How to Be Nice to Yourself to Bring Back Joy

Posted on March 16, 2016 by Liz Ferron, MSW, LICSW

Joyful 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.

Contact us: 

  • EAP members call 800.383.1908 or access resources through your VITAL WorkLife App
  • Physician Well Being Resources members call 877.731.3949 or access resources through your VITAL WorkLife App

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