Finding Joy when Joy seems Lost

I don’t know about you, but I love Summer, I love the pool, the beach, the warm sunshine, but right about now, I am just over it. The temperature outside is some ungodly number and it seems like showering is a waste of time because as I am running between air conditioned buildings to my air conditioned car, I am sweating like I have just finished a run. You know, that sweat, the one that rolls down your back and makes you just miserable?! Ugh, sometimes it just seems that sunshine and summer are the epitome of joyful existence, so it can feel more than a little disheartening when you don’t feel joyful.

“After the rain, the sun will reappear.
There is life. After the pain, the joy will still be here.”
-Walt Disney Company

You can’t scroll through social media without some pithy quote about claiming your joy hitting you in the face (hopefully our social media feeds don’t come off like that!) and you either sigh or cry into your morning coffee. It is hard because you feel like it should be easy, the sun is outside, the birds are singing, the flowers are blooming and we want what every depression medication commercial promises, that the gray filter will be lifted and our life will display in full color. It is less about claiming your joy, it is about finding it, where it resides, within.

“Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.”
-André Gide

So...how do we find Joy? On the days where we want to just stay in our pajamas, where getting out of bed is hard, where we are reordering medication we need be DO NOT WANT, where we are looking at our calendar and doctor visits and/or therapy visits are more numerous than our social calendar?

Do something, that no matter what, makes you smile:
*Visit an animal shelter and see amazing dogs and cats who have beaten the odds (did you know a lot of shelters NEED volunteers to love on their animals, walk them, brush them, etc.?).
*See a slapstick comedy that will make you laugh until your stomach muscles ache.
*Volunteer at a Summer Feed location (where they feed kids during the summer months a free breakfast and lunch), at a soup kitchen or a back to school supply event, doing something that helps others smile, often brings your internal joy out of hiding.
*Join a program through a local hospital that certifies individuals to hold babies in the NICU, providing them with the bodily contact they need while their families cannot be with them.

Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.”
-Henri J.M. Nouwen

What about the days where it just all seems like too much?

*Allow yourself a mental health day, a day in bed, a day watching Hulu or Netflix, a day to chill, but don’t allow this to become a week, set a time limit.
*Make sure your medication is working, or your self help techniques are still valid, go through your calendar and make sure that what feels like a few days down in the dumps is truly a few days and not a new pattern emerging.
*Schedule an emergency meeting with your therapist or counselor, either in person or over the phone, allowing yourself to tumble to far into the darkness is unhealthy.
*Log onto www.supportgroups.com, we are always here!

“There is joy in self-forgetfulness. So I try to make the light in others' eyes my sun, the music in others' ears my symphony, the smile on others' lips my happiness.”
-Helen Keller

Joy may seem elusive, but it is a part of us, an innate gift within, don’t lose hope that you can’t seem to find it, it is there, it just has to find its way to shine.

As always, you inspire us, you encourage us and we are so grateful that you allow us to be a part of your journey.

All the best-
Team SG

Resources:
https://anxiety.supportgroups.com/
https://narcissist.supportgroups.com/
https://family.supportgroups.com/

Finding Joy

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