If you look at the news these days, it’s so easy to get sad or angry. There is so much bad going on in the world that it’s sometimes incredibly difficult to find the good. To maintain a relatively healthy mental state, I try to make sure I think about things that I’m grateful for every day. It’s one of the 7 tools I use to make each day just a little bit better. You can find the full list here! The list below is full of things that I’m grateful for, things that are bringing me joy these days. Some are products, some are things, and some are just little parts of life that put a smile on my face.
8 Things That Are Bringing Me Joy
- My pets. If you follow me on any social media app (especially Instagram), you know I’m basically obsessed with my animals. I have a dog, Bailey, and a horse, Prancer, who are basically my children. My mom and step-dad, with whom I am living at the moment, have two more dogs and a cat. Having all of these animals around might bring about a little chaos sometimes, but more than that, they provide unconditional love. And entertainment. I can always count on my fur babies to snuggle with me or make me laugh no matter how bad of a day I’ve had.
- My Plants. My plants are my not-so-furry babies. I might be a little bit of a crazy plant lady, but I’m super okay with that. Now that it’s spring, many of them are blooming and I’m so excited! I think my favorite thing about owning plants is watching them grown. Some of my plants I’ve had since I lived in Colorado and managed to survive the trip out here. One of my favorites, my Rex Begonia (below), almost died during that trip. All of the leaves wilted and died, fell off, and left only the root. I was ready to throw it out, but my mom suggested I wait and see if it grew back. This week, six months after its near-death experience, it bloomed. The sheer resilience of plants like this is incredibly inspiring to me. But honestly, just caring for them and seeing them every day brings me so much happiness.
- True Crime Books. Okay, I know. Why would murder books be bringing me joy, right? But I’m a sucker for true crime, especially when it’s incredibly written. I recently finished I’ll Be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara and The Stranger Beside Me by Anne Rule. Both books are dark and honestly a bit scary, but I find them utterly fascinating and they’re so well done. In a way, these books also make you think about your own life a bit differently. Reading them makes you realize that life is precious and we need to embrace the good.
- Staying Hydrated. This one might sound a little weird, too. But honestly, I notice a huge difference in how I feel when I’m actually drinking enough water. Even if it does mean I’m running to the bathroom more than I’d like (thanks IC). Seriously, keeping a water bottle like this one on hand has made a huge difference in my overall wellness. Living with chronic illness makes staying hydrated even more important, as dehydration can be debilitating for me. But for those of you who don’t live the chronic life, hydration is equally as important! Staying hydrated has been shown to improve skin health, digestive health, and overall wellbeing!
- Chocolate. I mean, come on. how could chocolate NOT bring me joy? I’m especially partial to dark chocolate and nut butter combos like my Honey Cashew Butter Cups, but really all chocolate does it for me. Now, I’m not suggesting you should look for emotional gratification in food. That can lead to some disordered eating behavior. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with enjoying a little treat every day! Especially when it makes you happy. And is chocolate.
- Cooking for Others. Seeing as I’m in a super transitional place and don’t currently have a job, I feel like food is something I can give to others. As a result, preparing food (usually snacks) for the people in my life is bringing me so much joy these days. My favorites to make for friends and family right now are my Gluten Free, Dairy Free Pancakes; the Honey Cashew Butter Cups I mentioned earlier; and my Loaded Zucchini Cookies. But even if it’s not one of my own recipes, I love being able to provide something to those I love!
- My Frother. This one is super specific, I know. But seriously, I start every single day off with this thing. I use it to make my morning adaptogenic hot chocolate, something that has quickly become like coffee to me. I’m a creature of habit, and this habit is all about taking the time to sip on something warm and nourishing to start the day. The best part about this frother is that it not only froths my drink, but mixes and warms it too! It’s saves me so many dishes, and any time I don’t have to do dishes is a time of immense joy.
- Leaves. With longer days and warmer temperatures, spring is very much here. And with spring comes leaves! This may seem strange, but living on a small walnut farm, I’m super aware of the leaves on our trees. I’ve been watching the branches in our orchard become more and more green everyday and it’s just beautiful. Part of this is probably a normal seasonal mood change that comes along with longer, sunnier days. But I don’t care. Seeing the green leaves fill our trees brings me more joy than I could say. And I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.
Whether it’s nature, a particular food, or your fur babies, let me know below: What’s bringing you joy these days?