Joel, fresh air, coffee, and my family.
Online shopping: okay hear me out. I am not encouraging you to overspend. But, I honestly feel so much joy when a package arrives. Even when it’s just packaging tape for business. So, if you want a little extra joy, maybe try doing your Target run online instead. The anticipation of waiting for your package and then opening up your box with spark a little joy in your life. It’s simple, but this is honestly a small thing I’ve done and it has brought a smile to my face. I also love receiving boxes from Thrive Market and it’s a great way to save money on groceries!
Finding joy in your life is sometimes challenging, but if you choose to find it in very small ways, it becomes easier. If you’re in a season of pain or grief, I hope you are able to seek out small moments of joy. Over time, it the joy will get bigger and last longer.