The Coronavirus has left many people feeling like the walls are closing in. The COVID Response Tracking Study reports that Americans are the unhappiest they’ve been in 50 years. A mere 14% of the test’s respondents said they were happy, which is down 31% from the same period in 2018. The idea of mustering up some genuine happiness while there’s so much suffering taking place can seem like a daunting, if not impossible task. Social media channels are clogged up by stressful headlines competing for the most sensationalized, grim recap of the day’s events. Businesses are dropping like flies. Everyone’s trying to understand each other from behind masks, which has turned out to be a difficult task. It’s a lot. So, how can anyone successfully go about feeling happier during the Coronavirus pandemic? Let’s take a look at some effective ways to lighten those darkened spirits.
1. Get a PMP certificate.
Due to the Coronavirus many of us have been forced to spend an uncharacteristic amount of time inside of our homes. Social obligations and even having to report to the official workspace are now things of the past. Nowadays, if we’re lucky we’re able to coordinate a nice Zoom hangout or happy hour with friends or coworkers, but otherwise it’s a whole lot of time on one’s own. With all that solitude and newfound windows of free time, why not channel that into something productive like becoming a project management professional? To make matters even better, you can get all that pmp exam prep online.
If there’s any doubt in your mind about why you’d want to become a project manager, maybe consider the fact that project managers take home almost double the average salary of other salaried employees, with a median salary of $109,405 a year. The idea of being able to take home extra money in such uncertain times is very appealing. Too many human beings have seen their savings accounts dry up due to losing jobs as a result of the Coronavirus. The thought of being able to make enough money to save is enough to let go of that stress. And a PMP certificate will help you stand out from the competition. Just think— by studying for and passing the PMP exam you could come out of the notorious quarantine era qualified to take on a high paying job and making double what you used to make!
2. Keep up with physical exercise.
Maintaining a routine with exercise in your life doesn’t mean that you have to start training like an elite athlete. No need to rise with the sun and climb a grueling mountain, or swim enough laps to transform your legs and arms into noodles. You don’t even need to touch a weight. Taking a walk for as little as 12 minutes a day is enough to establish a consistently more upbeat mood. Our bodies innately love to move around. Giving them the chance to do that on something as laid back as a walk can work wonders. Plus, your mental health will benefit from not spending all waking hours in your designated quarantine cave.
3. Meditate regularly.
Maybe you’ve met a self-proclaimed meditator in your life. If it’s someone who has been meditating regularly, they might strike you as uncharacteristically joyful and even-keeled. Meditation has been shown to literally change what’s going on inside your brain and to proactively cultivate those good feels. This is accomplished through reducing cortisol and adrenaline in the body, which are both known to promote stress.
Keep your space organized.
It’s crucial to keep your living space decluttered. You’re spending more time in your home, and hopefully able to work your job from there, so you absolutely need to find some kind of organized method for all the madness. Trying to keep everything together and fulfill your day’s tasks from an overcrowded desk can evolve into a teeth grinding process of pure frustration if you feel like there’s no room to move around.
We quickly become whatever we give our awareness over to. If we fall into a pattern of regularly dedicating our attention toward all the things that are going wrong in this world, especially throughout this difficult time, we’re basically conditioning our brains to be more familiar, even comfortable, with being unhappy. Instead, focus on all the things you still have in life that you’re grateful for. Starting small and building up from there is the easiest way to do it. It’s enough to be grateful for the breakfast you ate, the bed you slept on, your health, the health of your loved ones, or even just the blue of the sky.
We’ve touched on some easy and efficient ways to cultivate happiness in your life, while you continue living through this historically tumultuous, stressful era of the Coronavirus. If all else fails, you can always just treat yourself. It takes a lot of effort to not feel a sweet dopamine rush after buying something new. Maybe a little splurge on some new bralettes? Maybe you’ve had your eye on that flashy new wireless bra from Soma that you can finally afford, cause you stopped spending so much money when everything closed. Wearing a good quality bra with straps that really give support, maybe even one with a little lace, can make you feel more confident and comfortable even if you’re not leaving the house.
Or, maybe it’s time to finally throw down some hard-earned cash on a new TV, because you’ve been bingeing Netflix like nobody’s business, and you deserve the superior entertainment experience. All in all, just hang in there. This too shall pass. One day we’ll all look back on this time and just shake our heads in wonder at how crazy everything got.