We all want to be happy, but it can be hard to stay positive during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
That said, keeping our spirits up can start with making simple adjustments to our routines. So if you’re struggling in quarantine, here are seven concrete ways to boost your mood, according to the experts!
1. Make time for meditation.
Not only does the practice help people relax, but it also eases stress!
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“Meditation increases feel-good neurochemicals, as it reduces stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol,” clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly told Today.
2. Keep your home tidy.
A clean, organized environment can do wonders for our well-being.
“A lot of people feel more inner calm and happiness when their outer surroundings are more clutter-free,” said Gretchen Rubin, author of “The Happiness Project.” “Making your bed, for instance, actually can make you feel better.”
3. Keep exercising — or start now!
Working out is one of the best ways to de-stress and improve your mood. We may not be able to go to the gym, but we can take a short walk or practice yoga. They’re both great ways to release endorphins.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough rest.
Quality sleep is key to staying healthy, both mentally and physically. If you’re having trouble drifting off at night, Rubin suggests setting an alarm for bedtime to create a consistent habit.
5. Enjoy nature at home.
Being in nature has a calming effect. When we can’t go out, even pictures can do the trick!
“Exposure to natural environments has been linked with better general health and less stress,” said Allison Buskirk-Cohen, chair of the psychology department at Delaware Valley University. “For those who are unable to get outside, there’s also some research indicating that looking at photographs of natural environments can have similar effects.”
6. Reach out to your loved ones.
No one gets through life alone, and the same can be said for the pandemic. Our connections bring us hope, strength, and happiness in difficult times, whether they’re in person or over the phone.
7. Express gratitude.
According to clinical psychologist Carla Marie Manly, “Your happiness level will increase when gratitude flows.”
Being thankful is a skill that takes practice, so try focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t. Be generous when it comes to telling others you appreciate them, from your loved ones to anyone working hard to help others affected by COVID-19.
While this is a difficult time, it doesn’t have to steal our smiles. Happiness is a feeling, but it can also be a choice!
Spread more joy by sharing these tips with your friends, and check out the Coronavirus Good News Dashboard for more stories of hope.
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