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What brings you joy?

This is a question I don’t think we ask ourselves enough. As Mums, we dedicate so much of ourselves to our kids to ensure their resilience and happiness, that we forget the things that make us happy.

I started asking myself this question last year at a time when I was feeling a bit lost, and it stumped me initially. I wrote down all the usual things:

  • Hanging out with friends
  • Laughing, especially with the kids
  • Me time

As I wrote them one by one, more kept coming, and I found that there were so many little things that brought me joy that I had forgotten about.

Like:

Sitting outside on a balmy night, rather than sitting inside watching TV. The darkness mixed with the heat brings me a sense of calm, happiness and hope.

Dancing. I’ve always loved having a good busting a move out at a club or party! But I realised that when I put music on at home, I could still dance in the lounge room with the kids or in the kitchen while cooking dinner and it brought me joy! It releases endorphins, improves my mood, makes me appreciate my body and embrace my femininity.

I also realised that being creative brings me joy. Even though I’m creative in a lot of things that I do, and I’m good at being creative, I didn’t realise it actually brought me joy! Whether it be writing, applying makeup, putting together a party or taking photos. Using my creative side regularly makes me feel content. It feeds my soul.

Reading. I actually get more out of reading than watching a movie or TV show. It uses my brain. It uses my imagination. It increases my vocabulary. It evokes more emotion. It makes me wind down and sleep better at night. But I forgot, because sometimes it’s years in-between reading books! So, I’ve been trying to make it a priority. I think so far this year I’ve read 4 books, and I’ve loved all of them!

My list ended up going on and on, and I still like to add to it as I remember things. Because stopping and thinking about what actually brings you joy, makes you see the things that don’t. And generally, our days are filled with those things that we really don’t like doing.

It comes with the territory of being a Mum, but we can choose to bring things into our days that light us up. Whether it’s a walk down the coast rather than around the block. Or reading a chapter of a book with a cup of tea while you put the TV on for the kids. Whether it’s going to a café by yourself, eating your favourite meal and people watching. All of these things bring back those sparks of light that we tend to lose. And just by bringing back one little thing that brings us joy, then leads to another and another because it awakens you, it feeds your soul and makes you realise that your happiness should come before all others. That’s our responsibility to own and to make happen. Because if we don’t, no one else will. And who wants to live life without joy? Definitely not me.

Anita