Friday Fun: It’s the Little Things (My New Joy Blend!)

Today’s a great day for a joy blend. It’s a little cool and dreary outside. The Friday tornado siren practice is back in full swing for the season. If those things want to scream out this morning with their warning rehearsal, I think maybe joy should outdo it. What do you say?

 Friday Fun

Today I’m introducing to you Friday Fun. The topic of joy, and pursuing a joyful life can (at times) be daunting and large. There are just so many things in our world that try to drown out our joy. So, diligently chasing after the joy we were designed for is a big deal. And I’m okay with that. (Hence, articles like this and this!) But much of our joy can be found in the little things too. The little things we sometimes overlook. The small moments we sometimes are too rushed to perceive.

Enter Friday Fun! What if, each Friday at  Joy Let Loose, we simply slowed down to look at one little thing that can bring joy to us during the coming weekend? After all, joy is found and expressed in laughter and little moments. So, on Fridays, be watching for ideas for activities or recipes, conversation starters or gifts, home ideas, getaways or games. 

 

Friday Fun - Joy Blend

 

Joy Blend

Over the last several months, I’ve been learning more about essential oils. I launched into a new world when I got a diffuser for my birthday. I’m a newbie, but have experimented with blends for focus & energy, relaxation, mood enhancement, and respiratory health. I’ve learned some great uses for Tea Tree oil, Peppermint, and Frankincense. 

But on this dreary Friday morning, I discovered an awesome new  joy blend  that I think is one of my new favorites. In each of my diffusers, I used 4 drops of grapefruit, 3 drops of bergamot, and 3 drops of ylang ylang.

  • GRAPEFRUIT Essential Oil is widely popular for its many benefits, including helping with circulation and digestion, reducing sugar cravings and candida. As an aromatic, it is reduces stress, improves focus, and has a positive impact on mood.
  • Bergamot essential oil is another citrus, often used to help indigestion, muscle tension and headaches. As an aromatic, it is an anti-depressant, and it helps to relieve anxiety.
  • Ylang ylang, from the yellow flower of a large (beautiful!) tree, improves immune and cardiovascular health. As an aromatic, it increases energy and helps lower blood pressure.

Fun Friday Joy Blend

Reduced stress + improved focus + positive mood enhancement + anxiety relief + anti-depressant + increased energy + lower blood pressure = definitely worth trying out this Fun Friday! 

 Joy Blend on the Go!!

We are house-hunting these days. Now, I love house-hunting, but when you look at dozens and dozens in the span of a few days, sometimes you start going a little squirrelly. And I decided yesterday that I need some joy on the go. So I picked up something like this! It’s an itty-bitty essential oil diffuser for my car. I’m taking joy on the road with me now as I house shop ’til I drop. The verdict is still out on its effectiveness. But on its trial run last night, I’d say it was helping! 

Thanks for joining me for Friday Fun! It really is the little things, and Fridays are for staying simple and light. My new joy blend is wafting through my house as I write, and I hear the levity in my homeschool teens’ moods even now. So I think it’s working. 🙂

Have an awesome Friday, and a joyful weekend!

Elizabeth Joy

 

 

 

 

Clear Clutter: How I Order My World With the Ten Second Tidy Principle

Confession: Sometimes I find myself in a zone where I don’t even notice clutter. Don’t get me wrong, I like order. But when I’m in a creative mode, there is a part of me that seems able to simply ignore it.

Sometimes.

HoweverI have made a discovery that continual clutter ends up rubbing me the wrong way. And I don’t prefer to be irritated. I’m much more likely to notice the  joy that lies within each day when my world around me is, well, organized. I am disciplining myself to see organizational tasks as an opportunity to practice gratitude.

 

I am thankful to God for all He has entrusted to me, and I desire to care for it well. Click To Tweet

 

Now, I’m not recommending obsessive organization here. After all, the pendulum can swing widely, my friends, and obsessive organizing can steal joy just as much as clutter can. But Scripture seems to contrast disorder against peace (1 Cor. 14:33), so it makes sense to me that a chaotic world lacks joy.

The regular, diligent clearing away of un-necessary, or broken, or dirty things in our physical realms is wise, and leads to a pleasant and ordered life with wide open spaces. And developing this habit in the physical realms of home and office may also help to lead us toward regular, diligent clearing away of unwanted internal things. 

How I Order My World

 

The Ten Second Tidy Principle

There was a short season when my youngest was a wee one that Loonette the clown, and her doll, Molly, graced our TV screen. It was all childlike, enthusiastic glory. Her “Big Comfy Couch” tunes continue to rattle around in my brain sometimes; ear worms, shall we say. Although I never developed an affinity for this colorful character, I can say that one of her lessons was helpful with my young children, and continues to help me today: The Ten Second Tidy.  (Now, if we actually tidy up the way that Loonette does, practically stuffing everything we pick up behind or under the couch cushions, I daresay we haven’t really tidied at all – we’ve simply relocated our mess. There are spiritual depths to this physical lesson!)

 Clear Clutter for a Joyful Outlook.

Can de-cluttering actually impact our  joy? Many of us sit for long periods of time each day, required to focus on certain projects at length. In fact, recent global studies indicate that people sit on average 7.7 hours per day, with some sitting as many as 15 hours daily! First of all, this sedentary lifestyle is not only hazardous to our physical health, but it can compromise our emotional health and hinder our productivity. So, whether we are stay-at-home parents or business execs, homeschooling teachers or public school guidance counselors, I believe we all can benefit greatly (emotionally, and in productivity) from planning for periodic de-cluttering of our surroundings and our minds throughout our days.

Not only will it refresh our minds to accomplish regular small tasks of organization, getting up and moving about can re-ignite our thought processes and creativity. Finally, I believe the actual, disciplined removal of clutter can benefit both our short- and long-term health.

 

The disciplined removal of clutter can benefit both our short- and long-term health. Click To Tweet

 

Below are four sets of 10-second breaks, each intended as springboards to help us to find small, regular windows throughout our days to take “organizational” breaks for our physical, emotional, and spiritual health. 

Ten 10-second mental health breaks

  • Close your eyes and take 10 slow, deep breaths
  • Read Matthew 11:28-30  
  • Write down 3 things for which you are thankful – keep a journal nearby!
  • Look out the window and pray for the first person you see
  • Look for a co-worker to encourage
  • Grab a drink of ice water
  • Thank God that He is Living Water
  • Text an encouraging message to someone you love
  • Pray for God to be evident in this next hour of work
  • Especially helpful: Sing the Doxology

 

Ten 10-second in-your-chair breaks (Office)

  • Open your Junk Drawer and discard 5 un-necessary items
  • Sharpen 3 pencils
  • Color-code your pens
  • Draw a picture of something that makes you smile
  • File three completed files
  • Dust your desk
  • Clean your computer screen
  • Discard un-necessary papers from your desk
  • Set goals for the next hour
  • Finally, check off completed goals from earlier in the day.

 

Clear Your Clutter Checklist

 

Ten 10-second out-of-chair breaks (Office)

  • Stand, stretch, and do 10 jumping jacks
  • Go for a walk: take your paper to the recycling bin
  • Re-arrange two pieces of furniture
  • Dust a set of shelves
  • Clean a mirror or window
  • Straighten your books
  • Eliminate 3 things from your “to-do” files
  • Go up, and then down 2 flights of stairs
  • Return an item you borrowed from a co-worker
  • Lastly, do 20 wall push-ups

 

Ten 10-second work-at-home breaks

  • Take a walk around the perimeter of your house or apartment building.
  • Fold throw blankets and straighten throw cushions
  • Dust the living room surfaces
  • Straighten up entryway shoes
  • Write an encouraging note and stick it to the refrigerator
  • Throw away any un-necessary refrigerator notes
  • Eliminate 5 things from your junk drawer
  • Walk through your home and pray for the people/activities in each room
  • Open the windows to bring in some fresh air
  • Very helpful: Inhale a focus & energy essential oil blend. Try these from Pure Joy! 


My favorite focus & energy blend

Clear Your Cluttered Mind Focus & Energy Blend

Clutter in our homes, offices, and minds can steal our joy. Click To Tweet

Bonus: Check out another favorite essential oil blend – my Joy Blend!

Proactively setting aside brief moments throughout our days to de-clutter will have long-term benefits on our physical and emotional health. These short, regular breaks can help pattern lives of gratitude for the things we’ve been given, and can inspire greater clarity of mind. Even today, we can begin to implement 10-Second Tidy principles into our work or home lives. I pray that as we do, our outlook will be of peace and not disorder. And in that peace, may we find  joy.

How do you clear clutter in your home, office or mind? Comment below!

Elizabeth Joy