2020 has been an uphill battle for us all. From coming to terms with a global pandemic, ambiguity of extended periods of social isolation, and the blurred lines between our work and personal life – it seems like we simply can’t catch a break!
But, here’s the thing about circumstances – they are never permanent. Especially when it seems OTHERWISE. Before you dismiss this seemingly profound piece of advice, just stop for a second and thing about it. Remember when you thought you wouldn’t grow out of that awkward phase during adolescence? (Unless you were one of the lucky ones) And even though, high school insecurities are not the same as facing a global pandemic – the underlying emotion of feeling stuck and ambiguity remains the same.
Our team, much like yours, has been working crazy hours, juggling domestic duties with professional deadlines, and fighting to stay resilient and optimistic through it all. And, keeping in spirit with this unrelenting spirit, we recently started an in-house thread called “100 Ways To Stay Happy.” It’s a list of habits that each one of feels can help others find a moment of peace, and bring a smile on our otherwise tired faces. With everyone adding their own magical mantra to this list, it has become something of a joyous celebration of our individual lives, and a collective ray of sunshine – for us all.
Presenting 10 of these tried and tested methods of retaining your sanity, even in the midst of global chaos!
Happiness Habit #1:
Listening to upbeat music first thing in the morning
The first 60 minutes of our mornings have the power of influencing the entire day. Kick-starting the day with some upbeat music will have you dancing those weekday blues away, even as you go about your busy day. The upbeat rhythm can not only help you shake off those morning cobwebs, but also fire you up and motivate you!
Some of the world’s most respected leaders have dedicated playlists to help them get through the toughest of days. Recently, former president Barack Obama released a list of his go-to songs on social media. Furthermore, if you are able to, I’d personally recommend singing along to some of your favourite songs. Just put those earphones on and vibe to your favourite Prince classic or ‘headbang’ to Hendrix – the choice is yours!
Happiness Habit #2
Keep a gratitude journal / note
Gratitude, they say – ‘turns what we have, into enough.’ Throughout the day, we go through a host of emotions. Some things make us feel good, while others get us down. But, taking a moment to write down even one thing that you feel grateful for, daily, can make a huge difference. The habit not only allows you to cherish the good things in life, but can take away the sting of things that might not have worked out, in your favour.
Help someone who will not be able to help you back
Happiness habit #4
Spend time with Nature
Hailed to be almost therapeutic, oneness with nature can help rejuvenate even the most tired individuals. Walking barefoot on grass, planting, watering and taking care of house plants, watching them grow – all of these little things can help you feeling refreshed and ready to take on the world!
Happiness Habit #5
With the virtual working hours wrecking havoc on our daily routines, finding time to relax has become somewhat of a challenge for everyone. Add to it, the inability to plan an actual getaway with your loved ones, or even solo trips, it is easy to let things slide. However, in order to truly remain efficient without falling prey to fatigue and burn out, it is important to take some time off. ‘Me time’ or time dedicated to just yourself is not a luxury, but rather the need of the hour! It is important to make time for yourself everyday – even if it is just ‘30 minutes’
Keep all the electronic gadgets away and spend that time doing anything or better yet, nothing. And while doing nothing might sound strange, it can do you a world of good. You may also choose to do something from the following list, submitted by our lovely facilitator Antara –
Sip your coffee in the balcony alone admiring nature or yourself (indulging in self love is good)
Indulge in a hobby
Take a power nap
Eat something you love without having to share it with anyone/ or share it with someone
Write/Read/Sing/Dance – sky is the limit, really!
Happiness Habit #6
From spending time with your fur babies, looking at their crazy fights over petty things, feeding strays and getting their love in return, to indulging in some active sports session – playing is important! The happiness derived from watching innocent animals is almost as therapeutic as a good workout session.
The serotonin (and dopamine) released is not only good for your physical health but can also help fight the mental fog that is becoming increasingly common in today’s topsy turvy world.
Happiness Habit #7
Learn something new!
From discovering new words, phrases, to actively making yourself do something for the first time – learning can be extremely fun! Each new experience will leave you feeling joyful and with a satisfying sense of accomplishment. Ask yourself this –
When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Happiness Habit #8
Eat that cake!
Before all the fitness enthusiasts come at me guns blazing, let me clarify this – food is not our enemy. Keeping a close eye at your daily consumption and nutrient intake is of absolute importance. However, it is just as important to make space for your favourite indulgences every now and then. Most people who follow an active lifestyle know the importance of including a ‘Cheat Day’ to keep them motivated.
Thus, the next time you find yourself face to face with that pack of chips, or your favourite red velvet dessert, dig in and experience pure euphoria! Health doesn’t need to come at a cost of happiness.
Happiness Habit #9
Laugh at yourself!
Life’s a serious business, but it doesn’t have to be a boring one. Learn to find joy in silliness. Laugh at yourself, make time for silly jokes – better yet, make others laugh with you! After all,
Laughter is an instant vacation!
Happiness Habit #10
Find your Moai
In Okinawa, Japan, a place where the average life expectancy for women is around 90, the oldest in the world, people form a kind of social network called a moai — a group of five friends who offer social, logistic, emotional and even financial support for a lifetime. It’s a very powerful idea. Traditionally, parents put their children into moais when they are born, and they take a lifelong journey together. In a moai, the group benefits when things go well, such as by sharing a bountiful crop, and the group’s families support one another when a child gets sick or someone dies. They also appear to influence one another’s lifelong health behaviors.
“If I murdered someone, she’s the person I’d call to help drag the corpse across the living room floor. She’s my person”
– Grey’s Anatomy
While many of us focus primarily on diet and exercise to achieve better health, science suggests that
our well-being also is influenced by the company we keep.
Focus on cultivating 3 – 5 real world friends. People with whom you can have meaningful and trivial conversations on just about anything. People you can call when you are having a bad day – and they will always be there. Life is better with true friends.
(Of course, may be based on their affliction for a crime; even of your choice!)
Join the conversation by sharing your own magical habits!