By Stacey Rhodes, MS – Adult Day Program Director
DEMENTIA CARE SPECIALIST

I’ve got the JOY! JOY! JOY! JOY!
Down in my heart to stay!

Has COVID got you down, down, down?  Well, join the club.  Speaking with the families we serve, friends, and others, I hear comments such as, I am feeling down, I am tired of this, there is no end in sight.  Does that sound familiar?  These are shared sentiments because we are experiencing this pandemic together.  Usually, the next comment is, “I cannot wait for the new year.”  We are all praying that 2021 will be 100% better than 2020.

We know, as we turn the corner into 2021, COVID and other strife’s are not going to just magically disappear.  So, the only things we have control over are our attitude and thoughts!  I suggest we do not use our energy on worry but use our energy to believe.  We need to look for the joy in our own lives.  Find the things that bring you to your happy place.

Be grateful.  Write down all the good things that have happened to you in 2020 year.  I am sure there are more than you think.  Do this with another person to help jog your memory.  Gratitude opens your mind and heart.

Try journaling.  I like the idea of a Joyful Journal.  A journal helps to release feelings, thoughts and emotions that can free your mind.  Write about the good things that happen to you daily.

Nurture your spiritual side.  Pursue those things which are uplifting to you.  Post an inspirational quote or mantra in your house.  Look at it, repeat it, and believe it!

Focus on the positive.  When those negative thoughts creep in, quickly apply an attitude adjustment. Surround yourself with positive and joyous people.  Every day you have choices!

Do something good for someone else.  Call a friend, neighbor, family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.   Bake some cookies and share with the neighbor.  Send a thinking of you card or note.  It will be a blessing for them and you, too!

 Exercise your body.  Any kind of exercise will boost your mood.  Breathe some fresh air, take a walk, or try some chair exercises.   My favorite exercise is dancing around the house to some upbeat music.  I can guarantee you will feel better.

Eat healthy.  Snack healthy.  Drink plenty of fluids.

Learn to relax.  Try meditation or deep breathing relaxation.  Sit quietly and close your eyes for 5 minutes.  Take a bubble bath.  Read that book you keep putting off.

Find humor in life.  Laughter is a great way to release stress and tension.  Watch a funny movie, tell a corny joke, or look for funny videos online.  Don’t you always feel better when you laugh?

You are your best asset and need to nurture yourself as you nurture others.  Every day take a small amount of time to do something for YOU.  Find your happy place and go to it often.