As of late, the times have most certainly been uncertain. In the face of COVID-19 we swish this way and that, adhering to guidelines, rules, and often inconsistent legal implementations. Most people I know feel, to some degree, the uncertainty of their health, work, and most of all, life as they knew it. And what I feel at times, even when I’m safe and warm and locked away at home, is the weight all this has had on my happiness. I, too, wonder if life will ever be the same.
If you feel like this too, if you feel the damper of even just a little doom and gloom on your shoulders, let’s take a step back and remember that there’s only one rule to your own happiness—you’re in charge of it.
Once you understand that—that you, and you alone, have the power over your own happiness, everything shifts. You have the power. No one else. Not the president, not your boss, not even Dr. Fauci toting a syringe full of COVID-19 vaccine can make you light up with joy, unless YOU let it.
But how do we do that? How do we find that happiness in even the most uncertain times? Here are a couple surefire ways to light up your joy meter.
Identify Your Silver Lining
Even in the worst of times, when it feels as though life punches you in the gut, you must challenge yourself to find the silver lining. You have to look for that something you’re grateful for in spite of the situation. Because you see, gratitude is a powerful life force that keeps you present in the moment and being grateful is the most important thing you can do to fuel your own happiness.
And just like most things you want to be good at, you have to practice—every day. I like to, at a minimum, list three things every day that I’m thankful for. Sometimes, they’re silly and offbeat like vegan feta cheese or the perfect pink nail color. Or sometimes, it’s the love that tethers me to my existence, such as my husband, my dogs, or my curious spirit. But whatever you do, make sure your list includes different things every day.
Even in this time of quarantine, I’ve found a plethora of things to be thankful for during this time of isolating. I’ve enjoyed going old school and quieting my busy life. I’ve loved that my dogs are worn out every day because I’ve walked them so much. And I’ve realized what I can live without—I really don’t need my hair done every eight weeks.
Over the last couple of months, I’ve remembered how amazing the little things are. Butterflies floating around the recently planted flowers in my backyard. The light of the sky just before the sun finals sets. Have you noticed that too? It’s simply beautiful.
Another surefire way to light up your happiness meter is to turn your routines into rituals. Life in quarantine has led many of us to create routines to keep busy and pass the days. And while routines can make us more productive at first, in the long run they can cause apathy and monotony.
But if we instead turn those routines into rituals, we can find joy in even the most mundane tasks. You can do this by filling each task with as much love, passion, and presence as you can.
The goal is to make small, routine acts big, joyous acts of love by doing them with awareness. Be with and in the activity. How many times do we mindlessly take our supplements or brush our teeth and don’t remember if we did or not?
What if instead, we thought about what each supplement is supposed to do for us as we swallow it? What if while brushing, we thanked teeth for being so important and doing such a good job.
I’ve turned feeding my dogs into a beautiful ritual where I bless their food and make them practice good manners while I do it. I let them know how good and patient they are and how much I love them. It’s a deeper connection I’ve made with them through that ritual.
Every time I make a cup of coffee, I imagine where the beans might have grown. The sun and the soil and the rain that may have touched them. I visualize the faces of people who gathered those beans. I thank them and wish them well.
When you turn your routines into rituals, you’re acting through the Divine in you. You’re sending that spiritual energy into the world with love and awareness of your participation in something good. You’re choosing to feel love and joy in everything you do. Guess what? This all leads to even more happiness.
Our journeys are sacred, and we must treat them that way. The Divine in us wants nothing more than for us to be happy, which is why it gave us the power over our own happiness. Showing gratitude for what’s been given or loaned to us in this life is a huge joy booster, as is knowing that every time we can feed our dogs or brush our teeth, it is a gift that should be celebrated.
So until Dr. Fauci is handing out vaccines on every street corner, know that even in these most uncertain times, you can create as much happiness as you need or want.
And that, I know for certain.
With resilience, grace, and love,
To embrace the message of gratitude even further, we are running a little giveaway to help support some local businesses and, most importantly, support YOU, with a lovely self-care giveaway. Check it out!
And if you’re interested in hearing even more about what I’ve shared here, I will be doing a series of upcoming podcasts on finding happiness in uncertain times in the coming weeks. Follow me on social to have a listen to some inspirational conversations about this topic and more.