Oh our happy place. The Covid-19 virus has changed our way of life for over a year now and it has turned our notion of where our happy place is upsidedown. However it has affected you personally, the virus has changed all of our lives, and for so many of us, it has been a difficult time. Now, more than ever, we must create a new ‘happy place’ for ourselves. When we look after ourselves, we are in the best position to take care of others and spread some positivity into the world!
If we cant go out, or are limited in what we can do, how can we find that new happy place? Giving to others and giving to ourselves is known to create happiness, a great sense of wellbeing to both those who give and receive. Check out how giving changes our brains and generates a greater sense of calm, feelings of wellbeing, and just an overall sense of happiness. The gives don’t need to be big gives, something small and simple like a gratitude note to someone, or a positive business review on social media, or helping someone with a small chore.
Check out the suggestions below to get you started. These gives will put you on a path of giving every day as you will love how you feel, how others feel, and how small daily gives really does create your new happy place in a world that is so very different.
Consider this: how do you feel right now? Stay in touch with where you are in the present moment, to avoid being overwhelmed by the questions of the future, or comparisons of the past. There can be a lot of anxiety involved in thinking about how your life was before Covid-19, and where you will be in the coming months, but the truth is no-one can know what will happen 6 minutes from now, let alone days, or months. Meditation and mindful yoga can help to keep you grounded in the present moment, reminding us to be here now, and not caught up in thoughts or concerns. Meditation has been proven to help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression. Give it a go by watching the ‘Headspace Guide to Meditation’ on Netflix, for guided meditations and analysis on the benefits of mediation. If you don’t have Netflix, try downloading the free app Insight Timer, for similar information and guided practices. Meditation will help you create a happy place for you so you can take care of others if needed.
You may also want to consider which of your habits are harmful to your mental health. Consider taking breaks from social media, for example. Sometimes friends or family members will say annoying, or inflammatory things on social media. Understand that everyone deals with their stress or frustration in their own way, but you needn’t let yourself be affected by it. Taking time off from looking at social media, or logging off completely can give your mind some much needed space from internet drama! When you take time and space away from negative environments, you create a more positive place for your mind.
Be aware of any mis-information that is being spread over the internet, often via social media sites like Facebook. Fact check anything you see that is controversial or sensational (try [FactCheck.org) to learn how much truth there is to a news article), and avoid sharing anything that might upset other people. At a time when people may be leaning more heavily on their social media for a sense of connection and to alleviate the boredom of lockdown, inflammatory news and controversial posts can create a greater sense of stress. Try to spread positivity with your posts, and if in doubt – just log off and find a different way to unwind.
Whether you’re having to isolate yourself in this time, or trying to spend more time at home, to help limit the spread of the virus; caring for plants is a great way to spread positivity, while making a positive impact on the environment. If you have an outdoor space, plant some bee-friendly flowers and maintain a compost pile of food scraps and bio-degradable materials (include tissues, paper napkins and products, garden cuttings, etc) for a sustainable source of new soil.
If you don’t have outdoor space, consider getting a tropical plant for your home – it will help with air quality and give you a boost when you see new leaves forming. Alternatively just getting outdoors and to an area of natural beauty can be a great way to elevate your mood and energy levels.
If you’d like to spread more positivity through giving and create your new happy place check out 365give.ca for tips and ideas on how to give every day to increase not only your happiness but the happiness of others as well. We all deserve a happy place every single day.