If you follow me on Instagram you will regularly see me jamming out to music in my car or dancing in the kitchen while I cook. I've always been a music junkie and have always played it non stop in the background of my life, but it wasn't until I started my process of letting go of alcohol that I realized how important this joy filled habit was for me (thank you Holly Whitaker for that).
It is completely natural to feel like you're missing something when you start to let go of bad habits, as this process takes us out of our comfort zone and into a place that doesn't feel so happy and joyous. The practice of creating your own joy is kinda like faking it til you make it. In the beginning phases of letting go (this even includes letting go of relationships) you will more than likely feel crappy and sad and possibly even in the mists of one long pity party, but you can balance some of that out by adding in your own hand-made joy throughout your day. Though these acts are small, when combined they can really add up. Some of my favorites are:
- Music - Driving, dancing, singing, exercising, crying (haha), bubble bathing, all while listening to music that makes me feel good. As a part of being a yoga teacher I am always searching for songs that make me want to dance along so I have loads of playlists on my Spotify. Check out my #allthesongs playlist.
- The Great Outdoors - Just going for a walk, listening to nature, or perhaps getting close to water are sure-fire ways for me to feel lighter and less stressed out.
- Good Humor - No, not the ice cream. Ice cream makes me happy in the moment but it's not a good choice for anytime of the day (you know, when stress randomly hits). Instead, listening to a radio talk show, podcast, or stand-up comedian that makes me laugh are great ways to bring in some joy. Books, TV Shows, movies, social media and even your friends and family can be sources of laughter throughout your day. I also love to try and make other people laugh. I am a huge fan of the pun and the corny dad joke, regularly busting them out for those around me, including strangers. Nothing makes you feel better than being the source of someone else's laughter.
- Movement - Moving your body allows you to let go of stagnant gross energy that makes us feel heavy and uncomfortable. I love popping into handstands in these moments if I can make it happen, but a walk, a workout or a few gentle stretches will do the same :)
- Make Something - Food, crafts, doodles, poems, artwork, flowers/plants, clothes, DIY bath products, pillows, blog posts, photo books, the list is endless of things you can create easily. When you sit down and create something it feels good. If it is something you can share with others (for the joy of it, not just for money) then the joy is even greater.
You cannot expect life to just be naturally joyous. It is a decision that you have to make each day, maybe even each moment on some days. The stressful stuff just comes at us, so we need to create our own joy on the regular to combat the junk that come on the regular. Even if you haven't quite let go of your habit, creating joy right along side the shit will help the process of letting go that much easier, as you will feel better as you ween yourself. Start today and then repeat daily. Its what we do daily that matters most. #createyourjoy