Positivity is always attainable and within reach, but sometimes you need to make an effort for it. The experts recommend these simple yet practical ways to stay happy and motivated in stressful times like a pandemic.
1. Encourage or Appreciate Someone Every Day
In my experience — and that of my coaching clients— I see that there are two ways to stay happy and motivated: the first is to do at least one thing every day to encourage or appreciate someone in your life. Send that person a cheerful audio message letting them know you are grateful to have them in your life. If they have a dream they are working toward, be sure to say a positive word about it. Perhaps you could send a greeting card through the mail and include a happy photo. Lifting others is a quick way to raise our own spirits.
2. Do One Thing Daily To Get Closer To Your Goal
The second way to get happy is to do one thing every day that moves you closer to a dream you have. It doesn’t have to be a big thing, but consistency will give you energy and help you feel good about yourself. If you’ve always wanted to write a book, spend just 15 minutes writing. If you want to get healthier, eat one more serving of greens each day. Small steps will compound quickly and make us feel better!
Sherry Richert Belul, Founder of Simply Celebrate
3. Incorporate One Thing In Your Daily Routine Which You Enjoy
Sometimes, you have to actively work on remaining happy. During bleak times, you often have to make the extra effort to do things that you enjoy or bring you fulfillment, even if you are not very motivated to do so. Try to incorporate doing at least one thing you enjoy each day, even if it is just something small.
This could be reading, going on a walk, journaling, cooking, watching your favorite TV show, or anything else. Then, try to incorporate bigger activities over longer periods, like every week or month. This can be something like an outing, a self-care day, visiting someone, or something else.
A lack of community is another big reason for feelings of sadness that lead to a lack of motivation. Make sure to intentionally connect with your family/friends on a regular basis, even if it is just over the phone.
Brian Donovan, CEO Timeshatter
It can be tasking to stay motivated and happy when the world seems to be on a rollercoaster of bad news. It becomes difficult to have fun, let alone find the energy to work and do things you enjoy. Here are some tips to staying help with that:
4. Get Enough Sleep
You should always ensure you get enough sleep at night and during the day when you feel exhausted. Depriving yourself of sleep does much more harm than good.
5. Eat Healthily
There are very few things better than eating healthy balanced meals every day. It does so much good to your physical and mental health. You feel nourished, healthy, and fulfilled. You should always start and end your day with balanced meals.
Even if it is for just fifteen to thirty minutes every day, try to exercise. It could be something as simple as taking a walk, jogging, or running. This helps you stay motivated and energized.
7. Spend Less Time on Social Media
There is so much bad news everywhere; just seeing or reading them can be depressing. You should try to spend less time on your phone, especially if you’ve been having a difficult time staying happy.
8. Celebrate Small Wins
It could be something as simple as completing a task. Try to reward yourself as regularly as possible. This does a lot for your mind and mental health. You could buy something nice for yourself, or just do anything that makes you happy. You’ve earned it, and you deserve to be rewarded.
Cynthia Halow, Founder Personality Max
9. Work On Self-Improvement
Use the extra time on your hands to improve something about yourself. All of us have room for improvement, but at the same time, many of us have had excuses over the years as to why we haven’t met certain goals. During the pandemic, most people have found themselves with extra time on their hands, so why not better yourself? Just think, if you would have lost one pound a week since the pandemic started, you would be down at least sixty pounds by now. Or, imagine if you wanted to go to college, by now, you could be halfway through.
Instead of worrying about what you can’t do, focus on what you can do, and by the time the pandemic is over, you will in some way be a better version of yourself.
Christina Steinorth-Powell, Licensed Psychotherapist and Author of ‘Cue Cards for Men: A Man’s Guide to Love and Life’
Staying happy and motivated during the most depressing of times is never a walk in the park. It requires a lot of perseverance and determination to stay positive, but it is not impossible. Here are two tips to still be in a good disposition despite what’s happening around:
10. Focus On What You Have
Gratitude is always a positive thing, which is why appreciating what you have right now is key to being happy. Make it a habit to look at the things you are able to enjoy at the moment, and that will quickly lighten up your mood.
11. Get Busy
In difficult times, being idle is one of the worst things you can do. If you spend the whole day lying around and doing nothing, it is very likely that you are going to go down the rabbit hole and think of negative things and ultimately become sad and depressed. To avoid this, it is best to get moving. Find a hobby that will keep you occupied enough so you’ll not have time to think about things that will make you unhappy.
Erin Zadoorian, CEO/Executive Editor Ministry of Hemp
At some point, we have all felt demotivated and uncertain amidst this pandemic. No one will ever be the same after this, and it is hardly possible to say that we will overcome the situation by just being optimistic. However, there are some techniques and changes in thinking that we can use to harness all this uncertainty into positivity.
12. Learn Something New
The pandemic has shown us that we should never take anything for granted. Putting off career goals for later may result in a situation that will never happen. Start the lessons you always wanted to learn. Thanks to technology, remote learning platforms are becoming more and more popular.
Connecting with yourself is a great way to get to know yourself and face your day-to-day life situations. There are many basic yoga exercises on YouTube, which can be very useful to start developing this habit.
14. Breathing Exercises
Diaphragmatic breathing is a relaxation technique to decrease your anxiety and depression levels. The method is based on finding a quiet place and taking a seat. First, you should inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds and exhale through your mouth with some force – as if you wanted to inflate a balloon – for 8 seconds, feeling how your lungs get empty. This breathing cycle should be repeated 3 to 4 times.
15. Keeping Your Loved Ones Close
Physical distancing does not mean being separated from your friends and family. Continuing contact with them will help you stay mentally healthy and motivated.
Martha Horta-Granados (BSc Psych), Psychology Consultant at Sensible Digs