I'm a writer, Youtuber, photographer. and old-fashioned romantic in love with celebrating the simple joys of daily life. I appreciate timelessness, the natural world, and a slow life lived with simplicity and intention. When I'm not photographing families or  slowly traveling the world and writing about it in a little notebook, I'm happily grounding myself in nature and cozying up with my sweet husband.

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HELENAW

Hellooooo my friend and welcome back to the blog! To say this last Full Moon in Leo was an emotional one would be a serious understatement. This last week I felt the most uninspired I’ve felt in quite a long time. I pride myself on my endurance and consistency, so I was a bit frustrated with myself that nothing creative would come from me. My laptop sat untouched on my desk, hundreds of video clips buried their way down in folders on my hard drive, and my motivation to create a video squashed. And no cause was needed for this! Sometimes we randomly experience feelings of depletion. But I also think I’ve just been feeling a bit burned out. Writing, filming, editing videos by yourself is a ton of work and requires immense energy to be given.

When I started Simple Joys, I didn’t expect to grow (my last channel didn’t grow beyond 100 subscribers in the first three years and I expected it to be a similar scenario) but as it has grown, I felt motivated to share a new video each week, and now a lot of beautiful souls expect one! And after a while, I began to feel burnt out. I’ve been sharing and creating a video every week since I started my youtube channel in March of last year, and boy did I need a break from coming up with ideas! I also just sense my channel going through a new evolvement right now. I’m experimenting with making a new style of video this month, and I needed the time to reflect and process it before making any big decisions.

I want to share this with you because I think it’s important to remember that there will be times when noticing the simple joys is difficult. I’m legit one of the happiest people I know. I have a natural pep in my step, an organic way of seeing the positive in even the darkest of times. But there are a lot of souls that don’t feel this way often, and I empathize with them because when the days are hard, it can feel intensely hollow and empty. 

There are days when it’s hard to gather motivation and take action. When it’s hard to write down a gratitude list. There are days when you will feel your light begin to dim and darken. And you won’t feel the desire to share and give to others.

We all process these emotional experiences differently. My husband is a verbal processor, for example, and loves to talk it out with someone when he feels these moments. I, on the other hand, escape into a dark cave of contemplation. I like to spend lots of time alone when I feel this void of creativity and joy, and I don’t like to talk it out until I’ve reflected and journaled endlessly upon it. I have to meditate it out.

Hence, no youtube video this week and no desire to be on camera. But this time of rest was essential for me, and I’m so glad I took it. I felt empty, and creating out of a place of emptiness is no use to anyone.

But this morning I woke up with a bolt of Uranian energy, ready to edit, scribble down a script and get a story out! I grabbed my camera out and here we are: a blog post!

What I’ve realized is that darker emotions come in waves, and sometimes it’s as simple as having to patiently ride the wave out. 

I thought I’d share a quick list of some of the things that have helped me get through this past week and some of the actions that helped lighten my mood. If you’re ever in an uninspired place or find it especially hard to notice the simple joys, may some of these tips be of benefit to you. 🙂

1. Accept Your Energy as Valuable

The first tip, and one of the most important, is to accept your energy as useful and worthwhile. All emotions, including the negative ones, are valuable. Frustration is worthwhile. Sadness is valuable. Accepting our energy as it is now, with no urgent, thirsty need to change it immediately, helps us fully feel it….and then pass us by. No repressing these feelings! No spiritual bypassing! Feel it. Accept it. Release it.

When we condemn ourselves for feeling a certain way, we create a natural feeling of stuckness. And it’s hard to gather momentum in this state of judgment. I find that for me, accepting my energy as it is: ever-evolving, fluid, natural and multi-dimensional, helps gives me that compassion to move through it a bit quicker. When we accept it as it is, we build resilience and fortitude. Every emotion we experience is a lesson for our souls to process and learn from. And we are forever students. 

Helena Woods and Simple Joys

2. Label it

This is such a simple tip but label your emotion! Give it a name. And say it out loud if it helps! When I am experiencing a lot of mental chatter and emotional fogginess, simply confronting it and giving it a name (ie. anger, frustration, guilt, shame, etc) helps give me power over the emotion. I also refer to this mental chatter as “the mind.” Eckhart Tolle calls is the “Ego” and Seth Godin calls it the “Lizard Brain” but I call it “the mind” and by saying out loud, “ah that’s just the mind again….” (not my inner voice / intuition / spirit / essence), I can bring my focus and awareness back to the present moment….the only true moment we have. 

3. Move Your Body

This is a game-changer. When I wake up in the morning, after doing meditation, I put on some loud, uplifting music and jam full out in my pjs! And those endorphins get me happy for the rest of the day. Dance full out, too! Pretend you’re in a music video and have fun with it! My husband finds this hilarious and seeing me in a really happy mood, dancing goofily to uplifting music gets him happy too! If you’re not fond of dancing, practice some yoga, stretch your body, or do some playful jumping jacks! Also, go for a brisk walk! Walking is seriously the most underrated form of exercise. 

4. Reach One Level Higher on the Emotional Scale

Negative feelings are stepping stones to more positive ones. The great thing about emotions is how easily and fluidly they can move and shift. Shame can lead to pride, just as easily as a feeling of stuckness can lead to liberation. But staying in motion and creating a sense of moving forward can help you reach a new state. You don’t need to reach for peace, joy and enlightenment if it feels too far up on the scale. Reach for just one level higher. That is enough, and that is valuable. I learned about this in the fantastic book Power Vs Force. 

5. Consume Joyful Energy

I don’t know about you….but happy people make me feel happy. Uplifting energy, joyful sounds and fast, enthusiastic talkers raise my energy levels up! I love listening to podcast hosts that have fast, excitable, passionate energy because my energy is also naturally that way. It’s true that we connect most with the people we are most similar to! When I listen to them, it’s as if I instinctively want to rise my energy up and meet them at their level. It’s almost as if I sense myself – my energy – in them, and I feel that present contrast in our energy levels…so I rise up! Whether it’s a conversation with your uber driver, a quick chit chat with your neighbor or simply listening to your favorite youtube creator, choose to surround yourself with joy-filled people. You are who you hang with, and consuming joyful energy helps tap you into that more joyous energy.

And again, you don’t need to raise your energy all the way up to joy; simply moving one step up the ladder is transformative!

6. Eft Tapping

Emotional Freedom Technique is one of my greatest simple joys in life. It’s basically acupuncture without needles. Tapping is an energetic healing technique that uses pressure points and meridians in the body to clear emotional blockages. It’s fast, easy and costs nothing, and it’s the quickest way to clear negative thoughts and habits out of your life. I discovered it a few years ago when experiencing some massive panic attacks, phobias and anxiety after watching the Netflix show You and again after seeing Joker (oh yes, please be conscious of the energy in the media you consume!) and after doing a few minutes of tapping the fear out, these fears have disappeared. I’ve released countless fears, money blocks, body pains, and attracted a lot of beautiful things in my life in part to doing daily tapping. All you do is repeatedly press on various points of your body while talking out loud about the issues you’re trying to resolve. I know this sounds crazy! And it seemed like it at first to me, as well! But it’s improved my life dramatically, and I always recommend anyone try it if it feels like a fit for them. It gives me instant confidence and I owe so much of the good emotions in my life to it. You can find tons of videos to tap along with for free on Youtube!

7. Gain Knowledge From Within 

Knowledge is power. The more we know and understand our fears and where they came from, the more power we have over our fears and the more joy and presence we can experience because of it! When a fear shows up, go within to uncover the root of it. This last week, a big fear of mine popped up for me and after sitting in meditation and asking myself questions like, “where did this fear come from?” and “what is this here to teach me?” I was able to learn so much about the origins of the specific fear! Having that knowledge about where it came from and understanding what I can learn from it and how I can move in my daily life alongside that fear, I was able to release it. There are different ways you can receive information about your fears and heal them. One is to move to a lower brain state, such as Alpha or Theta, by going into meditation, doing breathwork, accessing the Akashic Records or simply spending time in nature and allowing yourself to observe and lightly watch the world around you. Relaxing your brain to a peaceful state, major healing transformations can be done.

For You Astrology Lovers Out There….

If you’re into astrology like I am, check to see which house Chiron is in your natal chart and notice what planets are aspecting it. Chiron is the wounded healer, the soft spot of the natal chart. It can teach us a lot about the parts of us that are most sensitive and where our childhood wounds are and how they play out in our daily lives. Here’s a book I loved that can get you started on understanding you soul’s blueprint based on your chart! I don’t share about astrology much publicly, but I’ve been privately studying it for over ten years and am always surprised at how our personal planetary transits correlate with our own lives. 

8. Create Easy Transitions

Some mornings it’s hard to get out of bed. And sometimes it’s hard to get started on your daily tasks. On these days, I recommend creating ease-filled transitions. In other words, put on something in the background that makes you look forward to the day. For me, knowing that my favorite YouTubers or podcast hosts are going to be releasing new content that day gets me so excited to start the day! Put a youtube video on in the background, play some uplifting music, learn about a new subject through an interesting podcast (one of my favorites lately has been the History Chicks Podcast!) and transition onto the next task!

Helena Woods Simple Joys

9. Eat Something Joyful

Moving your energy can be as simple as eating more joyful foods! Recently I realized that a lot of the foods I regularly eat are foods that are chemically shown to make you feel better! Each morning when I feel hungry, I eat my favorite feel-good snacks: raspberries, blackberries, bananas and dark chocolate. Bananas contain tryptophan, a brain chemical that helps to regulate mood and some berries have a chemical similarity to valproic acid, which is a mood-stabilizing drug. I also regularly snack on apples, walnuts and cranberries and these foods always give me a boost of energy. I love food, but when I place my intention on “eating for energy” I notice that my body and mood naturally feel more energetic and full of life.

10. Get Outside

There is nothing like fresh air, wide open sky and the sound of birds to get me in a better mood. I take an hour walk every morning in the mountains surrounding my house, and after walking I always feel inspired and uplifted to do something else….to keep moving. Take a moment on your walk to admire the moving clouds, watch the leaves rustle in the wind, observe the water trickle lightly down the city sidewalk. In the midst of darker feelings, observing the natural world puts me back in a feeling of neutrality and quiet appreciation. 

Helena Woods of Simple Joys

11. Take Action on Your Instincts

If you feel an impulse to take action on something, go do it right away. The longer you wait on it, the less excited you’ll feel about it down the road and the more likely you’ll stay in a sluggish, low energy state. Simply taking one action step towards something you love to do each day is enough to get that energy moving. Anna was right when she described how you just need to “do the next right thing.” (Side note: ugh, doesn’t Frozen 2 just have the most powerful soundtrack everrr?! The soundtracks was one of the things that inspired me to start the Simple Joys channel, and I resonate with it so much! Huge thank you to the songwriter duo – Robert and Kristen)

Yesterday, I felt a sudden impulse to sit down and film a video about this blog post topic and post it to my Patreon, and after filming I felt so much better!! I felt alive and reconnected to my energy. Your action could be as simple as finishing a puzzle, calling up a friend, going out for a long walk, baking muffins, writing a list down, cleaning your sink, or writing a blog post. 

One task. One action. Keep it simple. You’ll feel so much better, I promise.

12. Put a Timer on It

Personally, I thrive on challenges. Any type of challenge! It gives me energy and fuel to learn, adapt and create and I need it in my day-to-day to feel good! One of the simple things I love to do to get a boost of energy is to put a timer on a task and try to beat the timer! Lol! My Mars in Aries is showing a bit here….but maybe it will work for you too! I notice that kids love this as well. Kids embrace competition, challenge, and games and putting a timer on while cleaning up toy room and playfully counting down is a fun way to get the energy up and moving! And it helps get things done. 🙂

Alright, dear reader, those are my 12 tips and actions! I am sending you a warm hug, lots of healing energy and if you’re feeling low like I was last week, please remember that blue skies are coming. You just have to ride it out. I hope these actions help at all as they have helped me.

See the Video!

I post more sit-down videos and vlogs on my Patreon. Patreon is a place on the internet to support your favorite creators and it’s a more personal place where I share! If you’d like to see a video on this post, you can find it on my Patreon. I’m so excited to get back to posting videos regularly again on my Youtube Channel Simple Joys this week! I feel renewed and inspired to create a new style of videos going forward, more “story” type videos. I’m excited to start something new, and I feel a rush of excitement as I write this!

Well, that’s it, I’m off to begin editing. Wish me luck! LOL

Love,

Helena!

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When It’s Hard to Notice the Simple Joys – My 12 Healing Tips

February 2, 2021

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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through photography and content creation! A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I photograph families across the world. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.

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