5 Simple Ways To Add Joy To Your Day

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With three vaccines approved for use—and summer just around the corner—sunny days are ahead, literally and figuratively. But while there’s much to look forward to, we need to find ways to enjoy our lives right now, in the present moment.

“Incorporating leisurely activities into our daily routine adds meaning to our lives,” says Bridget Myke, a therapeutic recreational specialist with Henry Ford Health System. “Life isn’t all about working, eating and sleeping. That’s not what we’re living for, and we don’t always want to be waiting for the next big thing. Finding little things you enjoy outside of work is important. If we wait for the big events, we lose so much time.”

You might be surprised at how seemingly inconsequential activities can give you that daily serotonin boost you need. While anything you love to do will suffice (playing a sport or a musical instrument, crafting) here are five additional ways to add joy to your day.

  1. Change up your routine. If you always get your coffee from the same cafe, make it a point to try someplace new—maybe you’ll discover a new favorite drink or pastry. “Changing it up can force you to be more mindful, more present and more aware of your surroundings,” says Myke. “If you ever notice you’re on autopilot—or just going through the motions of your daily routine—that’s not living in the present moment at all. Going to a place you haven't been before can help shake you out of this.”
  2. Indulge in a “kid’s” activity. Blow bubbles, play with sidewalk chalk, fly a kite. “These are probably activities you haven’t done in a long time,” says Myke. “They’re wonderfully nostalgic, and they evoke memories of a playful, carefree time.” Just because we’re adults doesn’t mean we can’t have fun anymore. Anything that brings happiness and joy should be added into your everyday life, especially right now.
  3. Take a mindful walk. Being immersed in nature has been scientifically proven to be mood boosting. To truly take in your surroundings, play a game. While walking, find one object for every color of the rainbow. Or name five things you can see, four things you can hear, three things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste (if possible). “Since we experience life through our senses, this is a calming, fun way to bring the focus back to the current moment and appreciate everything around us,” Myke says.
  4. Write a friend an old-fashioned letter. Carve out time to sit down and write a heartfelt note to a friend. Send it in the mail, and it will be a wonderful surprise for them to receive—and will likely add joy to their day and yours. Doing things for others can do just as much for them as it does for ourselves.
  5. Buy yourself a treat. Pick up fresh flowers or a new plant, splurge on a piece of cake, find a new book to dig into. On a down day, a small treat every so often can give you a pep in your step. (Just try not to make retail therapy a habit.) “I’ve definitely been online shopping this past year—it’s instant gratification—but I’d say do this in moderation,” says Myke. “That’s what life’s all about.”
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To make an appointment with a Henry Ford doctor or therapist, call 1-800-436-7936. Learn more about virtual care options and our commitment to safety

Bridget Myke, CTRS, is a certified therapeutic recreational therapist at Henry Ford Kingswood Hospital.

Categories: FeelWell