How to fill your days with joyful activities

Photo by Ryan Storrier on Unsplash

Ship30 for 30 is a writing course designed to get you to write every day for 30 days.

More importantly, it pushes you to publish your writings daily too. No more hiding, get your stuff out there.

I attended my first cohort in January 2022 and was hooked. I ventured on to the next stage, the Captain’s Table, to keep on writing and learn even more. As a captain, you are invited to mentor new shippers in every cohort. It’s a fun experience, you get to meet new people and learn about their topics.

One of my recent mentees, Anne van Esch, introduced me to the term «Blisscipline». Blisscipline is something that brings you joy and that you do every day.

There are a few things I do daily that fall in to this category:

  • The first cup of coffee
  • Preparing food
  • Sauna and swimming in the ocean
  • Walking
  • Writing
  • Knitting
  • Reading

How do you find them?

It sounds so easy: «Just do what you love».

People that have been stressed or overwhelmed for a long time often have no idea what brings them joy anymore. Maybe it has been months or years since they engaged in that activity. And when they do, usually they are ridden with guilt, because they are convinced they should be doing something else.

If you can’t remember your blissful activities, start by listing things you did enjoy as a child.

For me drawing always comes to mind, and although I still like it, it’s not something that makes me jump out of bed in the morning.

When you have your list, start doing these activities. Notice how they make you feel. Is it just ok, or do you love the experience? Would it add to your life if you did it regularly?

Notice things you look up

What are you drawn to when you scroll on social media like Instagram and Pinterest? If every picture of a lush forest makes you sigh, then maybe hiking is for you.

Again, make a list and start doing these things to see how you feel.

The things you always complain you don’t have time for

In 2017 I started working as a VA full time, and in addition to working long hours I also travelled a lot.

I always loved reading, but back then I just could not find the time to sit down with a book. Travel days were awesome. Sitting on a plane for 2 hours was my reading time. But often I was too tired, so I would fall asleep. Or I was so overwhelmed with tasks, I spent time organizing my thoughts.

I knew that reading was something to calm me down and relax. But I never took time for it.

I just complained «I never have time to read anymore»

(Side note: See that sentence? Due to the Law of Attraction, guess what I attracted into my life? No time to read.)

How do you make time to do them daily?

Put them in your calendar.

Decide on a time when you do the activity and do it. Nothing else matters more than this activity. It’s a meeting with you, and you are your most important client.

I finally got back into reading in 2020, during the first lockdown. There was hardly any work, so I had time at my hand. As things normalized and work picked up, I was so enthralled in my daily reading sessions, I did them first thing in the morning.

Get up, make coffee, read for 1 hour.

Boom! This is how you win the day.

Use your activities as reward and motivation.

Put them in the calendar after a task you dread doing and want to postpone. Even if you only have 10 minutes, take those 10 minutes and love every second of it.

Parkinson’s Law states that every activity takes as long as the time we allow for it. Play with that. Set a timer for your work tasks and be done when the bell goes off.

This way you carve out more time for the things you enjoy.

With my above list I realize I spend about 4-5 hours DAILY (yes, correct) on things I just love doing. I know I am privileged, but I also have worked towards making it happen. Again, you get what you think about.

How much free time can you dream up?

How can you turn everything into a blisscipline?

Having some joyful activities scattered around your day is awesome.

The greatest happens when you can see everything you do as blissful. When I wrote the list above I seriously contemplated if «doing dishes» should be there. Because that is also part of my daily bliss.

The trick is to tell yourself that you love the activity.

Find some aspect that you enjoy.

With the dishes, for me it’s the contact with the warm water, the smell of the dish soap and I connect with every item I touch. The same with folding laundry, wiping the bathroom sink and even scrubbing the toilet.

If you can’t enjoy the activity itself, get a kick out of the finished result.

A beautiful made bed. A tidy kitchen. The tasty meal you are eating.

When you start to focus on the bliss every thing adds to your life, your whole life transforms. Away goes the struggle.

What is left is a constant feeling of joy, happiness and content.

And with that feeling it is hard to be stressed or overwhelmed.

xo, Yvonne

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