Times like these bring out the creativity in people.
We are figuring out how to make meals with what we have, instead of running out to eat for every meal, or running to the grocery store every day.
We are finding new ways to work, whether at home or still in our regular capacity. In both cases, the way we are doing things has changed. Schedules have changed, how we interact with people has changed, etc.
We are coming up with ways to entertain ourselves and our families, with our normal activities being suspended.
Hopefully, in the process of all of this, we can also find creative ways to help others, to encourage others, and to be a positive example for those around us. Hopefully we can remember that, we are all figuring this out as we go.
Now more than ever, we need to find ways to be kind to one another. A lot of people are feeling uneasy, and downright freaked out, about what’s going on. This is evident by the shortages of food and TP everywhere. People are stocking up because they want to feel like they are in control of something.
We don’t have to come into physical contact with someone to show them kindness. We really don’t even have to talk to them at all.
A smile goes a long way, especially when most people are being grumpy. For that store clerk, who has had multiple people fussing at her, and grumbling about how bad things are, your smile will mean the world. So, if you do have to go out somewhere, be sure to smile at those around you. Even if you aren’t feeling particularly smiley, it will help them and you at the same time.
Practice extra kindness and understanding with those that are in service jobs. Those people that are working at grocery stores, pharmacies, those that are delivering your mail and packages, those that are working in the medical field in any capacity right now. Be extra kind to them. They have enough stress on them, trying to deal with what is happening right now. Again, a smile, a patient attitude, and/or a kind word can go a long way.
Some other things that you can do to make this time better for you and everyone around you:
1) Be thankful for the good things that you have. I know it seems like a lot of things are being taken away from us right now, but try your best to look at the positive side of this situation. What things have you been wanting to do, but not had the time? Clean out your garage, read that book you bought months ago, spend more time with your family? Now is the time to do those things.
2) Instead of engaging in talk about gloom and doom, talk about happy, fun, positive things. If people talking to you start to talk about nothing but the current state of affairs in the world, try to gently redirect the conversation to something more pleasant, more positive. This is not always easy with those who thrive on drama and the negative, but at least try. If you find yourself getting caught up in the negativity and fear swirling around right now, stop, take a few deeps breaths, and find three good things that are right around you. We don’t have to look far to find things to be thankful for.
3) Take the time to learn something new. When we learn something new, we give ourselves a boost of confidence. That boost is often enough to override the feelings of being out of control, and the blahs. Make up a new recipe with what you have in the house. (Watch Brandon Farris’ video about doing this. It’ll at least make you laugh) Learn how to say a few key phrases in a different language. Learn a new magic trick. The possibilities are truly endless. If you want to learn it, then there is likely a YouTube video and/or a blog out there that will teach you how.
4) Practice self-care. This is the best time to start paying more attention to how you take care of yourself. Are you getting enough sleep each night? Do you give yourself the chance to get some exercise? Do you spend some time in nature, to calm and center yourself? Are you eating the things that help to give your body energy, rather than crap that makes you feel sluggish and yuck?
5) Use this time as a springboard to jump closer to living your happiest life. Do you want to start a business? Have you always wanted to run a marathon or write a book? What is it that you want to do? There is no time like the present to learn exactly what you need to do to get started, and to start doing it. Make lists, make plans, make phone calls. Use this time to practice. Get everything lined up, so that when this time is over (and it will be over), you will be ready to hit the ground running.
6) Take advantage of some of the classes that are being put online right now, that normally aren’t. Chris and Parisa Shelton are doing their weekly Qigong class on Thursdays at 5 pm EST online for the next several weeks. To get all of the info go to their website. If you can’t make it at that time, they are posting the classes to YouTube as well as the other helpful videos that they normally post.
7) Do something, anything, that makes you laugh. Watch funny movies, shows, or videos. Plan a sock puppet show with your family. Send funny jokes to your friends and family, via text, email, Facebook, etc., and ask them to send you some as well. Go to Pinterest and search for funny memes. Whatever it is that makes you laugh a big ole’ belly laugh, do it.
8) Find a way to spend some time in nature. Even if you just go out in your front yard and play games, getting outside helps to destress. If you live near a local park, go for a walk. Take chairs outside at night and look at the moon and stars. Go to EarthSky.com and see what specifically will be visible each night. See if you can find any of the constellations that are visible right now.
9) Send someone that you can’t visit right now a smile. Go to Seeds of Happiness and look at their Kindness Kits. Or put together a gift set of your own (they have several different smiling seeds, t-shirts, hats, stickers, and more) and have it shipped to someone’s house that could use a smile.
10) Along the same lines, make a video and send it to someone that you aren’t able to visit. You could do this on your own, or with the other people you live with. I watched a video earlier this week of a family who recreated the Pirates of the Caribbean ride in their house. Do something elaborate like this, tell a story, or just say hi and let them know that you’re thinking about them. They will appreciate that you’ve taken the time to do this.
The important thing is that you use spend this time doing those things that makes you happier, not things that makes you feel more miserable. Focus on what you can do, and not what you can’t.
On this note, I have some fun Q&A sessions coming up soon. I’m in the process of interviewing several people who have overcome obstacles, made their own way when there wasn’t one, and are doing what they are passionate about on a daily basis. I’m excited to introduce these people to you, if you don’t know them already, and to pass on the inspiration that I have gotten from them. So, if you’re not already getting my Happy Mails, be sure to sign up so you can find out when those will post. (If you’re reading on a mobile device scroll down towards the bottom of the page to see the sign-up.)
I know this is a weird, crazy time that we’re going through right now, but please remember that things will get better. If we all support each other, if we’re all kinder to each other, we’ll make it through this much more easily and be much happier on the other side.
If you need some support in releasing fear and anxiety, click here to watch Melanie Beckler’s video “5 Ways to Transmute Fear and Anxiety – FAST!”
If you want to do a 30-Day Yoga Challenge, try Yoga with Adriene’s “HOME”, here.
To watch all kinds of different interviews, with different inspiring people, from all different walks of life, click here to go to Lewis Howes’ channel.
For a fun scavenger hunt, click here.
If you’re doing ok during this time and want to help others, donate to a local charity. Most of them have websites so they can take donations. If they don’t, try calling them to see the best way to send them money. This is generally a lower time for donations anyways, it’s between Christmas and vacation season, and the current events have made getting these donations even harder. Giving back to others, allows us to see that there are people out there who are in worse situations that we are. It helps us to further appreciate what we have.
One charity that I found out about this week is Love for the Elderly. This non-profit was started in 2013 by a (then) 19-year-old. His goal was, and still is, “to combat social isolation with love…through delivering handwritten letters to senior adults. Currently, because they have had so many letters come in, they are in need of funding to send those letters, and get them out to the seniors that they are meant for. Consider writing a few letters and including the stamps to send them, or making a donation online through their website.
and ps. No trees were harmed in the making of this picture. This tree died of natural causes (a bad storm knocked it down).