March 20, is International Day of Happiness, a day designed to connect us all and a day to check in and ensure we’re doing everything we can to look after not only our happiness but the happiness of our loved ones and the world. The United Nations theme for 2020 is ‘Happiness For All, Together’ and although most of us are working from home, practising social distancing or following advice to stay home, there are still so many ways we can cultivate happiness and maintain a positive mindset during these extra challenging times. Here are our top 10 below:
Start a daily gratitude practice
It’s very easy during difficult times to be overwhelmed by the negativity and uncertainty that surrounds us, but by shifting your perspective and training your mind to think more positively, you’ll open yourself up to start appreciating the beauty around you. Even in the most uncertain of times. Embracing gratitude not only improves overall happiness and wellbeing, it will also help you recall memories with love and look to the future with optimism. There really is always something to be grateful for, even in these extremely challenging times.
There’s no doubt that finding the positives in a seemingly negative moment or time can be challenging, but the more you practise gratitude, the easier it will be to find those silver linings.
By doing so you may discover that you’re actually grateful for the forced rest and downtime, or you may be thankful for loved ones or technology that helps you connect with others, or an understanding colleague, or your health. Even in your most difficult times, take a moment to find the beauty that exists. It is in these moments you’ll feel the benefits of embracing gratitude the most. Why not start now by simply writing down three things you’re grateful for today?
Don’t forget to connect with people
There’s no doubt that as humans, we crave connection and love. Staying social and being part of friendships and relationships is key to us maintaining positive mental health and a positive state of mind while also reducing anxiety and stress. But the great news is, that connecting with people doesn’t always mean seeing them in person or being in close proximity to them. We are so lucky that in our modern world we have so many amazing and easy ways to reach out to loved ones, connect with colleagues and stay in touch with friends without actually seeing them in the flesh!
Now more than ever is the time to utilise these means. No matter where you are, reach out to people on social media, call someone on the phone, video conference, facetime, share, connect and talk to your community regularly. Not only will you notice a positive shift in your mood, but the people you’re connecting with will benefit too. Remember, you’re not alone. The people you care about are just a click of a button away when you need them. Reach out, they’ll love you for it!
Embrace Positive Social Scrolling
While there are many mixed thoughts and feelings out there around social media and whether or not it has a negative impact on our wellbeing, for us, we believe there is a lot of good that can come from social media. Provided you set some boundaries when it comes to time spent online and also try to avoid anything that may trigger negative feelings for you. So, this International Day of Happiness, and always, fill your feeds with good news stories, funny videos, cute and positive Instagram accounts and stay up to date with what’s happening with friends and loved ones. Keep it positive and try to avoid watching the news if it’s getting you down. Another tip is also to monitor your time spent online. Make sure you’re putting your phone down throughout the day to enjoy some offline activities as well.
Take Time to Exercise and be Mindful
If you’re stuck at home, it’s important to make the most of your time so you’re not only looking after your health and wellbeing, but ensuring you’re feeling fulfilled and happy each day as well. This is where a little mindfulness and activity can go a long way!
Plot out time in your day to meditate, pause and do some deep breathing exercises. Get outside in the fresh air for some form of movement or activity to get the blood pumping if you can. Or if you can’t go outside, do some exercise indoors. Try yoga or Pilates. Dance around the house. Jump on the spot. Staying active and mindful is also a great way to help reduce anxiety and stress, and also help to boost your immune system.
Being mindful means living with greater awareness and can benefit every area of your life, especially during more challenging times. There are a range of different mindful activities you can try, including our particular favourite at kikki.K – journaling – but just remember, when it comes to mindfulness and exercise, to listen to your body and do what feels right and good for you.
Laugh and Have Fun
You’ve heard it before and we’ll say it again, laughter truly is the best medicine. Research has shown that the simple act of having a big old chuckle can potentially boost your immune system for up to 24 hours. Plus, it feels wonderful!
Boost your overall happiness and invite a rush of endorphins into your life daily by watching funny videos online, tuning in to some comedy on any number of streaming devices, share funny stories with friends or remember hilarious stories as you catch up over the phone.
And also, simply have some fun! Whatever it is you enjoy doing, and you can do while you’re at home, do more of it during these uncertain times to keep your mood up. Watch old movies, create playlists to share with friends, listen to your favourite music, play board games or card games if you’re home with other people. There is an endless list of things you can do to enjoy your time at home – you just have to use your imagination.
When you’ve got plenty of time on your side, there’s nothing better than getting a little creative with some DIY fun. Creativity and playtime can be just as healthy for adults as it is for children, so whether you love to cook, create music, paint, sketch, doodle, write or prefer a little papercraft, embracing creativity in your day is a wonderfully positive activity that will open your mind to innovation and new ways of thinking. Whether you consider yourself a creative person or not, get creative, and have fun with it!
There’s no question that when things are in order, organised and tidy, our mental state tends to follow suit. Which also means if things are out of order, messy and disorganised, our mood and misndet can take a turn for the worst. So if you’ve found yourself working from home this past few days/weeks, be sure to organise your workspace or home, and create a welcoming and functional environment that will make you happy. Tackle your workspace first, then move on to other areas of your home.
Try to give everything a home and declutter as much as you can. Our lives are full enough without filling them with objects too! Be ruthless with your clutter and you might be surprised about how many things you’ve been holding on to that you don’t need. Start by decluttering your paperwork and desk, then move on to your email inbox, your phone, your desktop and more.
From your paperwork to your books and keys, assign a set place for everything in your and be diligent about always putting things back in the right place. Keep your areas clean, tidy and organised and you’ll be amazed how much calmer and happier you’ll feel each day. Read our blog on setting up your dream desk here>
Follow a Positive Daily Routine
One of the first things that can happen when our regular routine changes is that we can lose motivation and get distracted from our goals and priorities. To avoid this, and to maintain some form of structure in your days, try setting and following a positive daily routine for each day, no matter where you are. By creating a routine and sticking to it, you’ll find you are much more productive and will feel so much more fulfilled at the end of every day. Following a routine and a clear to do list also reduces the risk of unwanted tasks and activities taking over to distract you from your goals. Use a Daily Notes Pad, Planner or Dairy to plot out your routine.
A morning routine is often the easiest to stick to – as it is before your day has begun and before any unexpected distractions creep in. The middle of the day is often unpredictable so it’s not always possible to plan how it will go, but your morning can be used to set your day up for the positive. Late afternoon or evening – after work hours for example – is the best time for a routine that requires less energy or brainpower to complete. Evening is a great time for a routine that includes connecting with loved ones, reflecting on the day and planning for tomorrow. Remember to include time for all the things we’ve listed above in your days and enjoy the happiness it will bring.
Listen to Podcasts or Read a Book
When we’re at home it’s easy to be distracted by the television or social media. One of the best tips we can give is to try to make the most of any spare time you have by learning something new, being inspired or losing yourself an amazing book or podcast. Whether for personal development, furthering your education, inspiration, learning a new skill or for pure enjoyment and entertainment, do it and enjoy it! There’s a whole world of wonderful podcasts and books, even audio books and e-books to choose from. If you’re looking for a little inspiration, why not start with Kristina’s book, Your Dream Life Starts Here or her Your Dream Life Podcast? Be be inspired to live the life of your dreams and also hear from some of the most inspiring people in the world, who also share their favourite books with us!
Make Time for Dreaming
We all have dreams but how many of us really take the time to make dreaming a priority? At kikki.K, we believe that, at least once a day, you should allow yourself the freedom to pause, think and dream. After all, dreams are not just flights of our imagination. They are powerful. If we can visualise something in our mind, we’re already on an exciting path towards making it happen.
Don’t restrict yourself by beliefs about what is possible, expectations of others or your current circumstances. Instead, free your mind and consider the following:
- What would you do if you knew you could not fail?
- What would you do with your life if you had all the money and time you needed?
- What if you had all the skills and knowledge you needed, all the self-belief you needed?
- What if you had all the support you needed?
- What have you wished for, but never put in writing?
We truly believe anyone has the ability to live the life of their dreams, and just imagine what you could achieve if you truly gave yourself permission to dream big! Don’t forget to gran Kristina’s book, Your Dream Life Starts Here and to listen to her Your Dream Life Podcast for more dreaming inspiration!
So, no matter where you are this International Day of Happiness, remember, there are so many beautiful ways to cultivate happiness and moments of positivity every day. Keep the above in mind as you navigate through these uncertain times and remember to look after yourself.