Is anyone else finding it hard to stay motivated and happy when the days are grey and short, when we are now in lockdown 2.0, where we can’t see our friends or our family, where watching the news is a more scary and depressing than usual?

Well, I can only speak for myself when I say I am finding it hard. But! It isn’t impossible. I just have to work be more intentional about it than I used to. Here are some of the things I am doing with good results, to try to stay as happy as I can, yes, even during a global pandemic:

1) MAINTAIN TIES with friends, family, loved ones and the community around you. This doesn’t look like it used to, but just because it isn’t how you want it to be doesn’t mean you give up altogether. If we want to be happy we NEED a strong sense of community, this is a simple truth.

Say hello to your neighbour, or the stranger walking down the street. Tip the local restaurant really, really well. Thank your grocery store clerk for continuing to work. Call a family member or friend you haven’t heard from in a while. Organize a group Zoom call with people in your community. Just stay connected.

2) PUT DOWN THE SCREENS and turn off the news and social media and EMBRACE THE MUNDANE. Right now, it is more important than ever to try to find some form of normalcy. Small spurts of normalcy add up. And these spurts of normalcy are not to be found on a screen.

Right now, the news is terrible so turn off the tv and put down your phone. I’m not saying put your head in the sand, but you don’t need to let it consume you. So what if you aren’t the first one to know something? So what if you miss out on someones post? Go outside (for exercise only of course!) and distantly engage with the real world The one that is happening right outside your front door.

In a super non creepy way, watch the woman walking her dog and going about her day. Observe the guy filling his tank at the station Watch as your friends and neighbours go to work, There are still decent, normal people going about their lives and doing their best. Look for things that are familiar, things that make your world feel like the world you know and love. Trust me, it’s out there, it’s just happening behind closed doors…for now.

The possibilities to explore and engage with the world border on endless. The real, actual world is so much more beautiful than the screen in your hand.

3) Find SOMETHING TO DO. Whenever I feel frustrated or down, I know that it is time to make a list! It is often because I feel like I am not making progress any longer and so, even making a small list and checking them off as I complete them can do wonders for my mood. Tony Robbins is a huge believer in this. He is quoted as saying, “Progress =Happiness”. That it isn’t the actual reaching of a goal that makes you happy, its the actions you are taking and the progressions you are making that light a spark of joy in you. So why don’t you pick a goal and start making progress towards it? This could be a fitness goal, like learning how to run 5 k, or a hobby goal, like learning how to knit. What about taking a course. The key is, make your goal realistic and then actually take steps to completing it! I don’t have to tell you that setting a goal and not taking any steps towards it is an immediate mood buster.

4) EXERCISE as much as possible! Ideally out doors at least some of the time. No matter how much you feed your mind, it’s difficult to make an actual change in your life and discover how to feel happy if your body is telling you it’s unhealthy. Your mind and body are one unit. When you are feeling physically strong and powerful, your mind follows suit.

Stay hopeful!



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