It recently occurred to me that although I may not always indulge in specific 'self care' activities or have designated 'me time', there are everyday things that I do that bring me moments of joy. Some are the usual suspects whereas others I hadn't even realised brought me joy until I spent some time thinking about it.
Of course self care is important and it is so good that we now see it as an essential, but with anything that becomes a 'must do' particularly when it involves maintaining our wellbeing, if we are not necessarily feeling in the best place it can be easy to feel excluded, especially when we so often see images of the idea of self care and access to it coming with a price point. Self care can often feel like such a bigger thing, that we simply just don't have the energy or feel that we don't have the time to get involved, even though we understand the benefits.
Thinking about what I like and how it makes me feel has helped me find Joy and that is a good feeling.
I now realise I also like associating things with the word joy, it makes it, well, all the more joyful.
So, here are the things that I do in the everyday that bring me little moments of joy:
Looking at the clouds
I can't believe they've been above me all this time and I never gave a thought to how looking at them made me feel. Yes, there are the moments of complete awe when you stop and look up and see a spectacular abundance of clouds, that look so unreal, they could be a painting, but there are also the less dramatic clouds, the clouds you may not even notice unless you stop and look. Gracefully, beautifully drifting on by, moving on, no matter what is going on below, peaceful, calming , a joy to watch. Yes, noticing the clouds above, is a real go to for me I like the feeling and the perspective it gives.
I didn't realise how this made me feel until I couldn't have one - (long story and definitely for another article but in a nutshell getting a kind of coffee phobia related to anxiety) Anyhoo, I am back on the coffee and I love it! Not just the drinking of the coffee, although it does taste great, but more the setting the time to stop and have a coffee. It makes me feel joyful, I even have a wiggly dance that I do on the way to the kettle. Everything stops for coffee and that suits me just fine.
Reading a book
When I say reading a book, I mean a real physical book. I have a Kindle which, yes I love and I have a subscription to Audible, again, very good but nothing beats the feeling of turning actual pages. Also, nothing beats falling asleep lost in an actual book, sometimes literally if the angle is right. And don't get me started on how good it feels walking into the library. No matter what is going on, an incredibly optimistic feeling comes over me when I am in the library. I like the library, it feels joyful and hopeful, like anything is possible ( which of course it is).
Clearing my handbag
Now, I wonder if this is just me, but every time, I clear my handbag of receipts, old shopping lists, etc I get a real sense of feeling like I am starting over - it makes me feel really, really good. If I feel low and can't manage much else but I need a boost I head to my handbag, for me its a quick win. I feel organised, in control, happy and ready to take on the whatever - it gives me some joyful oomph! I clear out whatever has no business being in there, give it a clean and an antibacterial wipe over and if its leather a quick once over with a leather cleaning wipe, which leaves that sumptuous new leather scent. Completing this satisfying process is the reorganisation of things that belong in the bag - good feels rating is high.
Resisting an impulse buy
This may seem like a bit of an odd one, but for me this is so relevant. Having definitely been someone who would self soothe by buying things, getting that temporary high that goes as soon as said item comes home with me or arrives on the mat. Becoming someone who resists the impulse and instead contemplates the purchase makes me feel really good and I like the feeling. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate an indulgence, however, when it comes to choices I am making, I am becoming more aware of the distinction between the two - I don't always call it right, but I am getting there and I think that is what really counts. It feels good that I've noticed my patterns and it feels good that I've taken action and it almost feels, on a practical level that not only have I not spent any money, I've earned something far more valuable.
Who is to say what self care is or what is a day well spent - if it makes you feel good, in control, inspired or brings a little joy, then it is a great thing to do.
So, spend a little time thinking about things that make you feel nice, relaxed or that bring a little peace, it may just be that you find a little self care and love in the everyday things and that is a joyful feeling.