How to find joy when alone.

The Road To Mental Wellness > inspiration > How to find joy when alone.

How to find joy when alone. Can we make happiness in the now, even when we long for days gone by?

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From memes to Facebook posts, YouTube videos and more, I often see “You have to live in the moment.” A concept that I fully agree with. In fact, I would say that it’s the best way for one to live their life. But like with all things, there is a negative side to living in the moment.

What? But doesn’t living in the moment maximize the joy and allow us to cement the memories from said moments? Well, yes, of course. That said, is living in the moment enough? Let’s say you often feel anxious when your baby cries. You are by default, living in the moment. “I just want you to go to sleep.” Essentially, in that moment your angst would be alleviated if your little one would drift off into slumber.

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In my view, this is an example of living in a moment that is less desirable. For me, looking back on my children’s childhoods, I would love nothing more but to have every moment back. Yes, even the ones that were stressful.

I think, “I would handle the harder moments better and change them into instances of joy.” This thought often runs through my head when I long for the smaller versions of my kids.

Sadly, you don’t get the time back and realistically, you could never be a perfect parent. Regardless, looking back, I am filled with a deep sense of sadness, a sadness for times gone by.

Ironically, this is a juncture one should strive to being themselves back into the present and thereby, be grateful for the now. I get that. Not only do I understand its importance, but I also see that It’s for the best. For in life, it’s always straight ahead.

What has been can’t be undone however, it can be learned from.

With all that said, certain times of year, coupled with circumstances in one’s life, can make it tough. Christmas is fast approaching, a holiday that I once loved. However, now that my kids are older and I am living alone, all the “joy” is hell at times.

And in these moments is when I reflect and want every second of my younger kids back.

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Author Jonathan Arenburg on the cover of his book, The Road To Mental Wellness

When I went off work because of PTSD, I was left in limbo while I waited to see if I would be awarded Workers Compensation. It was long and painful, hanging in the darkness of my home.

So, I began to try and figure out this PTSD thing; how did I get here? I was a firefighter, so I knew that much but my battled with anxiety and depression was a life-long battle.

I began to write out my story, mostly to help quell the angst of being lonely and in mental illness purgatory. It helped – immensely. I survived the dark because of it.

Now, it’s here – written for therapeutic intervention and published in hopes that it can do the same for you or someone you know…..

How to find joy when alone.

The key to finding joy in the now is to acknowledge that there is nothing you can do about the past. As sad as it is to say, there is no going back. So, what do you have in front of you that you can make new memories with? Who is currently in your life that can make the holiday season wonderful for you?

For most of my adult life, I have used Christmas day as a day whereby I could celebrate those who are here in my life. I don’t care about gifts; I care about time. Therefore, if we have made it from one Christmas to the next, we have been gifted.

I am grateful for this perspective because it allows me to embrace the moments and the people I share them with. In other words, while I may want the little kiddy Christmas, full of noise, toys and wrapping paper, I can adapt. So, no matter who I spend the holidays with, I will make amazing memories. We are all on borrowed time, so let’s make the most of the time with those we love. Let’s not forget to live in the moment that is right in front of us!

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How to find joy when alone. copyright, 2022

Jonathan Arenburg

Jonathan Arenburg is a mental health blogger, S speaker, writer, and published author; He is also the host of the mental wellness podcast, #thewellnesstalksHe has also appeared in the i'Mpossible's Lemonade Stand III. He has also been a contributing writer for Mental health talk, a column in his local paper. In addition, he has also written for the mental health advocacy organization; Sick Not Weak.Jonathan has also appeared on several mental health-related podcasts Including: A New Dawn, The Depression Files, Books and Authors, and Men Are Nuts. Since being put off work because of PTSD, Jonathan has dedicated his time to his mental wellness journey while helping others along the way.Educated as an addictions' counsellor, he has dedicated most of his professional life of eighteen years, working with those who have intellectual disabilities, behavioural challenges, and mental illness.He has also spent fifteen years in the volunteer fire service helping his community.His new book (2021), “The Road To Mental Wellness,” goes into detail about his life-long battle with depression, anxiety and more recently, PTSD. In it, he hopes to provide insight on how mental illness cultivates over a lifetime and, if not recognized and treated, how it impacts the entirety of one's life; right from childhood into the adult years. Jonathan lives with his two children in Nova Scotia, Canada.

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