Happiness comes in many forms and ways. For you, it may be the sound of a child’s laughter. For others, it comes as the salty, windy air at the beach, or a clean house and all the bills paid.
Whatever your piece of happiness is, it needs to find its way into your daily life. Simple moments of ‘ah’ are an automatic refresh button. Now the task is, how can you make them happen every day?
I pose a question for you. What is the priority in your life at this moment? Is it making a difference in the world, finding your true love, gaining peace at work, losing five pounds? Or perhaps your mind is filled with the effects of COVID still raging through our lives, the aftermath of the holiday bustle, thinking forward about taxes…. You feel it coming: the wave of angst; the tension, the wrestling in your sleep, the snapping for no reason.
We’ve all been through the emotional wrecking ball over the past year of COVID, many of you on the front lines in positions I praise you for enduring. You have been the hope in the middle of fear and turmoil. Others in a position of caring for a loved one have been trying to hopscotch through the days simply trying to avoid stressful or negative situations.
This wave of loss, grief, mental and physical exhaustion has been tremendously emotional, even for those who are just watching. Heartbreaking is an understatement. I find my own emotions stirring up and combining that with work and daily to-do’s can be flat out overwhelming.
You – we – have to find ways to stop. Whether it’s for an hour, an afternoon, or an entire day, unplugging and finding some serious downtime is essential for all of our well-being.
This past weekend my computer stayed off, my phone was on for calls or texts only, and I turned on the TV to watch two movies. I listened to music, went for walks, and wove in a fun pastime that I haven’t done in years: putting together a puzzle. (Ok, I started putting together a puzzle. It’s 1,000 pieces so this will be a process.) As I sat immersed in the sorting and piecing, singing along to the country music playing (southern girl here) I found myself at such peace. It was a wonderful way of weaving in mindfulness and the aftereffects are still lingering.
Something as simple as a puzzle can change your outlook. No, it won’t do the dishes for you or solve world problems, but it surely can stop the racing mind and add a bit of balance to your life.