8 Simple Doable Things to Stay Happy during COVID times
Created by Shikha Batra Updated on May 27, 2021
In the past one year with the unfolding of the global coronavirus pandemic, life has been the same. As we have retreated into our homes, we have started looking inwards too and have been looking at life from a different perspective trying to seek answers to many questions such as:
What is it that we can do to keep ourselves happy since there is no end in sight to this pandemic?
How to deal with higher levels of anxiety that most of us are facing and cultivate personal happiness?
How can happiness be achieved in day to day life doing the same chores day after day adhering to the restrictions such as social distancing?
How to prepare ourselves to live with the 'new normal' trends and accept them happily?
How do we keep ourselves motivated so that we can spread positivity to our family and friends too with so many do's and don'ts to be followed and with prevailing uncertainty which is making it even worse?
Up until last year February, to be happy simply meant going out with friends on weekends, a couple of fancy dinners with family, holidaying on exotic destinations once or twice a year, to be able to pay monthly EMI's, being able to afford a decent sized car, to be able to meet personal and / or professional goals and you are sorted.
However, in the wake of this pandemic, the bigger question is, 'Is it possible to be happy even now amidst this uncertainty and confusion all around after a whole year has passed by and when we still do not have any definite answers to many of our questions? '
Yes, we can still be happy in such unprecedented times and the way to achieve it is by redefining happiness. The whole idea of happiness has undergone a transformation. We all have been trying to find happiness at the unlikeliest place, looking for simpler pleasures in doing some regular chores which we previously never laid our hands at.
It is still possible to be at peace while going through a low phase of life such as the one we are currently in by considering it as an achievable goal and working on it every day. Here are a few simple ways to feel happier and boost happiness during a global pandemic-
1. Take good care of your body: Only if you feel physically healthy and strong, you will be able to keep yourself emotionally healthy and happy. So addressing our stress on a physical level by incorporating 30-40 minutes of exercise regime, 5 days in a week can do the trick. It will not only help us in keeping anxiety at bay but would also keep a check on our stress levels.
2. Acknowledge your feelings and know that to feel disappointed is okay: Many of our plans have been put on hold indefinitely or canceled in the wake of this pandemic such as family vacations, weddings, celebrations. Allow yourself to mourn these missed milestones and only then you will be able to come to terms with the harsh reality as running away from it would only intensify the grief.
3. Building a sustainable routine: As of now, everything might just look out of control, though efforts are continuously being made to contain the spread of this pandemic, simple ways to bring predictability in our life by setting up routines and boundaries might make us feel better and hopeful. Since there will be little time to worry as our mental energies would be focused on the completion of tasks planned for the day, thereby reducing our stress levels. Planning ahead for the day in terms of what to cook for lunch, which activities to pursue with our children in order to spend quality time with them, what time to call it a day and so on and so forth might give a sense of purpose thereby keeping anxiety at bay.
4. Pause to give gratitude rather than complain: Write a list of things you are grateful for, which is a key to increase your level of happiness. Stop for a while to say 'thank you to everyone who crosses your path, including yourself. Be it the delivery person who just delivered your goods or your household help who made you a cup of tea as the trick is that you can make yourself happy by making others happy.
5. Try to regulate your sleep: A good night's sleepnight sleep is very important for both physical well as mental wellness. Have a fixed schedule and set an alarm to go to bed and try to sleep on time on at least 5 days of the week. By improving sleep hygiene you will be able to keep yourself not just happy but calm as well as relaxed too to face the challenges the next day brings along for you.
6. Counteract the toxic and fearful energy with Meditation: Begin your day by meditating for just ten minutes at a time. Gradually build it up and you can meditate for a longer duration. This not only is a powerful way to kickstart your day but would also increase the feel-good neurochemicals by reducing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol. A productive morning routine would set the pace for the entire day and would make you ready to take on the world.
7. Stay connected with family and friends virtually: Physical distancing does not necessarily mean depriving ourselves of social interaction too. In unprecedented times like the one we are currently in wherein anxiety due to physical distancing might overpower our mind, technology comes in as a blessing in disguise. Online forums can help us stay connected with friends and family via video calls, messages, group video chat and other plentiful options. It can be a mood-lifter in times of social isolation as we can celebrate even small moments of happiness with special people in our lives without actually having to meet them physically.
8. Find joy in little things to stay resilient: Creating a few moments of relief to boost our moods by laying hands on new recipes once in a while, making small changes in the home atmosphere by lighting up candles, spending time with family members by playing board games, puzzles, antakshari, reading out stories to our children, planting roses in our garden, feeding sparrows, wearing the colorful dress with make up and adorning ourselves in the mirror or even finding pleasure in a spontaneous moment of silliness by trying to whistle, or feeling the warmth of snuggling with a pet. We can create such small yet precious moments of joy to giggle and stay strong.
The end to this pandemic seems uncertain and such negative thoughts can be overwhelming and stressful. The grief is hanging in the air due to a multitude of factors such as fear of something happening to loved ones, savings in bank accounts at an all-time low due to loss of jobs or no steady source of income, longing for a night out , even just a moment of true solitude. To make ourselves feel better and make moments of joy still accessible to us, it becomes important we accept reality and try to think positive as these positive emotions help us think more creatively and productively. Reframing the negative thoughts and redefining happiness will definitely help us look at the situation with a positive mindset and a hopeful perspective.
Please do share with us the techniques you have adopted for keeping yourself and your loved ones happy amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.