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 “Inhale, Laugh, Exhale, Repeat- Of all the things that can be taken, do not let your joy be one of them” – Unknown
In a world where we have so much going on all the time, our joy is often taken from us.  It’s even difficult to remember to breathe. It’s the one element that instructors of all the sports I’ve ever taken lessons for – swimming, skiing, personal training, martial arts, etc  have told me not to forget.
Find Your Joy seems to be a welcome addition to that, doesn’t it?
Ready to find out some key tips to make sure nobody steals your joy, even in stressful times? Well, this post is for you!

3 Ways To Find Joy

Motivational Monday 30 - Intuition Quiet Mind

If you’ve been around my blog for awhile, you’ll know that breathing and quieting the inner mind is really tough for me.

Despite the hectic mess of a week I had last week, I had to keep my promise to myself to commit to a self-care weekend, starting off with the Self-Care Teacher conference  on Friday – which just happened to be a public holiday here in Barcelona.
If we’re stressed out at this time of the year (whether it’s work-related or not), we need to take the time to find our joy. With life-time access to speeches with self-care tips thanks to the conference, you can bet I’ll be listening to them all and sharing them with you! Want to start now?
Here are three ways:

1.  Talk To Someone

We often underestimate the power of venting to a friend. Even if that person doesn’t share your exact experience, just letting it all out over coffee can be a welcome relief.   Talking to a professional can be even better, something I didn’t realize until about a week ago.  (I’ll leave that for a different post, though!)

2. Make A List of Joyous Ideas

You’ve probably heard me talk of my Gratitude Journal,  and maybe you’ve even downloaded the free printable from my library.  It is SO important to verbalize what we’re thankful for, I think.

A list of our wildest dreams come true, however, can be just the type of visualization we need to perk ourselves up. Self-care involves not only creating a life you don’t escape from, but one that has the potential to be exactly what you want. For me, imagination is part of that.  Making lists, typing into an Evernote, or allowing yourself to close your eyes and visualize can be a momentary escape to a joyful place.

3. Take A Self-Care Day or Two

Actually, I just had two guilt-free days with a friend last weekend, a mini “stay-cation”.  I think the guilt-free part is an important one that is often omitted when we talk about self-care. If we want to keep our joy, we have to rid ourselves of the constraints we impose on ourselves.
I struggle with that. Do you?
Last weekend, one of my good friends and I decided to schedule in our self-care weekend. We splurged on the spa, massages, dinner, coffee, brunch, and splurged on time for ourselves, and time with our pups in Barcelona’s beautiful parks. It was incredible to let go of the feeling of guilt.  While it’s true I’m behind on work this week, it was worth every moment.

Why Self-Care Is Important for Joy

Midterm exams,  mid-term projects, semester quizzes and lesson plan changes are all part of the game this time of year, right? You’ve probably read this viral post by Brianna Wiest on Thought Catalog  about what self-care really is.
I agree that it’s “not all about bath salts and chocolate cake”, but more about finding a routine you can really live with, one you’re not escaping from using urgent and mandated breaks.  (Taking breaks is important, and I can tell you I definitely haven’t mastered this art myself!). Allowing yourself to be “normal” and “unexceptional” would be a tough one for me.  Foregoing the notion of constantly improving would be a struggle.


However, that difficult challenge may be necessary. In fact, one of my blogger friends, Patrice Palmer, specializes in self-care tips (and has even written a book about it).  When we’re burned out, we definitely can’t teach others well, or complete a project to the best of our abilities.

Wiest’s post I mention above also praises “normalcy”.  Salt baths and chocolate cake, she says, should be “a part of normal life”.  Not a harried escape from a hectic existance, as they so often are.



Hanging On To Joy

Lots of blogs and self-care advocates are In Praise of Slowness (as the popular book is titled). Now, I’m definitely not one to claim to be a fan of slowness – but I respect that it’s something I can work on. Actually, I thrive on the busy air my life has, and am constantly working on new projects I love.
Sometimes, though, slowing down is helpful.  For example, I’ll admit that even though my week has been hectic, taking the weekend before it off has really allowed me to become calmer.  I’m behind in my work, sure, but I definitely feel more rested and awake while catching up.
What are your plans for a weekend where you find your joy? How do you keep joy in your life when you’re stressed? I’d absolutely love to hear from you in the comments below! 😀
Have a lovely, productive  (and as restful as possible) rest of the week(end)!
P.S. Photo lovers, the photo for this week’s poster is one I took in Budapest in June.

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