What brings me joy
This week is mental health awareness week and we have been asked to write something in line with the prompt ‘what brings you joy’.
After careful consideration, I have decided to reflect on something that might seem rather mundane, but is actual vital to me finding not only joy, but also balance and wellbeing: a tidy living room.
As I have blogged about before, I share a two-bedroom unit with my boyfriend, and for the most part I love it. But, it is pretty small, something that has become particularly apparent during this year as we have spent more time at home than I’m sure we otherwise might have.
As a result, I take particular pride in maintaining a sense of order in the house. I often find that if things are dishevelled, out of place or looking a bit haphazard, it can lead me to adopt a similar attitude towards other aspects of my life.
As a PhD student, pretty much everything I do for uni is self-directed, and thus it can be very easy for days or weeks to split away only to look up and find I haven’t accomplished really anything.
Because the living area is open plan and includes a dinning table and clear line of sight to the kitchen, my desire for tidiness usually extends to ensuring things are where they should be on the table and any dirty dishes have been appropriately deposited in the dishwasher. These may seem like petty things, and on the whole I strive to not let them cause unhappiness or bitterness between my rather more relaxed boyfriend and I, but they add up.
As such, a tidy living room isn’t going to solve all my problems, but in my mind it represents a state of calm and order that gives me mental space to turn to more substantial matters – to keep all aspects of my life on track. That might not sound like much to you, but to you, that relief is enough to bring me a little bit of everyday joy.