With the new year, of course, comes resolutions. One of my resolutions for 2018 has been finding joy in the little moments. At the beginning of this year, I spent some time thinking about what I have done to stay calm and find real joy in my day to day life! I used to have quite a few little habits that I, for some reason, lost over the past few years. Did I stop because of having too little time, or was it because I have spent more time caring for others and not myself? In reflection I realized there are a lot of things that I used to enjoy doing that I haven’t done in ages.
For starters I used to listen, sing, and dance to lots of music all the time. I used to blast my favorite songs on days I needed to get some cleaning done or any time I was in the car! Why did I stop? Back in the day it would be a rare sight to see me driving down the road without singing or doing my infamous “car dances” (something quite a few friends have had the opportunity to see.. this included me dancing like a total idiot making all sorts of ridiculous moves for laughs because I was simply wildly fun, crazy, and fearless.) Music brings me so much joy, why have I stopped singing and dancing?
I also used to doodle, draw, and craft all the time! You could always find me making lists and drawing in the margins of my notebooks. I loved to hand make all of our invitations from birthdays and barbecues to baptisms and even my wedding invites. You wouls always find a new canvas around the house that the kids and I would paint. I have always found some form of total peace whenever I am making something or being creative. It’s part of the reason why I love my job. I love styling hair, coloring, cutting, and especially doing up dos and makeup applications. I get to be creative, and to top it off, I get to make my clients feel good about them self. It’s so rewarding. But it’s been awhile since the simple doodles and crafts have been a regular habit in my life.
I loved to do yoga, and I used to practice at home as well in a few studios. I have always been flexible and strong. Yoga was always a rewarding workout, especially since it always kept me calm. I have never been a quiet person, and meditation might be one of the hardest parts of yoga for me. I’m no good at tuning out the noise in my own mind, but yoga has always provided that guided meditation I need to find peace when working out. I miss just the simple yoga, meditation, and simply taking out me time to unwind and take care of myself.
What else brings me joy? Prayer. For a long while I found myself in prayer almost always! Every few minuets I would find myself appreciating and thanking God for so many wonders and simplicity’s in my life. I wouldn’t just pray at night, I prayed morning, noon, and night. Now days, I noticed I am almost uncomfortable when praying. It’s like I’m out of practice, and because it’s been so long I feel almost unworthy of prayer. (I know of course that’s not true but it’s a feeling that is hard to shake). I also used to go to church almost 3 times a week. I never missed a Sunday and participated in two small groups. I know going back to work made it a little harder to make it to church since I had to pick up Sundays. BUT THAT’S NO EXCUSE! Time to get back to God.
And time to get back to some of my favorite little habits that help me find joy, peace, and happiness in my every day moments!
Getting Back to Basics
After thinking about all the little habits and joys that may have slipped my daily routine over time, I decided to implement them back into my life. And here are a few ways I have been doing that and enjoying each and every day this year!
Music has been a major key to my happiness. I love to sing and dance, and I’m kind of shocked how I let even the simple joys of singing in the car slip away. It is almost like I have had so much on my mind that I forgot to stop and listen to the music… Literally!
To help me bring the music back into my life I started by purchasing a wireless Bluetooth speaker.
At first I would bring this everywhere, but now we use this for outdoors, or in the garage, going to the pool or the beach, and any time we have a party. I love it! At home, I hated having to carry this with me into each room when I was cleaning, so, to fill my house with music I went ahead and bought a few of the Amazon Alexa Speakers.
At home, I put two of these Amazon Echo’s on my first floor. I have one in the kitchen and one in the family room. I set them up in a group as well, so when I want to play music throughout the first floor all I have to say is “Alexa, play some music on the first floor group!” And voila, music fills our first floor! Now for upstairs I got a few of the little Echo dots for each room!
This is nice because I can play music in any room upstairs, I can set each dot to have different alarms for the kids. That way they know when to get up, read, get ready for bed, etc. I also love having them in the rooms because you can use them as sound machines. It works great for my husband who needs to drown out all our noise when hes sleeping during the day (he works nights). And you can even get it to play on a timer so that it shuts off when you sleep.
Since implementing the Amazon echos in the house, I can definitely say! The kids and I sing and dance all the time! It has been great!
For the car (I drive an older bluetooth-less van) I found a FM transmitter. This way I can play my commercial free pandora in the car and listen to all my favorite songs! (Lately, you can find me belting out lots of Christina Aguilera)
I miss the simple pastime of doodling. And since it might be a little unusual to see a full grown adult coloring in a coloring book, I found a perfect loophole!My Happy Planner! I LOVE THIS THING! Not only do I get to stay organized in my planner, but I have so many stickers and papers that I can doodle on! I love making this thing super cute! Since getting it, I have had my month, weeks, days, and even meals planned out perfectly! I even got the Budget Extension and put it in its own section. There are so many stickers and packages you can get with the Happy Planner. I love how cute it is, and I do it almost every morning while drinking my coffee!
Now yoga is something that I have always used as a tool to keep in shape and do a little self reflection and meditation. And since meditation and calming my mind is something that challenges me, I often would pray during my yoga class or guided meditation. So I am going to begin putting together a yoga/meditation station in my room. First things first, a yoga mat! I ordered this and LOVE IT!
I love the marble look, its nice and long, and it has a great thickness! Now next up, my meditation station! I started with a nice little end table to put all my healing crystals and candles on! Then I checked out a local shop to find some healing crystals that spoke to me! I also ordered a chakara set with some palosanto wood. (If you would like to read more about my healing crystals and how I use them please comment below.)
If you are a beginner who is interested in starting yoga and meditation, I would suggest using your Amazon Echo or Echo Dot and use the Guided Meditation skill. They are super quick and easy! If you are interested in some guided yoga, what I have been doing is putting my amazon fire stick in my tv in my room. Amazon prime does have a few guided yoga videos you can follow! So, bribe the kids to play in the toy room or get them do do it along side you and get started today!
I hope this has been helpful! And I hope for those of you who have already fallen off the New Years Resolution Band Wagon, JUST LIKE ME, pick yourself up and start small. Get happy and healthy!
I would love to hear what you have been up to. What keeps your spirits up! What is something you love to do that you do FOR YOU!