We're willing to bet that you've experienced more moments of joy throughout 2021 than you initially thought. It is human nature for the adverse events to stick in our minds more when we think back over the past year. And, if we’re not careful, these can begin to dominate our thoughts, leaving us feeling like we’ve had a terrible year. When this happens, we often find ourselves hoping and praying that next year will be better. But today, we want to encourage you to find the moments of joy that did exist so that you can think more positively about 2021.
Recalling past moments of joy can be tricky unless you make a conscious effort to recognise them at the time or even write them down in a journal or diary. By the way, we would recommend doing both of these. But for now, we’re going to give you some prompts to help you look back at the happier moments of 2021.
Our first prompt is ‘environment’. Think about the different spaces and places you’ve been this year and recall a moment of joy for each one. For example, you could consider each room in your house, the garden, or places you’ve been for a walk. You could also consider places such as shops, the beach, or a new city you visited. And if you read our newsletter this month, you’ll know these moments of joy can often be found in the small things. Just one example we can think of is seeing a young child beaming and saying hello in a supermarket. This was a real highlight when so many faces and smiles were hidden behind masks.
Family & Friends
It has remained difficult this year to catch up with wider family and friends. However, it's also likely that you had made a real effort to see those close to you when opportunities were so limited in 2020. Think back through all the people you've spent time with. This can include immediate family, friends you had a coffee with, work colleagues or anyone else you’ve spent time with.
Now, try to recall a moment of joy that you experienced with as many of these people as possible. Jot them down. Make a note of each of them, alongside those you remembered in different environments. Hopefully, you now have a decent list building.
If you're a mumpreneur, building your own business or a mum who is working, it can be worth exploring this area of your life, too. It’s not typically something we associate with joy unless you’re making money from doing your favourite thing. But achieving a goal or completing a task you’d been dreading can bring great happiness.
Consider your work this year and what you’ve done and achieved. Remember to consider the small things, such as a chat with colleagues, returning to a routine or something funny that happened on Zoom. It all counts! Write down a few moments of joy that you’ve had related to your work–they will exist, we promise. It might just take some thinking power.
Okay, so hopefully, you'll find this one a little easier. Although you’re undoubtedly short on time, there are hopefully things you’ve done this year for pleasure. These can be great sources of those moments of joy. It could be as simple as a candlelit bath, reading a book, or going for a run. There are also many activities that were stopped in 2020 that have then been able to return this year, such as yoga classes or swimming. Perhaps you’ve enjoyed getting back to one of these. Or maybe you’ve had a family day out or holiday.
Think through each of the pleasurable activities you’ve done and note down a moment of joy for each. This should most definitely expand your list.
You should now have a long list of joyous moments you've experienced during 2021, which will balance out how you feel about the past year. Keep focused on these and check out our next blog later this month for how you can ensure 2022 is full of moments of joy. For now, let me know below what has been your most joyous moment of 2021.
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