How Do You Activate Your Joy?
“Can’t nothing bring me down. My level’s too high! “
This is an interesting time of year. There is so much joy and reflection that comes with the holiday season - celebrating with those you love most, awarding yourself for goals accomplished, catching up with friends, the traditions of decorating and baking. It can also be a difficult time of year for many. Sometimes it’s hard to get over the missing presence of a lost loved one. Or, family trauma that still needs to be worked through.
This year was the year of self-awareness and self-care. There was no shortage of articles, think-pieces and tips on finding ways to tap into those things that make you feel comforted, relaxed, and restored. A recent question from one of our blogger faves on Instagram asked, “How do you activate your joy?” It really made us think about the space we go to instantly draw good, positive vibes.
We share the love of movement and fitness. There aren’t too many workouts that don’t leave us feeling rejuvenated. From lifting heavy weights, to the dark lights of a spin studio, to a bass-pumping hip hop class, we are quick to book a class when we need a pick me up or let frustrations go. But, we also like to hold space outside of the gym to tap into our inner happy place. We both love talking to our besties on the phone, or being around our close friends and loved ones, laughing until tears are falling down our face and our we doubled over in pure joy. But we also appreciate the quieter moments, when we individually retreat to spaces for an instant reboot.
There are so many things I do that bring me joy. As a California native, I love to go for walks on the beach at sunset with jazz playing in my headphones, and the feeling of the cool ocean breeze on my face. However, I must say, I feel my most authentic self in a bookstore. Growing up, I would spend hours in Borders (remember them), sitting on the floor, legs folded with a pile of books by my side. Getting lost in a sea of stories has always been an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of life. Today, well into my adulthood, when I’m beyond stressed, there is something very comforting about walking into my local Barnes and Nobel, grabbing a pile of books and magazines, and spending hours reading, albeit not on the floor, but in the cafe with a hot chai tea latte. When I'm not a bookworm, although still very much in a cool nerd space, I love to cozy up, with my dog by my side, and watch a good anime. I know that’s very random, but what can I say, the bright colors, and surprisingly deep stories, bring a smile to my face, especially now when I get to cue up the fireplace.
There is nothing that makes me feel instant calm and joy than a good book and a hot beverage. I started reading at a young age. A good fiction novel that transports me to different places and introduces me to complex characters is the most effective form of self-care for me. I love getting lost in different cultures and plots, or stories with female characters who overcome the odds placed against them. Some of my favorite books this year have been Crazy Rich Asians, The Hate U Give (I devoured this book in one day), and I am now starting Becoming by Michelle Obama (our forever fave and First Lady). What makes this experience even better is if I can curl up on my couch, or in a coffee shop, with a steaming cup of tea or latte. Just the thought of a warm cup in my hands and being wrapped up in a blanket brings an instant, smug smile to my face.
How do you activate your joy? We want to hear from you! Share in the comments below, or join the conversation on Instagram.