Life & Family

Finding Joy in Tough Times

I wasn’t going to talk about the pandemic taking place right now with the Corona Virus as everyone is very passionate about this subject. We all have our own thoughts and feelings, and to each their own. This post is not about who is right or wrong, it is going to be about trying to see the good in life and looking for ways to see a little joy, light or hope in the darkness.

Before you get upset. . . Yes, I realize there is cause for concern at this time and I don’t want to downplay all that is going on by any means. This virus is serious and is affecting the lives of everyone worldwide and is undoubtedly a scary time for all. It is easy to get caught up on the media, worry, and crisis.

Worrying and stressing over the “what if’s” can really affect you, your health, happiness and your loved ones. What you think and talk about, is ultimately what comes to fruition. Stress and worry leads to more stress and worry for you and all those around you.

I won’t be getting into the details and recommendations of staying safe. There is more than ample enough information about this subject everywhere you look. Instead, I thought maybe spreading a little positivity in our scary times might be of help to some. I do wish you all the best in health and hope that you are taking precautions while staying both safe and healthy in these crazy times!!

Let’s turn some of our thoughts and efforts to try focusing on some positive and how to get through this with a clear mind and happy heart. Let’s be intentional with our time. Let’s enjoy time with our family and maybe get a few things done around the house.

Maybe try the following: organize your home, spring clean, de-clutter, teach our children items they won’t learn in school, plant a garden, watch a few movies, Skype with family and friends, write a good old fashion letter to someone far away, send a card to someone to brighten their day, and just be kind to others and thankful for all that we do have right now.

Being at home with your spouse and children is priceless and you will never get this time back. Be in the moment and make the most of it. Play board games, eat lunch on the back porch, plan a movie day with fun snacks, go for walks together, get help around the house with dishes, laundry, cleaning, etc. It may be a full house for long periods of time with everyone in each others space. But to me, that is what family is all about. It is about being together. It’s not always perfect but it is pretty spectacular and I wouldn’t change it for anything!

Are you suddenly homeschooling and maybe freaking out a little?? Homeschooling doesn’t have to be hard or stressful. You won’t break your kids with a few months of learning from home I promise 😉 We have been homeschooling for several years now. It’s not always perfect and sure we have our good and bad days just like everyone else. But overall it is great and we love it.

While your kids may be doing their normal schoolwork either online or with packets from their teachers, you can also take this time to teach your children things they probably won’t learn in school. Does anyone else remember Home Economics, Art and Music classes? I don’t think it’s the norm for most schools to have these classes any longer and it really is a shame. Now would be a great time to teach your kids some of these life skills that you learned and/or naturally possess. Skills like how to cook, how to clean, how to write a check and balance a checkbook, or how to address an envelope. Teach them something that you are passionate about or a skill that you know will be beneficial in life that they may not learn anywhere else.

Let them choose books they love (or in a field of interest or topic) and have them read for a minimum of 30 minutes each day. Take advantage of free online resources for education, watch documentaries on history, social studies or science, listen to audio books either from Audible, a kindle tablet or free from the library.

Start a garden or container garden by growing plants from seeds. This can be part of a science experiment as well. Have them do a google search on “how to grow plants from seeds” to find directions on how to begin, what they will need and understand what to expect. Have them chart the daily progress, note the changes in growth each day until plant is formed and growing. Watering and caring for plants can teach discipline, patience and follow through. They work at something each day until they see the results take shape and reap the rewards of actual homegrown edible foods or beautiful flowers.

Or on the other hand, maybe the first try didn’t go so well, maybe they over or under watered the plants and were unsuccessful. They need to start over and learn that sometimes the first try was just the practice. Get back out there and try again until you succeed – which is perseverance. This may seem simple and small, but it is a life lesson that needs to be developed. You can never obtain great results with anything if you never try or give up~

Here is a small section of container gardening we started last weekend. With a combination of plants, flowers. tomatoes, strawberries, peppers, pumpkin, herbs and more. You can have more or less. Just utilize the resources and space you have to give it a try.

Here are a few starter pack of seed ideas that are inexpensive:

Have your kids take time in creating using their hands and minds doing arts and crafts projects, drawing, painting, making doll furniture, building something new and from scratch out of their legos, taking pictures of nature, recording videos or taking pictures of family time (this will be great for learning and for memories in the future). Anything to be creative.

Maybe cooking or baking would be of interest to them. Believe it or not, there is math and chemistry involved. This could look like measuring ingredients and learning fractions, or counting the cups of flour needed. Mixing & combining ingredients from a dry consistency to a moist or wet state, then seeing the chemical concept of rising, changing shape, consistency and form (like cookies or bread) while it bakes and when it is done. Or simply just learning how to cook and find creativity and confidence in themselves.

In our house, we sometimes create our own version of Chopped from the Food Network. On a smaller scale of course, with random ingredients from our kitchen pantry and refrigerator. It’s great family time for sure with lots of fun and laughter. Some of the concoctions are good and some are not… but ultimately it’s great memories and lots of dirty dishes haha!

This delicious Starbucks inspired drink was made by my youngest today. She was wanting to go out to Starbucks and seeing as we are trying to stay home as much as possible, I encouraged her to make one on her own. Using our high speed Vitamix blender, she whipped it up in a snap! Then everyone wanted one and she was on a roll with different flavors & ingredients. This is how it turned out and let me tell you – it was delicious! Dare I say even better. And even cheaper. Making these drinks and seeing the joy and hearing the compliments we all gave really made her feel good. You could see it all over her face and she was eager to keep going – it was awesome in so many ways.

~ I think she will now be our personal barista for iced coffee at home ~

Just let them be creative and dive deeper into whatever inspires them or sparks interest. Not just sitting around “being bored”, playing video games and texting their friends. They may groan a little about it, but once they get going on something they enjoy or love, they will take the time and be happier (even if they don’t admit it and/or realize it). And they will be learning naturally.

When we spend time doing things we love, we are naturally curious and enjoy spending the time doing it. Who knows what it can lead to in the future for a career choice or their own business.

Now let’s talk about you… Are you sitting there wondering what to do with all your free time? Maybe you don’t have children and most of the above is not of interest or need to you. I get that too, so here are some thoughts for you as well. 😊

What are you interested in? Do you even know anymore? It can be difficult to remember what you love or enjoy as you probably spend most of your time working and living life. Maybe you don’t enjoy doing the things you used to any longer as you or your interests have changed.

Do you enjoy painting, drawing, or play a musical instrument? Do you like to write, take pictures, or garden? Maybe you’ve thought about starting YouTube channel or a blog, writing a book or starting a small business making jewelry, teaching a course online or simply getting caught up on scrap-booking many years of photos and memories.

Well friends, now just might be the best time of your life to try one of these out… Take some time to read, research, eat healthy, exercise or meditate.

Whatever it is that sparks joy in you – now is the time to hone in on those areas and live life with intention and happiness.

One last thought is to think of your mental health and the air you breathe. Diffusing essential oils can lift your spirits and clean the air in your home at the same time. Such great benefits all around.

You can read more about my thoughts on essential oils in this post . I have a few items listed below with quick links if you are unfamiliar with essential oils or just want to check out something new to add to your collection.

Until next time ~ I wish you all joy, health and happiness ~ xoxo

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