What Is Making Me Happy Right Now
Finding Small Moments of Joy, Even In The Worst of Times
Believe it or not, it's okay to be happy right now! Think about all the good that is happening in the world. The videos of recovered patients being applauded as they are discharged from the hospital. Making homemade masks. Car parades. People fostering homeless pets. Everyone is coming together to help one another, and it's amazing. I don't think I've ever seen so much unity among us before. We really are, as they say, "all in this together."
It's also okay to be happy on a personal level. If you know me, you know that I often describe myself as an "optimistic pessimist." In general, I have a negative view of the world and the people in it. I always assume the worst case scenario. But when things get really bad, I find myself looking on the bright side. I know that things will get better, no matter how long it takes.
I understand that's not always easy to do. If you read my piece about staying motivated, you'll know that I've started to let the negativity really get to me. My optimism has faded. It's getting really hard to stay positive when I'm constantly hearing about all the bad that's going on.
One thing I see people doing a lot right now on social media is making gratitude lists. In the past, I've always given those a cold shoulder. Why would I need to make a list of everything I'm grateful for? I already know. It's in my head. Why do I need a physical reminder? I realize now it's so much more than that. When I was thinking about things that are making me happy at this very moment, I noticed they're all things I'm grateful for. So I asked myself, "is this my gratitude list? Am I actually writing this out to put on the internet?" Apparently so.
I remain positive by being grateful for the little things. I look for moments of joy in every day. Here is what's making me happy right now:
I'm happy, and very, very privileged, that I live in a part of New York where we have not seen many cases, and that we as a state are taking it seriously. I know not everyone is so lucky. With all the devastation happening in the city, it's good to see that something is being done.
I'm happy that I get to be with my family, and that we're all healthy. None of us are isolated from one another. Sure living with five other people and getting absolutely no solitude can be overhwleming. But we're all together, and that's what matters.
I'm happy I have time to create, and work on a lot of fun projects. I'm writing a novel, I'm starting a blog, and I even got into video editing too, which is not one of my strongest points. But it was still fun, and I definitely improved. I haven't stopped creating once since the quarantine started. It's been keeping me going more than you can possibly imagine.
I'm happy I finally found a workout routine that works for me, and it's helped my mental health so much. My anxiety surrounding food has also decreased dramatically after making some small diet changes. I haven't felt this good physically in a really long time.
I'm happy I can go outside, and sit in the sun, and play with my puppy, and listen to music, and color my hair, and drive with the windows down, and watch Disney movies all day every day.
I'm happy I have people who check up on me and ask how I'm doing. When I'm too deep in my thoughts and starting to feel really anxious, just getting a text from someone can snap me right out of it. I don't have very many friends, but I know I always count on the ones I do have to be there, just as I am for them.
I know there's a lot of heartbreak, devastation, and negativity all around us right now. I'm not denying its existence or pushing it aside. I'm very aware of what's going on in the world. While it is important for us to stay informed, it's also crucial that we don't get caught up in it. That alone is just so mentally damaging. Take a break from the news. Go do something else. Whatever is going to distract you from all this. Look for small moments of joy in what is around you right now. Trust me, I know how hard it is. But if I can do it, you can too. I hope you find a reason to smile today. If not, I get it. Not every day can be a winner. Without a little rain, we wouldn't be able to grow.
Just hang in there. We're all gonna be alright.