8 Tips for Creating Joy at Home

Merriam Webster defines joy as “the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires” and “a state of happiness…bliss.” No offense to Merriam, but I think this definition leaves out a key component of the meaning of joy, that is – home. After all, who hasn’t felt the strong desire to go home at the end of the day or experienced a moment of bliss when stepping through the door after a long, hard work day. 

While the always reliable Merriam defines home as simply “one’s place of residence,” for most of us, home is much more than that. It is our refuge, our comfort, our safety zone, or at least we want it to be. We definitely assign feelings, dare I say spirit, to our place of residence – it’s even hard to say the word home without conjuring feelings…try it, you’ll see. 

Of course, in spite of our best efforts, we can’t help but bring our distractions from the outside world home with us, sometimes mindlessly depositing them into our precious space, leaving them to sit and simmer in what should be our sanctuary of, well, joy.  

So, here’s a few tips on creating an atmosphere that allows joy to flourish at home. 

  1. First, when asked how they create joy in their home, many busy people give the same, simple answer – ugh, I wish… If you are one of these people, I hear you. It’s almost involuntary to get home from work and vent to your roommate, partner, cat or just yourself about the difficulties of the day. I think venting is okay, as long as you don’t skip the step about processing and letting go. In her book The Wisdom of No Escape, Pema Chodron talks about the importance of being present in order to feel joy. She explains that “Resentment, bitterness, and holding a grudge prevent us from seeing and hearing and tasting and delighting.” We are definitely not present when we are venting, we are dwelling on the hardship of our day, which has already passed. So, yes, vent away, then process however you see fit and try a few of these suggestions to help you move past the tensions of the day. 

  2. To aid in the letting go part, many people have turned to the age-old ritual of burning sage or incense to cleanse the home space of any lingering toxic energy. Vogue ran an article on saging in its August 2016 issue, which highlights the benefits according to Energy Practitioner, Colleen McCain. McCain believes burning sage is a good way to “clean out bad energy” and that sage really has become “a common household tool.” I love the calming effect it has and it’s the first thing I do when I get home. 

  3. I am also a bath fanatic. There’s nothing like a hot bath with Epsom salts and lavender oil to heal the wounds of a busy work day. Although the healing ability of the magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salts is scientifically unproven (see WebMD), I’m a believer 😊.

  4. Since I’ve always turned to nature to uplift me, I try to live near parks in the city. To look out the window and see trees and sky gives me a palpable sense of joy. It truly helps me to slow down and be present. Henry David Thoreau, who certainly mastered being present in nature, backs me on this – “You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.” 

  5. Drunk Yoga’s Operations Manager, Liz, makes some excellent points about bringing joy into her home. For her, it’s important to have an organized home. She says it gives her an immediate mental break from the craziness of the outside world.

  6. Liz also loves how happy meaningful art in her home makes her feel. This can be anything from framed artwork to souvenir trinkets picked up while travelling. Putting your own personal touches on a home, that is, not just coordinating colors and styles and all that, but incorporating objects that mean something to you, is vital to creating a joyful environment for yourself. 

  7. Liz also says plants in her home make her happy. Plants are also a great way to bring nature indoors. 

  8. Many people find cleaning a great stress reliever (not me, but many). Just the physical activity of cleaning can help release tension and who doesn’t love the peace that comes with having a clean home. For some of those aforementioned many people, the joy is not in the cleaning itself, but the satisfaction that comes from a clean house. It can be easier to handle what life throws our way when we’re starting from a clean, orderly home base. 

I think it’s safe to say, that consciously creating joy in our own homes is vital to well-being. Joy heals us, uplifts us and most importantly, pulls us into the present. I love the idea of every one of us having our own version of a joyful home to return to at the end of the day. 

 

5 Ways to Treat an Accidental Hangover

Oops…that feeling…ugh. You wake up in the morning with a dry mouth and slight headache, wanting to kick yourself for that last glass of wine (was it glass #3 or more? did I forget to eat? double ugh). Knowing you have a full day ahead, you just want to hit the ground running, but that fog of heaviness has seeped through every pore in your body and settled in your head and digestive tract for the day. It’s slowing you down. What to do? Fortunately, there are a few remedies that do not involve “hair of the dog.”

Here’s some tips:

  1. First, and this is important, forgive yourself. That’s right, the fact that you’re mad at yourself for this unplanned road block in your day says that hangovers are not part of your life plan. Spending the day giving in to that proverbial kick by verbally abusing yourself in your mind is just going to make things harder. It was a momentary lack of judgment, that’s all. You made a mistake that caught up to you, but you are not a mistake. You are human – perfect in our imperfection, I like to say.

  2. Hydrate. Lemon water is best for hydrating in my experience, because it’s easy on and soothing to the stomach. It helps with digestion, too. Coconut water is also great for re-hydrating quickly. What’s more, today would be a great day to try out that hydrating electrolyte powder you keep forgetting to use after you exercise. Personally, I like Shaklee Performance Hydrate Electrolyte Powder. It’s low sugar and is made from coconut water powder

  3. Eat easy to digest, highly nutritious food. Even though you might be craving a greasy burger and fries, your body will forgive you faster if you opt for healthier foods. In an article written for Cosmopolitan magazine by Catrionna Harvey-Jenner (September 2017), a number of nutritionists suggest avocado as the food of choice to ease hangover symptoms. Weight Watchers nutritionist Steph Williams explains that scrambled eggs and avocado toast “works a dream” when she’s hungover and “sets me up to make better food choices for the rest of the day.” In a similar article for Elle magazine by Kristina Rodulfo (December 2015), chef Amanda Cohen (Dirt Candy) swears by an avocado and egg sandwich to satisfy her craving for something “salty, savory, and comforting” on hangover days.  

  4. If you’re suffering from the kind of hangover that makes the thought of healthy food out of the question, try munching on some blueberries to start (just my personal experience). A simple protein shake would be great on a day like this, as well, and might be easier to consume than actual food that needs chewing.

  5. Of course, the best part of a hangover day is going to bed early that night. Getting enough sleep is vital to recovery and a sweet release to the self-inflicted challenges of getting through a busy day hungover.

But, by the end of the day, hopefully your hangover has subsided, you’re re-hydrated and have a happier head and stomach. So forgive, enjoy the good sleep and better luck the next time you’re faced with that having one last drink decision…