Choose Joy this December!

Choose Joy this December!

Yes, 2020 has been a rough year. The most prominent topic, of course, is the Covid-19 pandemic that has changed our lives drastically.  There have been other huge controversies over politics and racial tensions. Folks have lost friends because of disagreements about a point of view. Many people feel defeated. It’s a difficult time to live in.

However, we cannot let these situations determine our outlook on life, our hope for the future, or our joy in the present.

Hopefully, you’ve seen my #StressLess #ChooseJoy posts. It’s something I talk with people about, often. Even during stressful experiences, we can choose to respond with joy.  It isn’t always easy, and it may even take a few hours, or a day or so, but we must come back to the focus and decide to choose joy for ourselves.

I believe happiness and joy are two different things.  For me, happiness is when you are reacting to outside circumstances. Something happened that made you happy.  For example, I love to visit with my grandchildren. When Covid hit, I had a six-month gap in my visits. I was not happy about that.  And yet, I was able to choose joy in knowing that they were all healthy, and I would see them soon.  Of course, video chats helped too.

It need not be our circumstances that determine our feelings. We can choose how we react to situations.

I recently had a very frustrating experience and could feel my stress rising. Thankfully, when the event was complete, I called my husband to vent and let it go. It’s beneficial to have a couple of people you can vent to. (*Side note, make sure it isn’t always your spouse.) People that know you well and know that you don’t want them to do anything but listen and let you get something off your chest.

Do you have a vent friend?  If you don’t, you need to get one. Perhaps you are a vent friend. I’m sure the other person appreciates that immensely!  Make sure that you have both, someone you can talk to, and someone that you will listen to. They don’t even need to be the same person. Different people are better in different situations. 

However, don’t be only a venter. It may be tough to keep a vent friend if all you do is tell them your problems. Also, don’t be only a listener. That can put a heavy burden on you. If you are overstressed, you can’t take on someone else’s mess. Same with them. It’s about balance.

This December, with hopes of the Covid pandemic being over soon (but doubts), I wish you a month of JOY to finish the year strong.  Remember… #StressLess  #ChooseJoy.