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Joy during quarantine is a conscious choice that we can choose to make every day! If you’ve been struggling to find joy during quarantine, this is for you! These hacks for finding joy and fulfillment have something for everyone! 

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I was going to write a post on a Mother’s Day gift guide for this week. I even have it drafted, but my heart wasn’t in it.

It felt dumb for one, because ya know, can’t leave the house. And it felt trivial, too, because I’m seeing so many people struggling to be filled with joy during this weird and uncertain time which is surely history in the making as we speak. 

I just posted on Facebook yesterday about how I have been struggling during quarantine. I was great for the first few weeks, honestly. Joey took some time off work, we unplugged, I dove headfirst into the deep end of homeschooling my two preschoolers, and I soaked the family time in deep.

But eventually, he had to go back to work, and I did, too. Now we’re on week 7 or 17 of quarantine; I don’t know anymore. I work from home 30-40 hours a week, he’s back to work, and I’m here trying to stay caught up on cooking, cleaning, intentionality, self care, raising kids, teaching kids, and blogging / writing / creating, with two preschoolers and a 1 year old who honestly, aren’t the best conversationalists. 

I’m trying to keep feeding them more vegetables than tortilla chips and keep a standard on screen time so tablets don’t become my babysitters (which the lockdown has so rudely taken). Sleep time is a battle. Sibling squabbles are a battle. Cleaning up is a battle. Their listening is as shoddy as Ohio weather the year is was snowing in May. The days have been long and the weeks have been longer.

But one integral thing to finding joy during quarantine, or any other time, that I love is the ability to choose our mindset. There’s a handful of things that have helped me, and I want to share them with you!

You might have to do them 95 times a day. That’s OKAY, and even normal! I have to keep resetting, and if you need that too, you’re in good company. 

mother playing on floor with child

Hacks to be Full of Joy During Quarantine that Really Work

1) Grace x 1000. 

For myself, for my kids, and from Jesus. Both accepting His grace and extending it to myself and those around me. Resting in the reality that I am truly doing my best, and that is enough.

I love cooking homemade everything, but a few nights ago, tacos for dinner were my best. My kids need a bath, I overslept yesterday, I have been drinking coffee by the gallon, but I am doing my very best, and my best is enough. And friend, so is yours. 

Be okay with lowering your standards for a minute. Life is weird right now and it won’t always be this way. Allow yourself time to adjust and be okay with the adjustment period.

2) The 60 second rule.

I like to do this thing where I just either stare at my tantrumming child for a second, or send her to her room until she’s calm (or at least calmer) because I need that second to make sure I am responding and not reacting.

I need to make sure I am disciplining in love to teach her something, and not punishing because I’m angry or annoyed. 

Yesterday, out of the corner of my eye, I saw Ella knock Lexi down for funsies. Sophia’s jaw was at her knees when I asked Ella if she did it. Ella’s deer in the headlights look gave her away before Soph almost pulled something in her neck to give Ella up.

I did the classic initial, point your finger, use your mom voice, “You never, EVER, push her down. Do you understand?”

At that point, that song from Madame Blueberry where she was buying too much stuff at Stuff Mart came on in the background. Life went into slow motion. Ella threw her chin to the sky, her jaw dropped open, her eyes clenched shut, the snot and tears spicket was flung on in full force, andddd she used her voice. The groans of my windows gave way to cracks that spidered outward.

The sound barrier broke… And I needed 60 seconds. Obviously coffee was in order, so I started making my second cup, as I started at my slow-mo, sound barrier defying child for a minute or two. 

If I would have responded immediately, I would have reacted in Mama bear anger because she knocked down my defenseless one who can’t stand up for herself yet. Her greatest line of defense was giving Ella a stink face over her shoulder from her belly down position she was left in.

But taking that minute allowed me to react from a place of calm to teach her, rather than a place of anger to punish her as an outlet for my own emotions. Honestly, don’t we all deserve that much?

3) Allowing myself to simply “be” for a few minutes.

Sometimes (when Joey is home), I go to the bedroom for 10 minutes and just be. It doesn’t usually last more than 90 seconds without a tiny knock, fingers under the door, a distant, small voice asking where mommy went, testing both doors, or a “Mommmm let me in”, which may or may not be followed by big voices and golfball-sized tears.

That’s fine. Mommy just needs a minute. If you need a minute, I encourage you to take it and take it now. It can do wonders.

4) Reading a great book.

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis was and remains one of my favorite books of all time. I started re-reading it a few weeks ago, and have been surprised by how much I have forgotten. This time, I’m underlining and making notes because there is so much wisdom to be gleaned.

5) Choose joy and gratitude with intentionality every single day.

While we’re talking about one of my favorite people that exist, I would be doing a disservice to not mention her 90 days challenge, Start Today journal and choose joy movement. My Start Today journal is one of my favorite things that I own! I talk more about that in this post.

Your ability to see your blessings is a byproduct of what you’re allowing yourself to think and fixate on. You have to choose to see them. If you’re always looking for cars, you’ll always see red cars.

Choose to look for thankfulness and joy, even if that means you have to create moments of joy. Create moments to laugh with your kids. Tickle one until they’re belly laughing, then get the other one in on it. Tell them a corny joke. Laughter really is the best medicine!

6) Having something for me.

For me, right now, it’s what you’re reading! My blog has come to mean so much to me, and with God’s help, I see great things for its future. 🙂

Before it was TJT, it was hobbies. I’ve done everything from crafting to coloring, to making wreaths, to painting, to yoga. Painting, yoga, wreath-making, and crafting are still some of my favorites! If you don’t have a hobby, you have got to read this!

7) Serving others. 

It is not all about me. Serving others helps you realize that in a real way. Look for the needs of others and ask God for opportunities to help where it’s needed. You might be surprised what He brings along! 

8) Life words.

You have what you speak. If you say you’re sad or unfulfilled, if you say you’re always angry, if you say your kids drive you nuts… Guess what? You’ll find those things remain true and feel bigger and more true the more you say them.

If you say “I am so thankful”, “I am so happy”, “I am full of joy”, “I have so many blessings *then name them*”, guess where your focus is going to be? You don’t always feel them when you say them, but the more you say it, the more true it will be in your life.

To go along with this, weird mom tip: as often as it’s possible, choose the positive version of whatever you’re saying to your kids. I used to think this sounded so cheesy until I tried it. I don’t know what it is, but there is something so draining about everything out of your mouth being negative: no, stop, don’t, you can’t, etc.

So flip it. Focus on what they can do instead of what they can’t.

“Stop screaming!” > “Soft / small voices, please.”

“Don’t hit your sister!” “Kind hands, So and so.”

“Stop getting out of your bed.” > “Stay in your bed please, it’s rest time.”

It helps maintain calm and it’s less exhausting for you, too.

book with a flower in it in the back yard

9) Perspective.

Y’all, I’m D O N E with quarantine with a capital D. It has taken all my help with an exception of my husband. I used to have days almost every week where the girls’ grandparents kept them. I was able to drop them off to go work at coffee shops, or Joey and I could go out for a date with food I didn’t have to cook. Our last date was Rummy and popcorn on the couch at 10:00pm. 

But I have to keep reminding myself, God made everything good in its season. That’s all this is. Everything is a season, and all seasons go as quickly as they come. This too shall pass, and it’s my prayer that by the end of it, we’ll be better people for having lived through it.

I hope and pray people are more joyful, more thankful, more kind, and more in love with Jesus. He always works all things together for the good of His people, and I’ve already seen that happening. He is always good, even if we don’t understand.

10) Time with Jesus. 

Every single day. Worship music on repeat and worshipping as a way of life. Worship in the kitchen putting the dishes away. Do it while you’re working. Do it while you’re cleaning, and let the kids see you. There is not a cookie cutter way to worship and it belongs beyond simply being in church, because we are the church.

It belongs in the intricacies woven throughout the fabric of our life. Prioritize time in His word. I mean, think about it: how do you build trust and form a relationship with anyone? You spend time with them. To build a relationship with Jesus, you have to do the same thing: invest your time. It won’t be a wasted one.

Listen to faith builders, because faith comes by hearing, so let yourself hear the Word of God and hear it often. Jesus never has and never will fit in a box we could ever put Him in. He loves us and wants our lives, not just our Sunday mornings.

11) Getting outside.

Every single day it is warm enough, we get outside! I don’t know why outside air is better than house air. It’s just a thing. Sunshine is also an amazing mood booster. Even if you can’t go outside, open a window and the blinds. It does wonders!

A few days ago, I took a book outside and read while the girls played. I got interrupted every 9th word, but that’s fine. It was mostly to bring me flowers and other randoms in the yard, so it was actually super sweet (joy moment)!

Why should we choose joy?

Because it’s something we can control during an uncertain time. It’s a choice we can make.

It gives us strength, or lack thereof. If we choose to stay in a big sour Sally sulk pit, we will be weak. We will be discouraged. We will be down, and we don’t need to be! That is not God’s best for us. Joy is His will for us, because He doesn’t withhold good things from us! Let’s make that choice not just for ourselves, but for Him, too.

I hope you enjoyed these hacks for finding joy during quarantine! Tell me what good habits are helping you survive the stay at home order and walk in joy during quarantine in the comments below!

We’ll get through this together.

hacks for finding joy during quarantine for overwhelmed moms graphic

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