Sandra Mansfield Wright
It is time we had better learn to be happy by ourselves and learn to play alone. This year has been a year of isolation for many, and we have suffered because we have had to social distance from one another. The holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas may bring loneliness and seclusion to us, but we have the choice to either be sad, lonely, and discouraged by this or find the inner strength to make a conscious decision to be happy, no matter what.
We have the power, by our thoughts, to rise above the loneliness and sadness and decide within ourselves to be happy. Let us think of things to do which will make us happy and to think above our problems. I have made a list of ten possible things we can do to help us “think up” and be happy with what we have.
1. Be grateful.
Make a list of at least 100 things for which we have to be thankful. Writing these will bring them more to our attention. Focus on the good and not the bad!
2. Smile and even laugh out loud.
Put a smile on your face, even if you don’t feel it at the time. It is hard to complain and gripe when we are smiling. Laugh out loud, even if you have to fake it. Laughter is good medicine.
3. Play music you like. Dance to it if you feel the urge.
Having music playing in the house will lift our spirits. Dancing lightens our spirits.
4. Light good smelling candles or have essential oils in a diffuser to cause good smells in the house.
Smells of citrus lighten our spirits. You might even put water in a saucepan and add cloves, cinnamon (or cinnamon sticks), orange peel, and sorghum molasses to create a simmering delicious smell. Make certain you continue to add water to the simmering concoction so it doesn’t cook dry.
5. Have uplifting, good books around to read, or if you aren’t a reader, have magazines to look through which you enjoy.
I like to keep books, magazines, articles, etc. which I want to enjoy in my “joy box” or “joy drawer” to pull out on rainy or alone days when I need an uplift.
6. Make yourself a “joy box.”
In this place items you enjoy; such as a scented candle, bath salts, magazines or books you enjoy, markers and an adult coloring book, possibly needle work projects, puzzles, crossword puzzle books, find-a-word books, etc. You may need to start buying items for your “joy box” along through the months ahead and on days when you are alone and need something fun to do, put these together making your “joy box.” Also you might enjoy making a “job box” for another person to give as a gift.
7. Have delicious foods for yourself.
You may be a good cook yourself, but if not, buy some pre-made meals to keep in your freezer to pull out on days alone when you are needing an uplift. Good foods and the smells of good foods cooking make our home more inviting even to ourselves.
8. Go for a walk.
You might not be a walker normally, but this is a good time to start. Just getting outside in nature and breathing in the fresh air will lighten your mood and is good for you. You don’t have to go fast nor far; just get outside and walk. As you walk, notice the beauty that God has placed in our world for us to enjoy. Notice and be happy.
9. Sit outside when the weather permits.
Some days, even in the winter, may be mild and we can put on a sweater or coat and sit outside in the sunshine. Breathe deeply and slowly. Inhale through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Relax your shoulders and think on good thoughts. Calm – Relax – Refresh – Renew.
10. Do something for someone else.
Think of others. Get outside of ourselves and do for someone else. We can write a note of encouragement to someone, send them a gift, give them a call, leave a bouquet or gift at their front door; just share our love with them. Start a list of things people have done to encourage and lift you up through the years, and send a note telling them what they have meant to you. We all love to be appreciated.
These are just some ideas to start you going. You can possibly think of many more things you enjoy. Think. Open up your mind and brain-storm, coming up with ideas for yourself. Make happiness for yourself and you will always spill that happiness over to others in your life.
“Happy are the people whose God is the Lord. Psalm 144: 15 (NKJV)
After retiring from her career in real estate, Sandra Mansfield Wright became an interior designer for the heart. She writes and speaks on the subject of joy and provides practical ways to bring joy more fully into the lives of her listeners.
She is the author of the book Strength; the book Gentleness; Growing in Hope; The Posture of Hope; Little Gifts of Joy and 365 Daily Gifts of Joy.
Learn more about Sandra at www.sandramansfieldwright.com and visit her blog