Happiness is an Inside Job

No one could have predicted COVID-19 happening. As humans, we are creatures of habit – we do what we do and tend to not question or analyze it. However, right now, it seems as though we may be getting stressed and anxious since no one really knows what’s next. How do we take better care of ourselves?

woman taking photo of plants photo – Free Hat Image on Unsplash
Andre Furtado/Unsplash

Anxiety may sometimes be a sign of us trying to get ahead of ourselves and live in the future. So, what can we do today for a better tomorrow? We want to know what’s going to happen and how we can get the best outcome hence why we want to control what is happening in the now.

Well, holding on tightly is as ineffective as letting loose and ‘not caring’. Let’s talk about creating balance:

  • having routine helps us feel in control of our daily activities so it’s best to make sure you create daily rituals or habits that help you stay mentally strong. It doesn’t have to be fancy – maybe you enjoy cooking every day or tidying up your space, try regularly scheduling that;
  • breathe: deep breathing techniques can help you de-stress and calm down so you are more at peace. Try to sit down in a quiet space, close your eyes and focus on slowly breathing in and out while feeling every single muscle and cell in your body working for you. Do so as many times as you need to feel lighter. In these moments of solitude, let go of worries and repeat ‘this too shall pass, I am always protected’;
  • if you have dependents (older parents, sick housemates, children or pets), make sure you take care of them, as well as yourself. Try to be respectful towards their needs and know that as much as you think you need to be strong for them, you have to take care of yourself too. Do not neglect your own well-being;
  • at times you may want to disconnect – from people, news, and what’s going on all around you overall. And that’s OK. Do not feel bad for it. To properly connect, one must also disconnect at times.

All in all, happiness is a choice. I know it is easier said than done. I understand. However, we have to be willing to welcome peace and let go of our worries. They do not serve us and bring us down. I hope you choose your own happiness and joy – it is always available to you, even in such circumstances.

Sylvie Bowden
Written in collaboration with Myroslava Balakhtar