As sure as the sun rises and sets each day, you will have periods in your life when things are just not going your way. If 2020 taught us nothing else, it was that in reality, life is basically a constant fluctuation of emotional highs and lows…and sometimes it’s more low than high.
Finding Joy In Hard Times
While most of our time is spent in the fairly even, mundane state of emotional normalcy, this is broken up by the peaks of the best of times and unfortunately, the valleys when nothing is going right.
While hardly anyone ever seeks information on how to deal with the best moments of their lives, handling the lows can be a difficult task. Our troubled times today feature a pandemic has taken over most of the world, elections and governments that are out of control, and extreme climatic events…and people are being affected in many profound and very real ways.
Death, isolation, fear, facing the unknown and grief and loss can strip of us our joy and may lead to depression. While you cannot control what happens outside your door, you CAN control yourself. There are things you can do to maintain a positive and even joyful mindset.
Surround Yourself with the Right People
It is often said that we are the sum total of the five people we surround ourselves with most often. If that is the case, making sure you get the right people around you, especially when going through a difficult period, is critical to hold on to your joy. Often times when life is really beating us up, we retreat into the solitude of our home, wanting to throw the covers of our heads and be left alone with our thoughts.
Make no mistake; sometimes periods of solitude are healthy and necessary. Right now, isolation is the norm as we fight a health crisis. However, when you find yourself in a really low spot, robbed of your joy, connecting with those who make you happy is mandatory.
Although it may seem obvious in concept, avoiding people who have the opposite effect can sometimes be the real battle. Negative individuals are especially important to keep out of your life when you are already struggling to find joy in your current situation.
Remember That Nothing Is Permanent
“THIS TOO SHALL PASS”
Fortunately, nothing in life is permanent! Let’s state that again – this too shall pass.
During periods of extreme happiness and joy, thinking about the temporary nature of each season in life is not something we like to dwell on.
A Singular Truth
Whatever you are going through, no matter how bad it may be, it WILL pass.
In fact, most of the difficult times you experience in life will end without any extra effort on your part. It is so easy to get into the mentality that we have to put forth an immense amount of effort to make something bad go away.
Even though this is sometimes the case, most of the time, TIME is the only remedy for tough situations. If you want to maximize your joy during difficult times, remember that your situation is not the way things are, only the way they are RIGHT NOW.
Happiness Comes from Within
If you want to have joy on a consistent basis, your joy absolutely cannot be dictated by your circumstances. If you let every good thing that happens to you leave you soaring on cloud nine and every negative situation send you crashing to earth, you will go through life in a state of emotional exhaustion! Stable, consistent, sustainable joy can only be created and found within yourself.
Life is far less about what happens to you than it is how you react to it. You are in charge of how you feel. Don’t fall into the routine of letting happiness get to your head and failure to your heart.
Finding Joy By Cultivating Peace
One way to begin cultivating happiness within is to focus on gratitude. What are you grateful for today? Our family celebrates a Friday Box tradition, where we find something to be grateful for and celebrate each week. Sometimes it’s big, and other times it’s a very small thing, but it teaches the children (and adults!) to look for the good.
Another way you can cultivate happiness is to simply slow down. Granted, maybe not in that forced isolation form of slowness that 2020 brought, but in an intentional form of peace. Here are suggestions for helping begin that process.
Finally, with all the stresses of modern-day parenting, like trying to be everything to everyone, one way we can cultivate a sense of peace is by knowing, and internally believing, we are doing the best we can for our children. Knowing that you are putting healthy dinners on the table each night, without the daily stress, will help.
For homeschool parents, taking the time to go down the bunny trail of unit studies will bring a sense of peace to your learning environment, as well as teaching your students to learn for the joy of learning!
Find Joy With These Gifts
Through March 31st, 2021, Castle View Academy readers can take 50% off our Unit Study Planner and Easy Cooking Bundle with code CVA2021. Find your peace and happiness, and everything else will fall into place!
Yvie is a veteran homeschooling mom and the high school counselor for The Homeschool House, a non-profit organization. She helps to create unit studies and enjoys helping other families on their homeschool journey. When not teaching or counseling, she enjoys reading, spending time in her garden, and traveling the country with her boys. You can find her at Homeschool On the Range, on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.