I’ve had my fair share of disappointing and unhappy situations. I mean seriously. Let me give you a quick list:
- The bulk of my time in college was extremely stressful. It got so bad that I struggled with anxiety and depression.
- From November 2018-September 2019, I was unemployed WHILE raising a daughter. During that time, I did go back to school but I couldn’t continue because I no longer qualified for financial aid.
- Just recently, I became temporarily unemployed AGAIN due to the pandemic.
I’m going to be very honest. I am a crybaby. A huge one. When shit hits the fan, I lose it. Every time. I panic because things are out of control. I have control issues. I love to plan and organize things for myself. Then, BOOM. It all crashes down. Sometimes because I freak out and get down about it, I feel like a burden to my family and friends for getting upset. However, my mama has always reassured me whenever I feel like this. She tells me “Gabby. Don’t let anything steal your joy.” She’s right. I am my best self whenever I feel joy. Joy is continuous. Why? Because you can find it in everything. You can also interchange this with happiness if you like. It wasn’t until this last catastrophe with being furloughed that I really tried to find joy in this not-so-joyful situation. So I am here to guide you on three ways that you can find joy when things are sour. I’ll use my personal and present experience about my furlough throughout this post to emphasize how I am getting through it.
#1: Assess your situation.
“Feeling all your feelings is hard, but that’s what they are there for. Feelings are for feeling. All of them. Even the hard ones.” Glennon Doyle
Go ahead and acknowledge that whatever you are going through sucks. This quote from Glennon Doyle’s book, Untamed, really spoke to me (even though I didn’t finish the book, but that’s not the point here!). We have to feel through what we are feeling. When I got the call from my job that I was being furloughed, I was livid. Like Anger from Inside Out whenever he was activated? That was me. And when I get mad, I get MAD. Plus, I cry whenever I’m angry. I clocked out early and cried for the rest of the day. I was devastated because I had JUST gotten out of being unemployed for ten whole months! My job handled everything so unprofessionally. I was pretty distraught. But every feeling I had, I felt them that day. Feel those feelings, baby. Get it all out. Release.
#2: Create a game plan.
“This is called ‘controlling what you can when things are out of control.’” – Olaf, Frozen 2
Olaf really dropped some gems in the sequel to Frozen! He was spot on about this. As I mentioned, I like to feel in control. Granted, I know that I am not the controller of all things. But I do like to have a sense of control. I acknowledged my feelings about being furloughed. I took some time to myself and thought about what I should do to relieve myself from feeling hopeless. I suggest writing/typing out a game plan for yourself. What are your steps? Some people call this manifestation or using the law of attraction. Others use this list as a guide through their prayers. For me, I figured out that I would get a lot of free time with my daughter. I don’t have to get up early for work! I am still financially taken care of, especially since I was responsible in paying a lot of my bills well ahead of time. I can work on my blog without feeling overwhelmed. Lastly, I can cook and bake more often. When you calm down and focus on the things you are grateful for, they become small wins in your game plan. Each one of those victories were what ignited my joy.
#3: Get excited and execute your plan!
“Walk it like I talk it.” – The Migos, Walk It Talk It
We have now acknowledged our feelings and made a plan to continue that cycle of joy! Put it in motion. You have to walk it like you talk it. Basically, you need to act like it has already been done before it actually happens. As the elders in church would say, “Put it in the Lord’s hands and know that He will see it through!” *insert handkerchief and church fan* That is called having faith. Faith is about knowing that your situation is going to be taken care of. In that, you have secured your joy and now it has ignited through your life. I knew that my situation wasn’t ideal. I’m without a job, in the middle of a pandemic, and I can’t really go anywhere. But I have a list of things that I am very grateful for. I am not letting this bound me!
Please understand that I am not saying this is easy. We are all growing. Growth takes time. Finding your joy will take time. Then, it becomes a domino effect. Joy then brings peace. Peace is something we all need. When you are feeling down, try these three steps. There is no time limit on when to do them, but once you do, I can guarantee you will look at life in a much different light.