I lay in bed, listening to the sounds of the neighbourhood, fragments of light making their way in from around the blinds. I contemplated the night ahead. As everyone around me arrived home from work, flipped on their kettles, cooked their dinner and settled down in front of the TV with cosy blankets, I was preparing for an hour’s drive in the dark, rainy night to begin a 12 hour shift and I felt…heavy.
As I had the time to think (I wasn’t sleeping anyway!), I tried to come up with a list of good things about night shifts – an excuse to fill the fridge with nice food, the feeling of snuggling back in bed as everyone else went to work and the fact that sometimes the quiet darkness and hushed tones of the hospital at night can be a blessing for those of us who have a tendency for sensory overwhelm!
Ok, that felt a little better – now how to bring the joy?
Choosing some brightly coloured socks, packing a slice of cake for later, little snippets of joy peppered through the night. It didn’t change the situation but I felt a lot better about it and the heaviness lifted.
Choosing joy is like a muscle, the more we exercise it, the easier it is to access when we’re under stress. You deserve to feel joy and contentment and the presence of it in you may just bring some joy to others too.
Where could you bring some more joy into heartsink activities? Perhaps you’ve got some paperwork you’ve been procrastinating over – could you make yourself your favourite hot drink and put on some focus music to ease you into it? Maybe you have to go to an appointment you’ve been dreading, could you get some time in nature or call into a cafe afterwards to lift your spirits?
Where have you chosen joy recently? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.