Choose Joy.

I was recently watching Grey’s Anatomy and in one of the episodes, they were talking about happiness and joy. Looking for joy and finding some happiness or doing things that made you happy. The looking for joy, really hit me.

It is all about our mindset and how we choose to view things. I could wake up in the morning and be annoyed or irritated at work. I could be frustrated with my commute. I could just be an unhappy person to be around. Frustrated with my circumstances, finances, the way the world is going.

or

I could wake up and smile. I could feel the happiness. I could look for things throughout my day that bring me more and more joy. Did you know that when you smile, it helps your mood?

I recently started smiling when answering the phone and my overall mood on the phone is happier. Customers seem to be happier too. Talking with a smile on your face seems to help lift any mood.

All of this sounds so grand and easy. Wake up and be happy, choose joy. We all know it isn’t that simple though. There are going to be days that no matter how hard you try, it is hard to see the joy. You are going to wake up on the wrong side of the bed and not be able to fix it. There will be days where nothing seems to go right and there will be days where it all seems to fall apart. This is okay. The important part is that you keep trying. Every day. Keep trying to find ways to choose joy. Keep working on being kind to your neighbor. At a certain point, you won’t have to keep trying, it will just come naturally. I am on the path of trying, everyday, trying to be better than I was the day before. Choosing Joy. Choosing Happiness.

Just remember, joy doesn’t have to be some grand gesture or experience. It could be someone complementing your glasses or opening the door for you or complementing your shoes! It is the little things, they matter the most. While you are on the outlook for joy, don’t be afraid to show kindness to others. If you like someone’s outfit, tell them. Imagine the world we could live in, if people started paying attention to others and were nice. For my introverts, this is harder to do trust me I am right there with you. The more you do it, the easier it gets. You never know how much you can brighten someone’s day by complementing them though.

Choose Joy and Share some love, we could all use a little more love.

Activities That Help Combat Depression

Depression. 

The Webster definition states – a state of feeling sad: low spirits: melancholy specifically: a mood disorder that is marked by varying degrees of sadness, despair, and loneliness and that is typically accompanied by inactivity, guilt, loss of concentration, social withdrawal, sleep disturbances, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.

Depression looks different for different people. It can come in all shapes and sizes. I have never been clinically diagnosed but I have experienced the days where you cry and you don’t know why. The days where all you want to do is stay in bed. The baby blues. The overwhelming feeling of not knowing when things are going to get better. Not every person may have had that same experience but at some point everyone has experienced some of those feelings in that definition.

At what point are people considered depressed? To be diagnosed with depression, you have to visit a doctor, they have to take tests and do evaluations. What happens when you finally take the step to meet with a doctor, but by the time your appointment comes around, you are already feeling better? What if you are one of those people that just continues to push through? You push through the sadness and loneliness because, well, you have people depending on you.  

While you may not know someone directly who is suffering from depression, I am almost positive you know someone who knows someone who is suffering. Mental health is sometimes an issue that is overlooked, a topic that is not readily discussed. Be sure to check on your friends, you never know what kind of internal battle someone else is fighting. A simple – “Hey, I am thinking about you, hope all is well’ – goes a long way. We get so busy and wrapped-up with our daily lives that sometimes we forget others. We can all do better about sharing some love, me included. 

Some days for me are harder than others. Then you have those days that are just simply amazing. I want more of those days. Below are some tips and tricks that I practice to help me, these may not work for you, but it never hurts to give them a try. 

  • Meditating – this is something new that I started about two months ago. I am still learning and I don’t always get it right, but it helps me push all the worries and anxiety away and clears my head. I try to do this every morning after I get up. 
  • Journaling – this is the second thing I do in the mornings. Any thoughts from yesterday, any lingering worries, anything that I need to get out, goes down on paper. At the end, I also include what I am working on for the day that needs to get done. This helps give me some direction on what I am doing and helps me stay on track to hit my goals. 
  • Learning new things – I love learning, so I am always either reading or taking some online course to continue to educate myself 
  • Listening to Music – music has always soothed my soul. Depending on what mood I am in, I know exactly what music to play that helps me. 
  • Sleep – this one is hard sometimes, but I always try to get a good night’s sleep. That may include me going to bed early some nights, but sometimes that is the best thing for you. 

Some other things to try that may help include: 

  • Creating a routine, doing things you enjoy, setting attainable goals and then rewarding yourself for hitting those goals, spending time in nature, volunteering, trying something new, exercise, and watching what you eat and drink

We are all different, while one thing works for you, it won’t always work for someone else. Take the time to learn what works for you, take the time to figure out what you enjoy and do more of that. Know that it is okay to struggle and that you are not alone. Life is meant to be full of joy and happiness, don’t miss the amazing blessings that God gives us everyday. 

Check on your friends and share some love, we could all use a little more love.   

XOXOXO

Casey

One of the Many Reasons We as a Society are Getting it Wrong

My friend recently wrote about the intense amount of pressure that society puts on men. As a woman, we feel a different kind of pressure but reading his version hit home.

Where did we go wrong as a society? Why are men expected to be strong, handle everything life throws at them without a tear, be the breadwinners, and know how to fix everything? Why as women are we expected to get married right after you finish that four-year degree you may never use and start a family? To keep the house clean, cook, and do all the laundry? (Bless the man that marries me as my cooking skills could use some help!)

I realize as I have gotten older some of the things have shifted, at least for the women, but have they shifted for the men? Are men allowed to be emotional? Are they allowed to not be perfect?

Which brings me to how unfreaking kind our society is. We are all humans and we all make mistakes. He also wrote about how people are judgemental and I see it every day. If you make a mistake, people will write you off in a heartbeat. But, not just write you off, they will go and tell their circle, and then put it on social media, telling complete strangers what kind of person you “really” are. Yet, I can almost guarantee you they have made some of the same mistakes in their own life.

We are so far from perfect and instead of actually caring about other human beings, most people put themselves first. Whatever they can do to get ahead because that is the end goal, right? Why? Why is it so hard to be nice to people? To forgive, to allow for GRACE because we all need it in our life. We are given grace every single day by the Big Man upstairs, yet we can’t show it to others.

However, there is one huge benefit. You find out who your people are. If your so-called friend is that quick to turn on you, then that person doesn’t need to be in your circle. Your circle is probably one of the most important things in your life. Where all your positive juju and good feelings come from. What does your circle look like?

I feel like people come into our lives at different times, some stay for longer periods than others, and some stay for the rest of your time, but there is always an opportunity to learn from others, even if the lesson is a tough one to swallow. Just remember, you are in charge of the people you decide you want in your life. It’s been said we are an average of the 5 people we hang out with the most (or something like that), how are your top 5 people looking? Right now, Napoleon Hill is gracing my presence as I am nose-deep in one of his books. Things you consume matter too.

We as a society need to start doing better, we need to stop with the pressure and the expectations and let people live for once. You never know the relationships and friendships that may form from getting to know a person once the walls have been brought down. Now, don’t get me wrong, there will be times when mistakes are made and there is no coming back from them. Try forgiveness instead of bashing. Try letting go of the anger instead of keeping it inside.

For all of the people in your life, let them know it’s okay to be themselves. If they want to cry, cry it out. I love a good cry. For the rest of society….

Share some love, we could all use a little more love
XOXOXOXO
Casey