How do you define joy? A feeling, or an emotion? I see it as a way to experience the world, for example, do you ever wish that fairies were real? Possibly dragons existed, or maybe a musical could start at any moment in the park you walk through every Saturday afternoon? I feel you. Life has magical moments: a kiss at sunset, a beautiful view after a hike, or a slight breeze ruffling your hair as if God reached down and tucked it behind your ear.
These moments are woven into our lives, but sometimes we want to add in our own dash of goodness. Here are my 10 favorite ways to define joy and add whimsy to your days.
‘But does it spark joy?’
In the morning before getting dressed, look at yourself in the mirror and ask, ‘what would bring me joy to wear today?’ maybe it’s bright colors, or a pair of boots you haven’t touched in a while, or some red lipstick. Use the idea as the base for what you wear that day. You may not be able to wear your Captain Marvel cosplay, but that leather jacket makes you feel powerful and might fit the bill for your longing!
Take yourself on a date
An Artist Date is an idea from The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. What is one thing you could do this week that would feed your soul or make you smile? Maybe it’s eating Dippin Dots by the dock, checking out a thrift shop, museum, or flying a kite in a park. We get tied up in everyone else’s plans that taking time for ourselves may seem selfish, but you’ll come back feeling refreshed and excited.
Make it rain compliments
Encouraging others and seeing beauty in the world is an ability many have, but not always express. Set a goal to compliment or encourage three people a day. If you see something, say something! Defining joy in their lives will only help make your day even better.
Take a break from Social Media
Social Media is a tool, we can use it, or it can use us. Taking a weekend off gives us space to breathe without comparing, and reminds us of the goodness all around us. If this isn’t doable, set times you will use it, 8 am-8 pm. Having mini-breaks is just as good to remind you your worth does not exist on the phone.
Although this is a real thing, you can leave the soap at home. Take a walk in a local park or forest. Spending time in nature helps us relax, even if you aren’t au-naturel.
Make it Red
Red lipstick has a way of making you feel bold and strong. Have a bad day, wear red lipstick. Feeling sick? Wear red lipstick. Feeling fierce and fabulous? Wear red lipstick. Pro tip: People see your red lipstick and assume you know what you are doing, roll with it; put your head up, shoulders back, and move with purpose. It also adds a boost of confidence when you look at yourself in the mirror. There are many shades of red lipstick, so it might take a few tries to find yours. My personal favorite is Outlaw by Kat VonD Beauty.
Get a tattoo…or 20
I don’t mean a real tattoo, temporary tattoos! Grab a friend and run to your nearest store, grabbing Disney, glitter butterfly, or even gold temporary tattoos. Put them everywhere, your arms, chest, you could have a whole leg sleeve. Although it may seem silly, nostalgia and the absurdity of wondering if Cinderella is bicep material or not is a sure way to bring joy to your heart.
Does it pass the twirl test?
Dancing is one of my favorite ways to boost my mood. Before you leave the house, put on your favorite jam and do a twirl test, maybe your scarf catches the wind, or your shoes glide on the floor. It’s a fun way to define joy in your day and make you feel ready to take on the world. My personal jams of late: Good Morning by Mandisa & Capital Kings, Fool by Fitz and the Tantrums, and Gonna be a Good Day by Rayelle.
Have a meditative moment
It’s essential to pause and reflect each day. Not doing so can leave us feeling frazzled and out of sorts. Set a timer for 5 minutes and go for a walk, sit outside, or lay on your bed. 5 minutes where no one, including yourself, needs anything from you. It’s okay to not do. You need time to also BE.
Make it pink, make it blue!
Have a pair of shoes that don’t feel entirely in style anymore? Or a jacket that could use some pizazz? If you aren’t wearing it anyways, have an artistic adventure and deck it out. Paint on mandalas, sew on a broken necklace, or glue on the trim you have laying around from a past project. Not only will your partner appreciate the ‘to use in future project’ pile slimming down, but you’ll have an article of clothing that is unique and all your own! Feel daunted to try this on your own? Keep your eye peeled on my page for a video about my favorite way to upcycle boots and clothes!
Let me know what your favorite tip is on how to define joy from this list, or if you have one I didn’t mention. Life is full of possibilities for you to explore new avenues of growth and seeing beauty in the world around you.