Sourced with thanks from lifehack.org
Do you ever feel like you struggle with finding joy in life during difficult times? It’s a common enough challenge faced by many of you especially as you settle down into your new phase of retired life. Financial worries, low levels of social interaction, loneliness, family very distant or busy etc are faced by most in some form or the other. The usual difficulties of life have been compounded by the forced isolation and negativity created by the pandemic. To help you find joy even as you face your own challenges check out these easy to follow tips that the author has put together for you in the article (Second of two parts) below. Team RetyrSmart
Easy to follow tips to find joy in difficult times (Part 2 of 2)
Here are tips for finding joy in life during difficult times that can be incorporated into your daily life.
- Start Conversations
Are you so busy with work, school, taking care of the kids, or any number of daily tasks that you rarely find time to engage in meaningful dialogue with other people? Making room for conversations can become especially hard when you are going through a difficult time.
During these periods, talking to someone and seeking another person’s advice can feel supportive and uplifting. So, cherish the connections you have with people by taking a second to text an old friend or call someone you have been thinking about. You might end up having a rewarding conversation that leaves you feeling warm and cheerful.
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- Conquer a Fear
When was the last time you felt the thrill of taking a leap of faith or conquering an activity that frightened you? The feeling of joy that comes from knowing you completed something you were hesitant about is very gratifying. It can be scary going on a blind date or giving a presentation at work, but once you forge through it, you will feel so much joy. Even solving a crisis can bring us this feeling.
Pushing through fear is when we discover just how resilient we are. When difficult times are followed by winning moments, we prove our ability to overcome adversity and thrive.
- Accomplish Small Tasks
No one likes the feeling of a never-ending to-do list. Instead of trying to check off all your tasks in a day or week, consider making life more manageable and reward yourself for accomplishing even the smallest of things. This could be something as little as hitting the snooze button just once instead of five times or finally putting away the heap of clothes that has been living in the corner of your room for weeks on end.
Allowing yourself to be proud of completing both big and little tasks will help you feel more accomplished, peaceful, and happy.
- Limit Your Screen Time
These days we, are always looking at one screen or another—our phone, TV, or computer—and we rarely glance up to fully take in our surroundings. Social media can easily become overwhelming, and watching too many Netflix shows or movies can make us wish we were living a completely different life.
Being away from screens for some time helps us feel more present and productive, and it reminds us to quit comparing our lives to what we see on Facebook and Instagram. It allows us to redirect our focus and love the life we have. So, where possible, consider setting screen limits for yourself and view in increments. You will find joy in those moments that were formerly taken up by distractions from phones and reality TV.
- Release Your Emotions
Have you ever been so overwhelmed or stressed out that you felt like a shaken-up can of soda about to explode? We have all been there. Releasing those pent up and negative feelings will enable you to experience other, more positive, emotions.
Getting in a good hard workout, taking a long shower, or cranking up the music and singing along are great ways to pop the soda cap and feel more relaxed. When your mind and body are free from tension, it is much easier to find joy in life.
- Appreciate the Little Things in Life
When we are going through a difficult time, we can become so concerned with the future or the past that we miss out on life’s simple pleasures in the present. Perhaps it’s the sound of a child’s laugh, an unexpected rainbow in the sky, or finding an onion ring in a basket of shoestring fries. These little surprises in life can easily be overlooked, but taking the time to appreciate them will make each day more rewarding.
Helping people is tremendously rewarding. Consider spending some of your time elevating others through service. It could be tutoring, helping out at a shelter, donating clothes, or taking out your neighbour’s trash.
When you move the focus off of your problems and assist others, you will feel new purpose and joy. Volunteering can allow us to stop dwelling on negativity in our lives and put that energy into uplifting people. When we do things for others, we are not only feeling joy but passing it on, too.
- Learn to Let Go
It can be challenging to release something that has been a staple in your life, but you may discover that by allowing yourself to let go of it, you experience more joy. If you are unhappy and struggling, know that it is perfectly okay to change direction and leave a job you have had for fifteen years or end a long-term relationship.
Certain aspects of life you thought were vital might actually be what is holding you back from feeling real joy. When we learn to leave behind careers, connections, or habits that are no longer serving us, we allow ourselves to feel rejuvenated and prepared to embrace new adventures and enjoyment in life.
The Bottom Line
Joy is an emotion and state of being we all strive for, and finding it does not require an immense amount of effort. These 19 tips are all examples of small action steps you can take to feel more peace and happiness, and you may already be doing them without even knowing it. So, challenge yourself to adopt two or three new, bliss-inducing habits over the next several weeks and watch your joy in life grow.