I remember when I was pregnant with my first child. I had everything planned out. From the healthy food I would nourish my body with while pregnant to my natural birthing plan filled with candles and yoga balls for bringing my precious little one into the world. Well, daily Portillo’s Chocolate cake slices and an unwanted epidural later, she came into the world. While most things went as planned, nothing could have prepared me for the sleepless nights, excessive worries and overwhelming emotions.
One image stays in my mind today as I think about the early months of motherhood. One late evening, after several car drives to help our colicky baby sleep while my husband downed coffee and I tried to sneak in a quick nap, my husband whimpered at me with exhaustion in his eyes and said “I need sleep babe. I can’t drive anymore.” I looked over at him from the passenger’s seat, held his hand and knew that my late evening was just beginning.
Once we pulled into the driveway, our once slumbering newborn baby promptly popped open her eyes and began her blood curdling cries. I stumbled out of the car, unbuckled her from her car seat, and snuggled her upstairs to be held and rocked, hopefully back to sleep. When I got in her room I turned on the mobile to her crib. It was a Winnie the Pooh themed nursery room and her mobile sported a tiny plush Tigger, Roo and Pooh Bear. It quietly began to to play an orchestra of lullaby songs while the animals began to dance, and I began to dance my baby girl to sleep.
That mobile brought such joy and peace to me during those sleepless nights. So much so that I have used mobiles with my clients as a way to focus on the joyful parts of our lives.
So how do you create a mobile that makes you happier? Start by closing your eyes and imagining the things that make you smile. What makes you laugh? Who or what brings joy to your life? Write them down in your journal.
Next gather the materials you will need to create your very own "Mobile of Joy".
Metal crafting ring, medium sized
Yarn and/or colorful string
Items from nature (sticks, feathers, rocks, seashells)
Pictures of loved ones
Images and/or drawings of things that make you feel happy
Magazine cutouts of words that create joy in your heart
Wrap your metal ring with yarn and/or string of your choice.
Thread the additional joyful objects through the metal ring and attach them to your yarn wrapped metal ring. Allow for different heights, sizes, shapes and textures to hang from the ring.
Adjust as needed until you get the desired look you want.
Hang your mobile in a place where you can see it throughout the day.
If you are having a hard day or just need a little joy in your life, give your mobile a little breeze and watch it spin. Take in the items that you hung and feel the happiness surround you.
Remember that you deserve joyful moments in your life, and taking the time to create something that makes you happy is just as important as getting a good night’s sleep.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health disorder, visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website for valuable resources to find help and support, or call the toll-free helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).