Joy in January

By Taytum Marler

As we all know, January can be a difficult month. Holiday festivities are over, families are gone, it is still cold and miserable, and after New Year’s Day there is just not much going on. So how do we fight the “seasonal depression” that likes to take over? It is a common feeling in January that most people experience to some degree. My idea is to simply find joy in the little moments. An easy sentence to write but can be very hard in practice. Joy is an inner feeling of gratitude that stays with you for quite a while if you let it. My thinking, you could say, is not so much about actually finding joy but more so to remember the joy you already have!

One of the biggest ways you can begin to find joy in little moments is to actively pay attention. Most of the time we are so caught up in our head that we rarely notice the little things. Such as seeing art everywhere. You can start by literally finding artwork around your daily life. For example, a mural on your route to work or a chalk drawing on the sidewalk where you run. Little pieces like this can serve as a reminder that even though it feels dark and cold right now, joy and happiness are still all around, you just have to be willing to see it. Another way to see art everywhere is to appreciate the non-traditional types of “art,” such as people laughing together. It truly is an art form. Next time you see two people dancing or hear your friend sing their favorite song in the car, take a moment to realize there is joy in these moments.

A great way to find joy in January is to simply spend time with people you love. Being with those you care about, even if you are not doing anything specific but are in the same room together, can help you to find joy in your life. Being in the company of people you love, and who love you, can seriously help with the January blues. Maybe next time your mom calls stay on the phone a little longer than normal, or finally plan that movie night with your friends. Seasonal depression symptoms are usually feelings of sadness, lack of motivation, and low moods; so choose to spend your time with people who make you laugh, inspire you, and improve your mood to help combat the temporary sadness that can accompany this month.

Paying attention to nature will help you to notice the small things as well. Start with trying to see things others might not. Such as a flower growing on the sidewalk, a fun shaped cloud, or the birds flitting among the tree branches. Nature is such a simple thing to find joy in, but for some reason it is often taken for granted. Life can be beautiful if you look for beauty even when others do not. God has made nature incredibly beautiful and awe-inspiring, even in January, but it seems to be overlooked when compared to the bright colors of the upcoming spring. I highly encourage taking a moment this January to watch the sunset, it could improve an otherwise dreary day.

Other little joys you can find in the doldrums of January can be as simple as just doing things you love. Listen to your favorite band on repeat, watch the rain as it streaks the windows, or make homemade banana bread! Whatever it is, even if it is something small and seemingly unimportant, if it matters to you, take the time this January to partake in little joys. Keep in mind that if you are feeling uninspired or sad this January, then there is probably someone you know who also feels that way. Make the time to check in on your friends and family, even if it is just a phone call, it could help brighten both their day and yours! As I said, joy is not a temporary feeling, even though January likes to bury it and make it difficult to remember, you still have that joy you are accustomed to, you just have to find ways to bring it back to the surface!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *