As York Region moves into its colder months, we are seeing an increase in COVID-19 numbers. This means that doors are closing all around us and more precautions are being implemented. It’s not an easy time to be working and living in York or around the globe. These increased numbers and new regulations require us to further distance from family, friends and co-workers. This can lead to feeling isolated, depressed, anxious and alone.
Coping with stress in a healthy way is extremely important; it makes you, the people you care about, and your community stronger. You need to get intentional on prioritizing your happiness, and that is why our 360°kids’ Clinical Counselling Team Lead Tahirah Simmons has created a guide on how to bring more happiness into your day to day life.
While getting or staying happy isn’t something that will happen overnight, there are some things you can do everyday to bring more moments of joy into your day. Tahirah has outlined 11 tips and tricks she personally uses to stay vigilant on her happiness during the pandemic.
1. Want it!
You need to want to and be ready for change
2. Force yourself to laugh
Whether it be by consuming light, funny or happy books, movies, songs, shows, etc or connecting with someone who always brightens your day; do something that makes you laugh every day
3. Pay attention to your self-care practices
Have you been rolling out of bed and working from home in your pjs or are you taking the time to truly keep up with a morning or self-care routine ?
4. Be mindful about what you’re eating
It’s easy to be tempted to snack on junk food when you’re at home all day or indulge in all the holidays treats but remember that it’s also important to fuel your body with balanced and healthy meals. You might just notice that your food choices end up affecting how you’re feeling in the long run.
5. Focus and prioritize your physical activity
Once the snow starts falling it’s easy to talk yourself into hibernating but push yourself to get outside! Take a walk, play basketball with your family/ roommates, do a home workout video. Whatever it takes to make sure you’re still staying active and getting those happy endorphins flowing.
6. Tweak your sleep cycle to ensure you’re having a good and appropriate nights sleep
Did you know that the Sleep Foundation recommends 9-11 hours of sleep for school age kids, 8-10 hours for teens, 7-9 hours for young adults and adults and 7-8 hours for seniors? How are you stacking up when it comes to your average nights sleep?
7. Be compassionate to yourself and those who might have hurt or disappointed you
Just as much as you may or may not be struggling during this time, others around you might be dealing with hardships you aren’t aware of; a little empathy and compassion goes a long way.
8. Connect with the people in your life who love and care about you
This one needs no elaboration.
9. Go to therapy and utilize a good therapist
Sometimes what you need goes beyond what your friends and family can help you through. In those times, it’s best to find a licensed professional who you can sit down with and unpack your thoughts, feelings and worries.
10. Connect with the children in your life
While we might not be able to get together the same way we used to, it doesn’t mean you have to be cut off from those you love. If there are children in you life, take the time to FaceTime, Zoom, Skype or just play a game online together. Nothing beats playing like you’re a child again.
11. Ground yourself in your faith, spiritually or religion if you partake
While not all people will connect with this point, for those who are spiritual or religious, a great way to get grounded is within the space of your beliefs or faith. Find solace in your practice and hold on to it when you find yourself struggling.
To watch Tahirah’s full video, click below:
Prioritizing your mental health especially during this time is not only needed but necessary For tools and tips in mindful mental health practices you can go to Tahirah’s blog here. Also, for youth in York Region who wish to speak to a counsellor, 360°kids is currently running our “Let’s Chat!” Virtual Walk-in Clinic. The Let’s Chat Walk-In Clinic is a brief Virtual Counselling Service available to all young people, ages 13-26 years old who reside in York Region, who need help navigating a variety of social, emotional and mental health challenges. To learn more about the clinic or to book an appointment, please go to our 360°kids counselling page.