Through difficult times, it can be hard to stop stress and anxiety intruding into our every thought. But there are moments of happiness to be found in even the darkest places
We all deserve to be happy. Say it with me: we all deserve to be happy. Of course, this is easier said than done, particularly in uncertain times where the stream of bad news feels almost constant.
But what’s true is that little moments of joy can be found in even the hardest times, and the trick is to nurture them as they come, and hold on to them through thick and thin. Here, we’ve collected together eight ways that you can find happiness in uncertain times.
1. Reconnect with others
We hate to admit it, but it’s all to easy to let friendships slip when we’re going about our busy lives. Remember that one friend who every time you meet up with you wonder why you don’t do it more often? Now’s the time to pop them a message or call them up. A simple ‘Hey, it’s been a while! How are you doing?’ never goes amiss. And a good chat – or a cheeky gossip – is often just the thing we need to feel like normal.
2. Get moving
Exercise does wonders for our mental health, filling out bodies with feel-good hormones, and leaving us with a clear mind. But bear in mind that exercise looks different for every one of us, and what works for others might not be your thing. You don’t have to jump into high-intensity workouts if you don’t want to (though if you do, go get it!), you may choose an uplifting dance workout, or revitalising yoga. Take a look at our guide to empowering home workouts for inspiration.
3. Refine your craft
Or start a whole new one! There’s nothing like finishing a project and revelling in your achievement. If you have an old craft project that’s sat at the back of your cupboard, now may be the time to pick it up again. Or perhaps you’ve always been interested in learning a new skill. The internet is a valuable resource when it comes to finding free guides and tutorials. So embrace the mindful benefits of working with your hands, and create something wonderful.
4. Count your blessings
Literally. Write down a list of all the things that you are grateful for. Add to it every time something comes to mind, and re-read over it when you feel as though you need a pick-me-up. It can be so easy to let the good and happy things in our lives slip by before we’ve taken a moment to acknowledge their presence. Whether it’s a loved one, or a beautiful sunrise, get it down in writing, and create a back-log of feel-good things you can turn to whenever they’re needed most.
5. Put self-care first
Self-care doesn’t have to be luxurious baths and expensive skincare (though the mental health benefits of bathing are there for the taking). Self-care could mean logging out of social media and listening to your favourite music. Or mindfully working your way through your favourite home-cooked meal. The key is to slow down, take a step back, and put yourself first – even if it’s just for an hour.
6. Dance it out
We’re talking limb-flinging, full-bodied, no-holds-barred joyous dancing. Dance like nobody’s watching, or dance like you’re watching yourself through the eyes of someone who loves you. With no intent or expectations, put on your favourite feel-good song and let yourself go. For a start, we recommend ‘Send Me on My Way’ by Rusted Root, followed by ‘End of the Line’ by Traveling Wilburys – get those toes tapping!
7. Be there for others
We’re stronger when we’re together. And by volunteering to help others, the feel-good feeling is multiplied. There are many ways that we can do this, from offering to do a food shop for an elderly neighbour, to simply lending an ear and having a friendly chat. It times of uncertainty, kindness goes a long way.
8. Take it back
Think back to when you were a child. What was your favourite film, the one that drove your parents up the wall because you constantly had it on? Was there a bedtime story that always sent you straight to sleep? A game you have vivid memories of playing? A song you used to sing along to in the car? Nurture your inner child and embrace the things that you know for sure used to bring you joy. There’s comfort and delight to be found in stepping back in time.
Happiness is a journey, but that journey doesn’t have to stop through difficult times. In fact, now’s the time to get creative and to shift our focus back on to who we are, and the things that we love the most. We’re a resilient lot, us humans, and by embracing moments of happiness, we’ll make it through.