By Tomislav Lukicevic

Joie de vivre is a French phrase that means “the joy of living,”. It encapsulates the sense of enjoyment and happiness we can experience in everyday life. However, sometimes the universe is unkind, things change or become monotonous, and we lose that spark. 

When that sense of joy and wonder deserts us, we can find ourselves in a state of apathy, sadness, or emptiness. If you’ve lost your joie de vivre, don’t worry, it’s not uncommon. You are not alone, and there are things you can do to reclaim it.

In A Dark Place And Unsure How To Get Out

We live in stressful times with COVID-19, inflation, cost of living increases, and a threat of nuclear war looming over our heads. Let’s face it, all this turmoil has seriously impacted people’s mental health worldwide. 

I am not ashamed to confess it added to my level of overall anxiety, and all the doomscrolling and bad news constantly bombarding me made me feel burnt out. At the same time, some radical changes were also happening in my life. This “cocktail” of inner and outer stimuli resulted in quite unexpected and strong emotional vortexes. My mind could not cope with the added stress and anxiety, and it brought me to a lonely, dark, depressing place.

At War With Yourself

I am a person that always finds solutions for problems, and I try to focus on that when I’m feeling low. So at first, I ignored my loneliness and depression. I tried to get through it as I usually do by focusing on my daily routine, working (I have a little bit of ADHD, so I try to keep busy), gaming and meeting up with friends. 

I thought a few days would pass and I would return to the good old me, but surprisingly that didn’t happen. I noticed the things that usually made me happy didn’t work anymore. I lost interest in meeting friends and wanted to be alone to indulge in self-pity. I also lost my appetite and ability to sleep. 

Nothing could make me laugh, and all my thoughts were negative and gloomy. It actually hurt, and although I have been injured many times in my life, this mental pain was on a whole other level.

Day after day, it worsened, and I knew I was losing a war with myself. As Friedrich Nietzsche said In Thus Spoke Zarathustra, “you yourself will always be the worst enemy you can encounter“. I soon realised that you need a strategy in every war, so I had to make a battle plan and find some allies to help me.

Identify The Source Of Your Unhappiness

First of all, you need to acknowledge you have a serious problem and try to identify the causes of why you are feeling this way. This could be anything from a difficult work situation to a relationship problem. 

Once you have identified the source of your unhappiness, you can begin to take steps to address it. One thing that helped me a lot in all aspects of life is making a list of actions to help me overcome my state of mind. 

Set Realistic Goals And Connect With Others

Having a goal in life is vital, and setting some life aims for myself immediately made me feel better. While it can be tempting to set lofty goals for yourself, this can lead to feelings of failure and frustration if you cannot achieve them. 

Instead, try setting small, achievable goals that you can work towards each day; it can be as small as taking a shower or going on an errand you’ve been putting off. 

Try to reconnect with friends or find new ones. Humans are social beings, and it is in our nature to socialise. If you need help with interaction, try to join some support groups. It will help to see you are not the only “lil black cloud” out there in the world, and you will find people you can share with and help each other resolve life’s issues.

Exercise And Get Out Into Nature

Another thing that improved my mood was going out for long walks in nature and enjoying the sun and fresh air. A little bit of natural vitamin D will do miracles for mood restoration. Eating healthier was another critical decision, as a properly balanced diet benefits your body and will make you feel better about yourself. 

Sometimes the simple things help you feel gratitude in life and put a spring in your step. However, it’s important to note that if you try these methods and are still struggling, seeking professional help is never something to be ashamed of. 

Refinding your joy in life is not always an easy task. Still, overcoming this challenging time will make you stronger, and you’ll appreciate your life more. I wish you luck in refinding your joy.