For many of us, the new year brings about a time of renewal. An opportunity to change some bad habits and develop healthier practices in our lives. For some of us, however, this time of year is a difficult one. Depending on where we live the winter can be long and this year particularly lonely.
Find a place inside where there’s joy, and the joy will burn out the pain.Joseph Campbell
It is important for us to find our happy place throughout this time if we are to make it through this pandemic. Here are some suggestions on ways to find this peace and contentment.
- Contact old friends: There is no better way to lift your spirits than in sharing old memories with good friends. Having a video chat is the best way to get the feeling of actually being together.
- Surround yourself with beauty: Try and spend time each week in a beautiful space. It could be in your own home, a botanical garden, or virtually. Make it a point to take a moment to bask in a space that brings you some peace and inspiration.
- Travel to someplace new: The internet offers a plethora of virtual trips to places most of us can only dream of going. There are most likely multiple excursions within an hour or two of your home where you can find some relaxation, rejuvenation or just a new and refreshing experience.
- Write a letter to your former self: Think of all the wisdom you’ve gained over the years. Take the time to share that wisdom with your former self, reminding him/her that there are several things that will turn out better than you thought.
- Get active: The physical, mental and emotional benefits of exercise are endless. Your increased energy and reduced stress will help you find your happy place. Physical activity releases endorphins, which are attributed to feelings of happiness and euphoria.
- Check something off of your bucket list: There may be some things on your bucket list that simply aren’t going to be feasible this year. However, now is as good a time as any to learn a second language, take an online class, or write that book.
- Re-read your favorite book from childhood: Remember feeling completely engrossed in the Harry Potter series? Or the fun of reading Anne of Green Gables? How about the suspense of The Lord of the Ring trilogy? Those feelings will come back as you re-enter these stories.
I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn’t arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I’m going to be happy in it.Groucho Marx
We all need a sanctuary to help us get through this rough time. Every day feels like “Groundhog’s Day” but there are times we experience sadness or depression and need a respite from the “sameness” of our days. Create the space for yourself and gift yourself with a trip to your happy place.