Monday, June 1, 2020

Budget Friendly Activities to Inspire Joy





I've decided to nix most TV news and skim through the barrage of pandemic reports in the press and online. 

I sense it's better for my mental health to focus on things that help me remain calm, carry on, and inspire joy in me.

You probably need an encouraging word or two yourself. That's why I offer ...


Budget Friendly 

Activities to Inspire Joy





Refresh with plants, greenery, and flowers 🌴



Plants improve air quality, by exchanging stale air in our homes and offices with fresh oxygen. Plants are natural humidifiers, preventing or easing irritation to eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. According to a NASA study some plants even filter out toxic materials

No matter how down we feel, research reported on the NIH website indicates spending time in green spaces including parks, backyards, a plant nursery, or walking in a field of wildflowers elevates mood and even adds years to lives.

If we can't go outdoors, a simple way to commune with nature is to recall a moment from the past when we were hiking, rock climbing, biking, running, or strolling in the great outdoors. 

Using our imagination helps us recall fun times and associate sounds of a bubbling brook, children laughing, or the pleasing aroma of a pine forest with joy. 

We can take our fantasy further and visualize birds or butterflies flying about, conjure up animals strolling in their natural habitats, imagine people gathered at a picnic or tennis match, or see ourselves with our friends and relations, frolicking in an ocean or lake. 

Tilling the soil and planting seeds or potting plant cuttings we get from a friend, are low cost activities that bring joy. Studies show that spending quality time outdoors can reduce stress, is good exercise, and refreshes mind and spirit.




Focus on Heart-opening Journal Writing πŸ“ƒ



Put pen to paper and journal about small personal or career victories. We need not discount any effort. The tiniest step forward can be designated as the success of the day.

Journal to make a list of all the kind, caring expressions we would use to comfort a friend. 

Doing this helps us prepare for a time when we forget we can use gentle words to comfort ourselves. For another self-compassionate idea, read this from Dr. Kristin Neff.

An additional journal activity for joy is to write this phrase in a journal... "I am enough just as I am." For extra coaching on this read 9 Practices to Help You See You are Enough.

In the evening, devote a few minutes to recount all the good things that have occurred during the day in a journal. 

Grasping a pen or colored pencils in our hand rather than using an electronic device, is a tactile way to wind down before bedtime, as well as ground us.  

Ending each day with a grateful heart, helps us sleep better and encourages pleasant dreams. 

No time or desire to think up journal topics or journal write in a blank book?


Make it easy on yourself and pick up a copy of the interactive, guided journal, Colors of Joy: A Woman's Guide for Self-Discovery, Balance, and Bliss. 

I wrote it and published it at Align Publishing LLC just for women. Colors of Joy is affordable, attractive, and fun to use. 

It supports the journal owner as she does journal activities that were designed to increase joy.





Here's how to order it now!







Learn why a joyful reader said Colors of Joy was right for her.


"I recently received this book as a gift from a wonderful friend. She knew that things were changing for me...and that I had a willingness to start experiencing life once again. What she did not know is that this word ‘JOY’ has always had a special meaning for me, especially at this specific time.

This book has given me the opportunity to apply color, instead of words, to this blissful state of mind...a very different approach. It’s an invitation to considering another place for myself, that’s not in the extremes of either black or white thinking. Living within the many colors of the rainbow is where JOY resides for me, and I thank you for this practical and integrative guide to help me along with my process!



Accept Responsibility for Joy Now πŸ˜„


Some may blame other people for their current unhappiness, or think happiness is dependent on things like losing weight or falling in love. 

Others base their happiness on praise and recognition from the people in their lives. They find it difficult to take pleasure from their own accomplishments or be thankful for those things that are working in their lives, unless someone else approves. 

This is a mistake.

Accepting responsibility for our own joy means seeking healthful ways to tap into joy, and going after them.

Joy depends much more on our own sense of personal value, than it does on other peoples' opinion of us.

When we make an effort to discover which things we love to do and do them, we are well on the way to a joyful life! 

If we already know what inspires joy in us, we need to do it more often. 


"We can never overdo joy. " Nancy Andres😎




True joy is not dependent on whether we are on our own or live with a partner or family. It springs from inside.

The art to true happiness lies in finding enjoyment in simple things like savoring that first cup of coffee or tea in the morning or laughing, because we're wearing our favorite pair of sneakers.




Try this. Observe what happens to your outlook, when you consciously give thanks for food, shelter, and clothing. Also, set aside time to relax, act silly, and find pleasure in just being. Note how your body as well as your mind responds.

Joy is also a by-product of self-discovery. When we learn from our experiences, mistakes as well as progress become opportunities to grow.

Joy can spring from risking to try a new thing, or doing the same old same old. It depends on our mindset.

The pandemic has been an eye-opener for many of us. COVID-19 has given us a chance to notice our frame of mind, when we're left mostly to our own devices.


Although some places are reopening to the public, it may be wise to continue to do solo activities, and feel both happy and protected. 

Personal happiness improves when we feel self-confident. Being comfortable in our own skin helps us recognize our gifts, talents, areas were we still need work, and love ourselves wholeheartedly. 

For peace of mind, I make a decision to let go of fear and surrender to how outside circumstances unfold.

I believe that if we trust ourselves and our judgement, and appreciate the people and circumstances in our lives, we’re better able to sense the Universe is taking care of us all. 

Living simply and joyfully makes our lives sparkle and feel heart centered.




Consistent self-care activities help us build emotional flexibility and  sense joy, even on challenging days.

If life seems too hard or lonely, we don't have to tough it out alone. It's healthy and self-caring to share our pain with a friend, support group, spiritual counselor, or therapist. No one needs to feel isolated. Read What to do when you don't think you can afford therapy. πŸ˜“

Please comment below (no links in your comment please, as I won't be able to publish it that way).

I read every comment and appreciate your visit. πŸ’—

Do you think you're generally a happy person? Please explain.

Share your thoughts, feelings, and ideas about how you're dealing with stress during the pandemic and what brings you the most joy. 

If you like what you see, please pin this post and like it on social media. Please remember to link back to this post. 



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22 comments:

  1. Loved these budget friendly ideas to inspire joy! Accepting responsibility for our own joy really makes a world of a difference!

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    1. You are right on Marina. Accepting responsibility for our own joy really makes a world of a difference! What are you thinking or doing that brings you joy? Would love to know. Be well. Saty safe, and lead a colorful life.

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  2. I so love that you mentioned plants and greenery! Working on my garden is keeping me sane right now. I love checking my plants throughout day to see how they're dong.

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    1. Thanks Natalie for the visit and comment. I appreciate what you wrote about plants and greenery. For me, it's exciting and fun to see my plants' progress. Sort of sense that's how you feel too. Go woman go!

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  3. Great ideas and I think the idea of journalling is a good one. I find writing really cathartic and used to try to do Morning Pages (as suggested in The Artist's Way). I'm not sure how I fell out of the habit but I should restart!

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    1. I encourage you to journal again. Julia Cameron sure put together a wonderful journal program and I did that for several months as well. The journal tips listed above don't require much time yet while and after you do an exercise, the rewards are many. Thanks for commenting and stay safe and well.

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  4. Accepting responsibility for our own joy is the key isn't it Nancy? Yet so often it is easier to blame other people or things for our unhappiness. Your post has provided some ways to find joy without breaking the budget so thank you for sharing at #MSTL. Have a beautiful day. xx

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    1. Hi Sue, Know what you mean both about accepting responsibility for our own joy and staying within a budget. Thanks for hosting #MLSTL. Be well, find joy, and have a wonderful day.Are you joyful today?

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  5. Hi, Nancy - These are great reminders of how to extend our joy without spending extra cash. This is especially important for our current times. Thank you for sharing Colors of Joy. That looks like an awesome book. Congratulations! #MLSTL

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    1. Thanks so much for the visit and comment. Appreciate the kind words about Colors of Joy.It was a labor of love. My passion is to offer tips and life skills that help women live wholeheartedly and make their lives more joyful. Wishing you much joy today!

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  6. Thanks so much for linking up with me at my #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 13, open June 1 to 26. All party entries shared if social media buttons installed.

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    1. Thank you Dee for hosting #UnlimitedMonthlyLinkParty 13 and giving us bloggers a wonderful venue for displaying our posts. Wishing you much joy today!

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  7. Thanks for sharing so many simple ways we can find inspiration and joy. I love your suggestion about plants, flowers and greenery. It always lifts me up to be around natural elements.

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    1. I believe in the power of plants, flowers, and greenery. I write about it often and being in nature lifts me up too. Sometimes I forget how easy it is to take a break to refresh my spirit. Being outdoors is one of the simplest, free, and inspiring ways to do that. Be well and best wishes for much joy today.

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  8. Hi Nancy - you had me at "budget friendly"! I definitely agree that joy comes from within and if we choose gratitude and positivity then we can manifest joy even in these dark times. I always prefer the term "joy" to "happiness" because happiness often seems to be more dependent on our circumstances, whereas joy is something we create within ourselves.
    Thanks for linking up with us at MLSTL and I've shared on my SM 😊

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    1. Oh Leanne. This is exactly how I feel about the difference between happiness and joy. There's something I've discovered during this pandemic. It's "We can never overdo joy. " Wishing you oodles and oodles and hugs as well.

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  9. Like the saying goes You can't change what other's say or do to you but you can change how you deal with it. I like to spend time outside if possible working with my flowers - which I find very healing and calming. I also like to that the time to relax and meditate while thinking about happy times in my life. Thank you so much for your wonderful suggestions and ideas. I always find them very very and inspiring.

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    1. Thanks for your comment and visit. So happy my ideas and tips to inspire joy help you. Wishing you a joyful day and stay safe and well.

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  10. You've shared some wonderful ideas, Nancy. Joy really does come from within, and by allowing ourselves time to indulge ourselves creatively we really can enjoy life even more. Sharing on the Hearth and Soul Facebook page. Thank you for being a part of the Hearth and Soul Community.

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    1. Thanks for your kind words and the visit April. So excited about participating in the Hearth and Soul Community. Please stay safe and well, and lead a colorful life.

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  11. After breaking both wrists and getting surgery on both in the midst of the pandemic, I realized that my joy isn't dependent on my present circumstances, but on my attitude. I believe joy is a choice and by choosing fun, relaxing activities we are renewed and refreshed regardless of our circumstances.

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    1. You are such an inspiration Beth. Thanks for your comment, visit, and wishing you healing and JOY!

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