All about the mind Life lessons

Joy in the ordinary #FridayReflections

When you are depressed, everything looks bleak. It’s hard to find happiness anywhere. Nothing you do is good enough. Nothing that happens is good enough. Everything is an effort. Your head is muddled and you can’t figure out what you want. It’s like being in a state where you are so sleep deprived, that the only thing getting you functioning on auto-pilot is caffeine. Except, it doesn’t clear your head. It doesn’t give you joy. It just makes you go through the motions.

I’ve previously spoken about comparison and how that can kill our contentment. For me, while it wasn’t the trigger for my depression, it certainly hasn’t made it any better. Interestingly, the worse I feel, the more I compare and well, the worse I feel. It’s a vicious cycle.

On comparing with others, I guess I am chasing something elusive. Something extraordinary that might break through this blackness I’m engulfed with. Is it a big move down the coast? Is it travel for a month? Is it a better paid job? I don’t know. And that’s been a problem all along. I don’t know what I want but I feel like I’m waiting for this big bang that will make it all better.

Yet, I know realistically, that’s not possible.

I know that no matter how much I wait for something big to happen, something exciting to occur, chances are, it will be for a long, long time. Potentially by then, I’ll be so depressed that even that big thing will not be good enough. Sort of like a drug addict who gets used to a certain dose and needs more drugs to feel the original high.

And so, ironically enough, when I was planning my session for a depressed client, I came across a handout about pleasurable activities they could engage in to start to improve their mood. That’s when I realised what I haven’t been doing myself. I’ve been succumbing to my depression and avoiding people I know. I’ve been staying indoors curled up on the couch. I’ve been like a zombie, numb and listless.

Instead, as much as I don’t want to, I’ve got to start with the small things that will give me teeny bits of joy. That will lift me up in small ways. Slowly and steadily then, I can try and get out of this funk. Some things  I’ve thought of so far:

  • Exercise {fortunately, I have been doing this a bit more}
  • Paint my nails
  • Get my hair coloured
  • Get my fringe cut
  • Notice the colours of autumn
  • Light more candles and watch the flame
  • Take more photos
  • Get on the train on a weekend and go up or down the coast
  • Buy a coffee
  • Go for a walk on the esplanade at Cronulla
  • Have a bubble bath
  • Re-plant the plants in my garden
  • Book tickets to see a concert {I did this!}
  • Listen to music {I’ve reduced this since not driving to work anymore}
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Read {this too has been happening a lot}
  • Free write
  • Look through old photos
  • Planning a weekend away
  • Cooking a meal
  • Baking
  • Camping
  • Planning camping trips
  • An easy walk in the national park
  • Watching the waves at the beach
  • Getting a massage
  • Watching Netflix
  • Window shopping
  • Swimming
  • Playing with the cats
  • Spending time with friends
  • Playing board games
  • Kissing
  • Hugging
  • Crossing things off a to-do list

They are small things. Achievable things. Everyday things. I’ve got to focus on the joy they bring me. I’ve got remember what it feels like. Because if I keep chasing the big bang, I’m never going to be happy.

As Brené Brown said so eloquently, “Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary”

What ordinary moments bring you joy?

Do share!!!

*******

Living my Imperfect Life

If you are new to Friday Reflections, here’s what it’s about. It’s the end of the week, you’re probably exhausted with work, and all you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away.

Write Tribe and yours truly give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts to blog about and link up between Friday and Monday. After you link up, be sure to spread the love by visiting other bloggers who have linked up too.

Feel free to add our Friday Reflections badge to your post or sidebar! Follow us on Twitter @FridayReflect and join our Facebook Group. Share your post on social media with the hashtag #FridayReflections.

Prompts for this week:

  1. Is there a person you admire? Write a post about them and what it is you admire and why
  2. Write about doing something you don’t want to do/something you dread
  3. My name, what it means and why my parents chose it.
  4. Write a post using this quote as an inspiration or within your post: “Joy comes to us in ordinary moments. We risk missing out on joy when we get too busy chasing down the extraordinary” – Brene Brown
  5. Picture Prompt (credit Corinne Rodrigues)

corinnefr

Our featured writer for last week was Suzy Que. Her post really caught our eye!

Join in on Friday Reflections for this week here: 

***Also linking with Grace this Friday for FYBF***

Until next time,

Cheers!!!

SANCH_sig1

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  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    6 May 2016 at 8:12 am

    I like pretty nails and freshly coloured hair for a pick me up. Recently I bought a new top and cardi and caught sight of my reflection. As a bigger girl I don’t always stop to admire the view- I am what I am. But in the new combo, I looked great. Made me smile 🙂
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…How to Keep the Romance AliveMy Profile

  • Amy @ HandbagMafia
    6 May 2016 at 8:12 am

    I like pretty nails and freshly coloured hair for a pick me up. Recently I bought a new top and cardi and caught sight of my reflection. As a bigger girl I don’t always stop to admire the view- I am what I am. But in the new combo, I looked great. Made me smile 🙂
    Amy @ HandbagMafia recently posted…How to Keep the Romance AliveMy Profile

  • Anon
    6 May 2016 at 8:51 am

    You might be clinically depressed and require medication. I’m sorry to say but I’m worried for you. I have had depression since my early 20s and am now 34 . I have been on medication for that long and I wouldn’t be alive without it. Even a small maintenance dose can help. It’s not changing for you sanj I’m sorry u many need extra help

  • Anon
    6 May 2016 at 8:51 am

    You might be clinically depressed and require medication. I’m sorry to say but I’m worried for you. I have had depression since my early 20s and am now 34 . I have been on medication for that long and I wouldn’t be alive without it. Even a small maintenance dose can help. It’s not changing for you sanj I’m sorry u many need extra help

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    6 May 2016 at 9:42 am

    What a great list – I love doing my nails, baking a cake or just a walk out in the sunshine. Sometimes, just looking at cloud pictures in the sky or the colours of the changing leaves is enough to bring a sense of contentment and the beach is always a good one. I love the sound of the waves – it’s so calming!
    Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid recently posted…She’s So Inspiring – Camille CondonMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 5:53 pm

      I love the pics you out up of your nails! Love the change in leaves…so pretty to see the different hues

  • Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid
    6 May 2016 at 9:42 am

    What a great list – I love doing my nails, baking a cake or just a walk out in the sunshine. Sometimes, just looking at cloud pictures in the sky or the colours of the changing leaves is enough to bring a sense of contentment and the beach is always a good one. I love the sound of the waves – it’s so calming!
    Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid recently posted…She’s So Inspiring – Camille CondonMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 5:53 pm

      I love the pics you out up of your nails! Love the change in leaves…so pretty to see the different hues

  • Deborah
    6 May 2016 at 10:08 am

    Love this post Sanch and it’s so true that it’s the little things that can bring us joy. For me – books, bath, TV etc..

    I saw your thing on Facebook about happiness and I know I sometimes say I’m striving for happiness, but in reality it’s contentment I want because I agree, happiness can come and go. It can be fleeting. Contentment – for me – is akin to the antidote to depression…
    Deborah recently posted…My own witching hourMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 5:54 pm

      I agree…contentment is what we need to aim for instead of happiness. I think when we are rattled about stuff in life and discontent which I know I am, it leads to lack of pleasure in everything and consequently, depression

  • Deborah
    6 May 2016 at 10:08 am

    Love this post Sanch and it’s so true that it’s the little things that can bring us joy. For me – books, bath, TV etc..

    I saw your thing on Facebook about happiness and I know I sometimes say I’m striving for happiness, but in reality it’s contentment I want because I agree, happiness can come and go. It can be fleeting. Contentment – for me – is akin to the antidote to depression…
    Deborah recently posted…My own witching hourMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 5:54 pm

      I agree…contentment is what we need to aim for instead of happiness. I think when we are rattled about stuff in life and discontent which I know I am, it leads to lack of pleasure in everything and consequently, depression

  • Kathy
    6 May 2016 at 11:10 am

    I really believe that joy comes to us in small and fleeting moments. Yes we get satisfaction out of achieving the bigger things but it is not the same as the joy that almost sneaks up and sustains you. So try to litter the path to discovering your big thing with the small things and the path may not be as winding. Hugs to you Sanch (from someone has had depression previously).
    Kathy recently posted…Zen and the Art of French BraidingMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 6:02 pm

      I love that you’ve used the word ‘sustain’ because I think that’s what it is. I think the small things are more sustainable than the big ones. Thanks for the hugs too Kathy 🙂

  • Kathy
    6 May 2016 at 11:10 am

    I really believe that joy comes to us in small and fleeting moments. Yes we get satisfaction out of achieving the bigger things but it is not the same as the joy that almost sneaks up and sustains you. So try to litter the path to discovering your big thing with the small things and the path may not be as winding. Hugs to you Sanch (from someone has had depression previously).
    Kathy recently posted…Zen and the Art of French BraidingMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 6:02 pm

      I love that you’ve used the word ‘sustain’ because I think that’s what it is. I think the small things are more sustainable than the big ones. Thanks for the hugs too Kathy 🙂

  • Parul
    6 May 2016 at 11:11 am

    The more we try to find happiness in big things, the harder getting there becomes. I loved your list and of course your honesty.
    Parul recently posted…Of Writing and Raison D’êtreMy Profile

  • Parul
    6 May 2016 at 11:11 am

    The more we try to find happiness in big things, the harder getting there becomes. I loved your list and of course your honesty.
    Parul recently posted…Of Writing and Raison D’êtreMy Profile

  • Raychael Case
    6 May 2016 at 11:33 am

    Great list. I need to make a list of my own.
    Raychael Case recently posted…Finding My… Signature Style ChallengeMy Profile

  • Raychael Case
    6 May 2016 at 11:33 am

    Great list. I need to make a list of my own.
    Raychael Case recently posted…Finding My… Signature Style ChallengeMy Profile

  • Leanne
    6 May 2016 at 12:13 pm

    We often waste so much of our lives waiting for our big moment to arrive – meanwhile we tread water and spin our wheels and go nowhere. I think breaking it down into small things that give us joy is definitely the way to keep moving forward with a smile and it brings the realization that our lives are pretty amazing really!

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 6:03 pm

      I think sadly, I’ve been guilty of that in the past 12 months. But it’s never to late to refocus my energies and start to tackle the depression head on

  • Leanne
    6 May 2016 at 12:13 pm

    We often waste so much of our lives waiting for our big moment to arrive – meanwhile we tread water and spin our wheels and go nowhere. I think breaking it down into small things that give us joy is definitely the way to keep moving forward with a smile and it brings the realization that our lives are pretty amazing really!

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 6:03 pm

      I think sadly, I’ve been guilty of that in the past 12 months. But it’s never to late to refocus my energies and start to tackle the depression head on

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    6 May 2016 at 12:18 pm

    joy comes to me when my 9yr old gives me a random hug, with a glass of bubbles , with singing loudly in my car, with a conversation with a stranger
    Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection recently posted…School camp – the old fashioned wayMy Profile

  • Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection
    6 May 2016 at 12:18 pm

    joy comes to me when my 9yr old gives me a random hug, with a glass of bubbles , with singing loudly in my car, with a conversation with a stranger
    Natalie @ Our Parallel Connection recently posted…School camp – the old fashioned wayMy Profile

  • sue
    6 May 2016 at 3:24 pm

    To me joy is the simple things in life. Joy is spending time with my darling two year old grandson who is still seeing life through eyes of wonder.

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Kids are great for that…they see things with so much awe and wonder and lack the jaded cynicism adults can have

  • sue
    6 May 2016 at 3:24 pm

    To me joy is the simple things in life. Joy is spending time with my darling two year old grandson who is still seeing life through eyes of wonder.

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      6 May 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Kids are great for that…they see things with so much awe and wonder and lack the jaded cynicism adults can have

  • Ashleigh My Meow
    6 May 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I have been in an anxiety hole this week and haven’t written much. I also think having to been lucky enough to meet you and read your blog for a while that you are ready to leap into the unknown but afraid. You have talked so much about feeling pulled to the south coast and things. Why not? I reckon the things that call the loudest are what will make us happy. For our next meet up discussion! Which I shall message to arrange. X
    Ashleigh My Meow recently posted…The Power of a Vision BoardMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 May 2016 at 8:47 am

      Yeah I think I should seriously start looking for a job there and make a move. My only concerns are with renting a place, most don’t want pets. No way am I letting go of my babies.

      I hope your anxiety eases up a bit soon xx

  • Ashleigh My Meow
    6 May 2016 at 5:39 pm

    I have been in an anxiety hole this week and haven’t written much. I also think having to been lucky enough to meet you and read your blog for a while that you are ready to leap into the unknown but afraid. You have talked so much about feeling pulled to the south coast and things. Why not? I reckon the things that call the loudest are what will make us happy. For our next meet up discussion! Which I shall message to arrange. X
    Ashleigh My Meow recently posted…The Power of a Vision BoardMy Profile

    • Sanch @ Living my Imperfect Life
      7 May 2016 at 8:47 am

      Yeah I think I should seriously start looking for a job there and make a move. My only concerns are with renting a place, most don’t want pets. No way am I letting go of my babies.

      I hope your anxiety eases up a bit soon xx

  • Blogging From A To Z 2016 Experience #FridayReflections - Write Tribe
    7 May 2016 at 2:48 pm

    […] you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch and Write Tribe give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts […]

  • Blogging From A To Z 2016 Experience #FridayReflections - Write Tribe
    7 May 2016 at 2:48 pm

    […] you want to do is sit back, put your feet up, sip on some fancy cocktail or wine, and write away. Sanch and Write Tribe give you writing prompts and all you have to do is choose any one of those prompts […]

  • Sarah @sarahdipity
    9 May 2016 at 10:12 am

    I love this post- it really is the simple little things that matter. For me, taking a long hot bath and reading a book is my bliss.

  • Sarah @sarahdipity
    9 May 2016 at 10:12 am

    I love this post- it really is the simple little things that matter. For me, taking a long hot bath and reading a book is my bliss.

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    9 May 2016 at 4:32 pm

    The smallest things are the ones that bring us the most joy. I love the choices you’re making to find joy in daily living.

  • Corinne Rodrigues
    9 May 2016 at 4:32 pm

    The smallest things are the ones that bring us the most joy. I love the choices you’re making to find joy in daily living.

  • Mithila Menezes @Fabulus1710
    11 May 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Reading books and listening to music? I do that everyday! And I totally agree, there’s joy in every word on the page, and every note in the song!

  • Goodbye 2016. And good riddance #FridayReflections #Yearinreview - Living my Imperfect Life
    30 December 2016 at 12:02 am

    […] not coping well emotionally. I missed my old self so much. Even though I tried focussing on finding joy in the ordinary, the black dog seemed to be winning. Work wasn’t getting better and if anything, I wanted to […]