Calm down anxiety, de-stress, re-energize, and boost your immune system by visiting YOUR Happier Place: in nature (if you can) – or just in your mind.
During a time of crisis, like the current Covid-19 pandemic, there are lots of important recommendations, restrictions, and initiatives to help our physical and even financial health. However, we need to be careful that we don’t overlook our emotional and mental health during this stressful and uncertain time.
Some of the official tips could even lead to additional stress, anxiety, and depression. And that’s not great for your health. Of course, we still need to follow the essential guidelines. But we put together a slightly different list of tips to help us all cope better and stay strong.
To be clear, when we say “healing” we don’t mean that watching a sunset cures any coronavirus. We’re talking about supporting recovery and strengthening resistance through building up and healing emotional and mental well-being, which is linked to physical well-being. Of course, there are also the traditional physical benefits of fresh air and sunshine-triggered Vitamin D. Let’s start with that…
I. Go Outside to a NATURAL Happier Place
Get some fresh air, sunshine, and mild exercise by stepping out the door and into nature. Besides the physical benefits, nature is also soothing to the mind by providing visual harmony, putting things in perspective, and reminding us that things do get better again. Think: daily sunrise, big mountains, or new spring blooms.
If you’re lucky, you have a beach, forest, mountain or a park nearby your home. But even if not, you could go looking for some grass cracking the asphalt, a spring flower blooming in a window box, or a bird on a tree. In an apartment building, you might be able to get on the roof to watch the sun rise before a day of working from home – or the sun setting before you hunker back down for an evening indoors.
During the current phase of social distancing and quarantine in many places, only do so if you can do so without using public transportation and without getting too close to other people.
Let’s inspire each other: Tell us in the comments where you like to go outside in your area.
II. Visit Your MENTAL Happier Place
Soothe your mind and make yourself feel better by closing your eyes and imagining a place that makes you happier.
This mental state is usually referred to as “being in your Happy Place”.
We call it Happier Place because: For one, nobody can guarantee happiness, but we can always feel happier. And a Happier Place has been made better than your average happy place by any addition of your choosing. Maybe you will imagine not just a wildflower-covered meadow, but also your dog loping around like a dolphin over the waves – or maybe you’ll be sipping on a Piña Cola while imagining sitting on the beach.
Let’s inspire each other: Describe your mental happier place in the comment section below.
III. CREATE VISUALS of a Happier Place
So you’re stuck at home? Perfect time to look through those photos from a past outing and choose a few to have printed and framed – or design a whole photo book and have it printed by places like Bay Photo Lab or Snapfish.
Another idea is hang up a map from a National Park or other location you visited – then add your own photos.
Or instead of revisiting a place you’ve been, create a “vision board” of a place you’d like to visit. Or how about a collage of images from different places, plants, wildlife or activities that bring you joy? Sure, you could call it a Happier Vision Board.
IV. Plan a FUTURE FUN Excursion
At this time, we might not be able to say WHEN we can go on a group trip again or fly to an exotic location. But we know we will eventually. So let’s fuel our strength with hope! How about imagining yourself (and yours) at a bucket list destination or doing bucket list activities? Get started on some research to focus on.
Get talking with your friends today about meeting up again for an all-time favorite activity or revisiting an old haunt from back in the day… or just from before things started shutting down?
You could even send out our Yes, Let’s! Multiple-Choice Postcards to set the spark for a future fun time.
See more: Lots of ideas for places and activities can be found via our Pinterest Boards.
Let’s inspire each other: Let us know in the comments where you’d like to go next and what you’d do there.
V. Create a Happier Place With Someone Else: CONNECT ACROSS THE SOCIAL DISTANCE
Feeling connected is so important to most people. Even if you don’t think it’s important to you – someone you know might really need to feel it. And just because due to circumstances, we can’t physically be with others, doesn’t mean we can’t feel connected. Get on the phone and call someone – especially those who live alone. Even better: use a video chat to not only hear but also see each other.
For free international phone calls between smart phones with wifi, we use the WhatsApp.
For free and encrypted text chats, we use Telegram.
For free video chats we use Apple FaceTime and Skype. You can even have a Group Video Chat with people in different locations via Skype. How? Just select one contact, then add another via the plus symbol and thus create a group you can invite to a group video chat. Or want to create a scheduled event, like our friend Jason’s Meditation During Social Isolation Group – or maybe host a regular Happy Hour with friends? Then Zoom is a convenient free software to use for scheduling your next video meeting.
So get the gang together and have fun – while keeping each other safe. And keep checking in with your mom, your granddad, and that friend living by himself without even a cat.
Want to make someone feel extra special during this time of quarantine, self isolation and social distancing? Send a postcard or a greeting card.
If you order cards from us, you’re also helping us keep our heads above water financially (especially now that all upcoming outdoor markets have been cancelled).
Let’s Inspire Each Other!
Please share in the comments section below YOUR ideas of how to make life happier for others and yourself during challenging times like these.
Share this image on Pinterest to inspire others to find refuge and strength in their Happier Place.
All photos in this post were taken by Luci Westphal, who considers all these locations her Happier Places – at least in the very moment she took each photo.