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Is there joy in your life?

Column by Sonja Herter (Korol)

The Christmas and the new year seasons have been celebrated for another year. Those following the Julian calendar celebrated Ukrainian Christmas in January.

During the festive season many experience depression and loneliness. Travel to relatives and friends may have been put on hold due to the weather and other reasons. A lot of families made an escape to where it is warmer. So how did we, as individuals, cope?

Our basic state of mind should bring joy to have a positive spin rather than the negative spin on happenings and things. A recent workshop was held in Medicine Hat by a “joyologist” to bring happiness into our lives, regardless of circumstances. She gave some ideas to do just that. Why get into a rut and do things the same way?

Take a different route to anywhere you may be going either by walking or by a vehicle. Buy yourself those outlandish pajamas that you would not otherwise. They may make you smile every time you put them on. Take them along when you go visiting and have overnight stays. You may shock the people you are visiting and this will result in conversation and laughter. Try a new recipe – one of those you clipped out of the magazine years ago and meant to try. Have fun finding all the ingredients which are not on your customary shopping list. Invite a friend or two or more to evaluate this new dish. Have fun dissecting it as to what you like and what you would change. Go to an event by yourself and mingle with the crowd. Accidentally start a conversation with the person next to you and see where it goes. It may surprise you that there is common ground while chatting.

Do something nice for a person. Take a friend out for lunch. Bake some cookies and take them to someone who lives alone. The invitation for tea or coffee could result in a couple of hours of unexpected fellowship. There are countless ways of adding pleasure and joy to one’s life rather than finding negative things to complain about which in turn cause negative results to your health and wellbeing.

P.S. – I celebrated Ukrainian Holy Supper with my family on the evening of January 6 with the traditional 12 dishes. This was a special request especially from the grandchildren. This brought me joy!

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