Today’s Solutions: December 05, 2021

Finding time for joy is already difficult for parents, but recent times have made things even tougher for those with kids. The new responsibility of supplemental (or sole) educator has eaten up much of parents’ time as well as added a layer of stress and anxiety on top of the plethora of things parents have to deal with on a day-to-day basis anyway.

Luckily, there are ways you can still make way for moments of joy amid these overwhelming times. Below are five simple shifts to help parents find joy right now, as suggested by Erica Lasan, creator of The Joy Quest, an online resource to help users find what actually brings them joy:

  1. Identify signs of burnout: Getting mad at things you wouldn’t typically be mad at is often an indicator of mental and emotional exhaustion. Burnout can also occur if at the end of the day you can’t identify something that you did just for you. And this is important since, as Lasan notes: “If you don’t carve out time for joy, you’re not going to find joy.” What’s more, prioritizing your own joy is also essential to help others find joy. “If you are feeling good with yourself, you’ll be better able to play with your kids, laugh, and enjoy family dinners.”
  2. Label the hang-ups that are holding you back from joy: Sometimes, Lasan notes, parents are just hardwired to over-give themselves to their kids, family, and community. This instinctive tendency to do everything for everyone can wear you out and make you react to situations in ways you normally wouldn’t do so. Taking a step back and realizing this can go a long way in adjusting your behavior.
  3. Talk to someone: One of the most important ways to find inner joy is to voice it. Find a supportive friend or family member and explain how you feel, how you want to feel, and articulate how you might get there. Not only does this get the idea out in the open and off your chest, but it will also encourage your journey.
  4. Find what actually brings you joy, not what you think brings you joy: To find actual joy, you have to find the things that truly make YOU happy, instead of satisfying the expectations and wants of others. So how do you start identifying those joy-filled interests? According to Lasan, it starts with a very big question: “If you didn’t have to worry about anything, what would you do and how would you spend your time?” A hefty question, indeed, given how much worry and stress our current situation has us under. But unless you start asking yourself these questions, you are never going to find the answer. Write them down, create a list, and start there.
  5. Create a routine of joy: With a lot of conflicting priorities, life can be messy for parents, so giving structure to your day by “creating a schedule and routine takes the pressure off yourself to think about things on a constant basis,” says Lasan. “It also sets kids up to be part of it and help out. Kids like schedules.”
Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Rwanda’s mountain gorillas represent a successful conservation story

Following years of poaching and habitat destruction, the population of mountain gorillas in Rwanda once numbered under 260 individuals. Now, Rwandan gorillas represent a rare conservation success and a key economic engine for the East ... Read More

Germany plans to put 15 million electric vehicles on its roads by 2030

Making electric cars the dominant vehicles on the road is key to curbing planet-warming emissions and protecting the climate. In a bid to reach that goal, an increasing number of countries and cities across the ... Read More

Here are 5 Indigenous-led eco-charities you can support today

The climate crisis has caused us to reconsider our consumerist lifestyles and turn to Indigenous peoples to learn from their superior understanding of living in harmony with nature. Here is a list of five organizations ... Read More

Scientists discover a peculiar new planet

Deep into the Hercules constellation, 855 light-years away from Earth, lies a record breaking exoplanet. This newly discovered gas giant was named TOI-2109b, and the thing that makes it so special is the fact it ... Read More

High altitude experiment shows that snow monkeys are excellent at fishing

Snow monkeys, also known as the Japanese macaque, are native to many of the main islands of Japan. These fluffy creatures are the most northern-based non-human primate out there, meaning they have some cold temperatures ... Read More