How to Be Nice to Yourself to Bring Back Joy

JoyJoyful fun: a great way to be nice to yourself

Joy can be evasive. Working in a high demand job, such as practicing medicine, executive leadership, or many other professions, while balancing work and family can leave you feeling depleted. Sometimes life gets to be so overwhelming you actually have to make a point to engage in positive activities in order to improve your mood and perspective, and to work and live with joy and gratitude.

We should all do what, in the long run, gives us joy, even if it is only picking grapes or sorting the laundry. E.B. White

I often recommend people make a list of 10 things they know brings them pleasure or makes them joyful and then integrate at least one item from the list into their lives each day. It’s a simple measure, one that can make a true impact. Items shouldn’t require significant time, energy or resources to undertake.  Things might include:

  1. Listening to a favorite radio station
  2. Reading the morning paper
  3. Getting a special coffee drink
  4. Spending 10 minutes out in the fresh air
  5. Driving, walking or biking around a local lake
  6. Purchasing and reading a favorite magazine
  7. Looking at old photographs/photo albums
  8. Engaging in a favorite hobby
  9. Coloring
  10. Writing in a journal
  11. Planning a vacation
  12. Playing a game with others
  13. Going to a class at your health club
  14. Helping others or volunteering

You actually get a double benefit from this activity. One is the benefit of knowing you are doing something nice for yourself (which improves attitude and self confidence) and the second is the enjoyment of the activity itself.

So, since making your list is a mood lifter in itself, be sure to spend time updating it from time to time.

Self care and having fun has been linked with many health benefits, such as improved longevity, immunity to viruses, increased energy and a more positive mood.  It’s a great way to relieve stress as well.  Yet, many physicians report finding it difficult to make time for themselves.  That’s why keeping the items on your list easy to undertake is so important.

We Can Help.

For more information, give us a call to learn how you can work with a peer coach to help you identify what will be joyful to you and improve your work/life balance, relationships, job satisfaction and even your health. Our consultants are available anytime, day or night, to offer support or assistance.

If you are one of our EAP members, call 800.383.1908
Physicians Wellness Resources members call 877.731.3949

About VITAL WorkLife

VITAL WorkLife, Inc.™ is a national behavioral health consulting company providing support to individuals facing life’s challenges, while also assisting organizations in improving workplace productivity. We have deep experience in healthcare, especially assisting physicians and providers in dealing with the challenges in their profession. This approach of helping employees and their families, while also guiding organizations, builds healthy, sustainable behaviors. For over 30 years, we have offered industry leading Employee Assistance Programs, specialized support, training and consulting for a wide variety of industries.

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Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Liz is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and received her MSW degree in clinical social work from the University of Minnesota. She has served three terms as President of the Minnesota Employee Assistance Program Administrators and Counselors (MEAPAC), and is a former adjunct faculty member at the College of St. Benedict. Liz has provided training to healthcare professionals in several areas, including stress management, change management and conflict resolution.