Our world can be a difficult place to thrive in. Each day we’re faced with terrible stories on the news, sickness and conflict in our communities and then there’s our own brokenness to deal with. With all this darkness around us, it’s important to look around at what is good in our lives, to reclaim joy even when everything feels hard.

In Romans 12:12 (in the Bible) it says, “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” How does that look in your day-to-day life? Here’s some practical ideas for you to reclaim your joy.

1. Give

Even when everyone around you is keeping to themselves, not looking out for anyone else, be the person who gives and expects nothing in return. It is so true that giving makes you feel good. It makes you feel like you’re contributing to society and it doesn’t have to always be money. You can give time (have a coffee with someone), send an encouraging text or dare I say a letter! Make a meal, be a shoulder for others. By focussing on others you’re choosing to be joyful and patient!

2. Get out and about

We live in a beautiful area but sometimes we’re so busy with our daily routines that we forget to look out and look up. Take time each day to look for shapes in clouds, take a walk on the beach, have a swim, sit on a headland and ponder. Enjoy the little things that are just outside your front, back and side doors. It’s about choosing to be joyful, changing your perspective and enjoying the little things.

3. Live simply

Simplify your life by cutting back on have-to’s – we all have some things that aren’t necessary to do. Are the kids too busy? Cut out one activity per week. Have you taken on too much? Say ‘no’ to something, even one thing a week will make you feel more joy. Is there too much clutter in your home? Give things away to friends/family, the Salvos or have a garage sale. Decluttering your to-do list and your home will help declutter your mind – I find handing your ‘mess’ over to God is another great way to find peace in your life.

4. Take time out

Take time out to pray each day connects me with God, gives me a greater perspective on life. Daily down-time is an easy way to give you more energy to be patient, even when things are hard and it doesn’t have to take a big chunk out of your day. Our brains can be just as busier (if not more so) than our bodies so taking even ten minutes out of your day to rest is really important.

5. Find the fun

Even mundane chores can be enjoyable if you can find a fun angle. Pop some music or a movie on while you’re doing the old housework, take a friend food shopping with you, whatever you like! You could even cancel your afternoon activities for a trip to the beach. Mix up your routine a bit if you can and seize the day!

6. Get active!

I know not all of us are sporting legends but exercise is so important, not only to your body but your mind. Exercise releases endorphins that lift your mood and make you feel on top of the world. It also gives you more energy to get through your day with less effort. It’s so hard to start exercising but once you do, you won’t go back. Find something that you will enjoy, so that you’ll keep going.

7. Banish guilt

Mums especially are good at feeling guilty when they take time out for themselves. It’s ok to go to the movies once in a while in the middle of the day instead of being ‘productive’. It’s ok to head to the beach and rest, read or chat to a friend. Enjoy me-time because the majority of our lives are often spent serving others which is great too but sometimes you need to have some time doing things you love so you have the energy and grace to spend on your family and friends.

 How do you reclaim joy when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

 More from themindspace:

7 ways to reclaim joy!

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