HOW TO FEEL ALIGNED & FULL OF JOY, EVEN WHEN LIFE GETS OVERWHELMING
Picture yourself holding a cup of water. Then watch yourself pour a little bit of water out of the cup every time you deal with the everyday responsibilities of life - helping clients at work, caring for your family, listening to your friends, organising finances, running errands, fixing problems, emptying your emails, running late, etc.
Many of us are left at the end of the day with an empty cup, wondering why we feel so tired, overwhelmed and frazzled. But then we proceed to do it all the next day... we work hard to fill up the cups of people and things around us, yet we never stop to refill our own cup.
So it continues to get worse - our cup is never full - and eventually we find ourselves in a state of burn out, or worse - illness.
As much as we want to help others, and be successful, have everything in order & do it all, we have to realise it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup; we can’t help other people OR be successful if we haven’t filled our own cup first.
Over the years of running a successful business and living on a schedule that is always full, I’ve discovered a way to feel aligned and full of joy, even when life gets overwhelming.
Feeling in a state of flow, aligned and full of joy are often the result of having a cup that is not just full, but overflowing. This is how I am able to run a successful business, enjoy my life AND help other people around me without burning out.
The way I do this is by having a joy menu that I stick to no matter what, and in this post I’m going to show you exactly how to do the same.
What is a joy menu?
A joy menu is a list of things that you LOVE doing - things that fill up your cup. When you do these things you feel happy, at peace and like you’re in a state of flow.
Ticking items off my joy menu daily is a non-negotiable for me, especially when life is feeling extra overwhelming, or I’m upset, frustrated or anxious. Your joy menu should only be made up of activities that can take you away from these negative emotions and move you towards more positive emotions.
In other words, it’s a menu of things that bring you joy!
Creating your own joy menu
The first step to creating your own joy menu is to brainstorm a list of everything you love doing. Think of things that make you feel happy, things that make you feel calm and in flow, things that make you feel connected to yourself - anything that makes you feel good!
Here are some ideas to get you started:
being out in nature
going for a walk
playing with animals
belly laughs with your besties
a movie night in
a blow dry
taking a bath
getting a massage
cooking with your family
drawing or painting
Aim to come up with at least 20 different things, if not more, that make you feel amazing!
This list is your joy menu.
My personal joy menu looks something like this:
basking in the sun
getting in the ocean
watching something funny to wind down
having a good belly laugh
eating a nutritious but delicious meal
being out in nature
quality time with my family
reading a book i just cant put down
relaxing on the lounge watching a movie or documentary that makes me happy
The next step is to stick your joy menu somewhere you will see it several times a day - like the fridge, behind the bathroom door, on your bedroom mirror, at your office desk… I even recommend having multiple copies and putting it in all of these places!
The aim of the game is to be reminded of your joy items as much as possible, and keep adding to it when you think of new activities or things you love.
How to use your joy menu
Take some time to create a joy plan for yourself - this is the only way to make sure you tick off all the items on your list! There’s no point having a list of things that you love if you never follow through and do any of them…
My ritual is to place all my joy menu items sporadically throughout the days, weeks, months, quarters and years.
You’ll find some joy menu items you could do daily, like yoga or walking, but others won’t happen as frequently, like travel. With something like travel, you could pop it in your calendar as something you want to do quarterly (travelling is important to me, so I make sure I get away somewhere every 3 months!) or yearly.
On the other hand, some items will be seasonal! Things like sitting by the fireplace, skiing, celebrating holidays like Halloween, Christmas, or your birthday, etc. need to be categorised by season.
So take some time to categorise all your joy menu items and decide how often and when you would like to do them. Use the below as your categories:
To get the most our of your joy menu, I have 3 rules I live by:
There should be a MINIMUM of one joy menu item on your calendar, every single day.
Revisit your joy menu at the end of every month. Add to it and delegate items from your list for the month ahead. Keep track of how much you’re sticking to your joy menu item by ticking them off as you complete them.
Aim to complete 100 different joy menu items in the next 12 months. Got something big in there like skydiving or swimming with the sharks? Well…. Lock it in the diary! Take the time to set a tentative date and start working towards your plan to make it happen. Think about who you want to do certain activities with (ask them!), how much you’ll need to save (come up with a savings plan!) and whether you need time off work (ask now!)
Following these joy menu guidelines is exactly how I make sure my cup is always full so I can give the most to people around me without burning out.
Plus, life is SO much more enjoyable when you’re making time to have fun, relax and do things you love!
Now I invite you to share some of your fave joy menu items in the comments below, or if you’re part of the Healthstyle Emporium (my online 16 week holistic health program), share them in our exclusive facebook group here!
[Not part of the Healthstyle Emporium yet? Click here to ask me about our online nutrition, health and life coaching program!]