8 sources of joy to keep any mama feeling nourished

#4. Quiet time. We are soooo in.

8 sources of joy to keep any mama feeling nourished

How do

you prioritize joy in your life?

Quiet time.


I am an

introvert at heart and need a lot of quiet time to be in my element. It helps

me reflect and connect to what I truly need.

Sometimes

it's meditation, other times it is a peaceful 10 minute walk between meetings

at work or in the evening while my husband gets my son ready for bed.

A

relaxing yoga class can also help, and I am intentional about blocking my

calendar at work for quiet chunks of time when I can think in silence.

My husband.

Finally,

I can't tell you about the sources of joy in my life without mentioning my

husband. He truly fills my bucket.

We eat

dinner together most nights and we make it a point to share special times

together, including lunches, hikes, journaling, fulfilling conversations, and

simply being together to experience the big and small parts of life as a team.

Nature.

There is

something about tall mountains, fresh air, and the smell of redwood trees that

really grounds me. Perhaps it's a reminder of how vast and majestic nature is. It

puts my presence and my life in perspective.

We try to

camp a few times a year and hike a few times a month. But, sometimes all I

really need is to walk in the park for 5 minutes after waking up to hear the

birds chirping or to pause for a minute and watch the sunset on my way back

from work to remind myself I am not that

busy.

Reading.

I love to

read and am so grateful to have access to the public library.

I make

time to read during car rides and on most nights for a few minutes before bed. My

son doesn't like me reading around him as he wants me to read his books to him

at that time, so bed time reading together can be a challenge! ?

When I

don't have time in my schedule to sit down and read, I also love audio books

and a few minutes every day add up fast!

Favorite people.

I am

incredibly blessed to have amazing friends and family with whom I share such

rich relationships.

Often, a

simple text message or phone call will make my day, but I also make it a point

to schedule time on my calendar with them.

It may be

a 6am Sunday hike, a spa date two months out, a weeknight dinner, lunch at

work, a quick phone call on my commute, or having my favorite friends and their

families over for a Friday night dinner. I also love scheduling time in the

park or the zoo with my friends who have kids.

Although

this doesn't happen every day, it means I get to catch up and connect with my

favorite people every week if I plan well in advance.

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Writing.

I rarely

dedicate long chunks of time to writing and my blog posts are often written in

chunks of 15-20 minutes.

I

remember once sitting in the car writing, waiting for my husband to finish a

bike race so I could cheer him on… my little one was napping in the car, which

makes things so much simpler sometimes!

Sticky

notes help and I try to carry a journal in my bag (of course, a phone works,

too!).

In my

experience, sometimes scheduling time for a personal passion, such as writing,

means turning down social plans on Friday night in order to wake up early on

Saturday to make time for it!

“You must

be so overwhelmed—you have so much on your plate. How do you find time to do

anything besides work, house, and little ones? I bet you have no leisure time.

How do you find time to read or exercise? Wait, you even get a massage?"

I get

asked this all the time. I have a feeling I'm not alone. Am I right, mama?

For a

long time before I had my own child, I thought my life would be like

this—chronically overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and exhausted with no time to

call my own or do anything outside of work and family.

Yes,

there are days when I can barely get through work. We order unhealthy take-out,

I only get a few thousand steps on my tracker, I have a few minutes (maybe

grumpy ones) with my husband, and I squeeze in a few exhausted minutes with my

child.

But, fortunately those days are rare.

Lately, I find most days to be

rich, bright, and joyful. Most days are also exhausting and require a lot of

planning to make sure I can schedule the time I need to keep my days efficient,

yet bright.

I have realized that work, my child, sleep, and the basics (i.e., food and shower) usually fit in, but if I don't schedule other joyful moments, they tend to slip by.

At the risk of falling into the common “My

life is boring, overwhelming, and exhausting" trap, I have learned to proactively schedule

and prioritize joy.

Here are

the 8 sources of joy I prioritize to keep my soul nourished.

Exercise.

I may not

be able to exercise for an hour every day, but I can make it to a 1 hour class

once or twice a week (even if it is at 6am) or squeeze in 10 minute Barre3 workouts on

my iPhone, which I loooooove.

For

impromptu exercise while I am out and about, I may try to do a few push-ups at

the park while my son plays in the sand (although lately he exclaims loudly, “Mama,

no exers!"), a family hike, walking

for 20 minutes to pick up my son from school, or a 10 minute walk in the

stroller after school.

It's also

fun trying to squeeze in a few minutes throughout the day. I try to take the

stairs at work, walk between meetings, and when I have a few spare minutes (or

while I am waiting for my hot chocolate), I walk.

Having a Fitbit with

awesome friends to hold me accountable works wonders.

Giving.

Giving back

has a huge impact on my own well-being and yet is something I often

procrastinate doing…

Sometimes it's the small things—a thank you note, baked cookies for loved ones, or a box of food for a neighbor—that fill my heart (and hopefully the hearts of others).

Sometimes

we may feel an inner pull to give back even more. Right now, I am feeling

incredibly passionate about the 10K project and a fundraiser that I am organizing.

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