Learn how to find joy in your everyday routine.
2020 has been intense! I could use a good belly laugh right about now. Not a chuckle, or a snicker but a good old-fashioned knee-slapping, lose-my-breath, snort-inducing belly laugh. It feels like a lifetime since I’ve had one of those and I miss it. I miss being able to go get a Slurpee, pop into my favorite store, or even window shop in the mall without having to suit up like I’m going to battle. Instead of worrying about which outfit I’m going to wear to the barbecue on the weekend, I’m worried about whether I remembered to bring my mask and hand sanitizer with me. As stay-at-home restrictions are being lifted, many of us are hesitant to do the things that we used to do because, I mean, let’s face it…it’s not like the pandemic suddenly ceased to exist. Everyone is itching to feel some sort of normalcy in their life again and we will, but it will look different than it did before. We all have to make changes to our routine and I believe that you can still be happy during these times of uncertainty. Here are a few simple ways to start.
1. Re-frame Your Mindset. Being happy is about appreciating the things that you already have instead of spending time worrying or complaining about what you don’t have. These days I find myself truly grateful for the health and safety of my family and friends because I know that so many others are not as fortunate. One way to re-frame your mindset is to write down 5 things that you’re grateful for each morning in a place that’s visible – like a corkboard in your office or on a dry erase board in your bathroom so that you can see it while you brush your teeth 😊
2. Take Things Slow. One thing that I learned while being quarantined is that life moves a mile a minute, but you don’t have to. Before we were all put in a mandatory time-out, I was constantly on the go. I felt like I had to be at Happy Hour with my friends, had to go out every weekend, had to keep up with what was going on in the world, but now I’ve learned to slow down. Moving a mile-a-minute was a way to fill the empty time spaces in my schedule and often led to spending money that I didn’t need to and doing things that I didn’t want to. Now, I’ve learned to take things slow and be more intentional about how I spend my time and who I spend it with and I feel fantastic!
3. Try Something New. Maybe you’ve been putting off baking, cooking, sewing, fishing, or learning a new language. If it’s something that you wanted to do, then make time to get it done! Trying something new can be challenging but rewarding. Pushing yourself to limits that you didn’t think were possible is the only way to grow. Sometimes you fail, but if you keep trying, you’ll feel a deep sense of accomplishment and pride that no one can take away from you.
4. Surround Yourself with Positive People. When was the last time that you took inventory of the people in your inner circle? If you haven’t done it recently (or at all), take a few minutes to determine if the people that you hang around with tend to be positive or negative. Behaviors of others tend to rub off on us and – whether you like it or not – we’re all a product of the company we keep. I’m not suggesting that you get rid of anyone who isn’t positive, but you can lessen the amount of time spent with them.
5. Plan Your Happiness. You know that I couldn’t end this post without saying something related to being organized or planning! This tip is one that I use when I have a big goal that may take months or years to accomplish. Instead of focusing on the end goal, I break it down into measurable (actionable) steps so that I can celebrate small wins along the way. Knowing that I have several things to look forward to that will lead me to a finished product that makes me happy along the way and prevents discouragement from creeping up.
There’s no time like the present to invest in yourself by choosing to be happy no matter the circumstance!