Create Long Term Happiness – Through Lockdown and Beyond
In the UK we’ve now experienced a good few weeks of lockdown. Have you taken the time yet to reflect on how you’re feeling? We can ask ourselves two different questions – both how we’re doing, and what we’re doing. What we do affects how we feel, and I’m an advocate of doing what gives us long term happiness.
Emotions can be really heightened in these times. Fear, anxiety, fatigue, anger, mood swings, sadness and feeling lost are all valid responses – any time, and especially now. You, like me, have likely seen a hundred different videos and posts doing the online rounds which depict the phases we may be going though. Phases like having no idea what day it is, arguing that wine is a balanced meal, or feeling physical pangs for human contact. Have you been through all of them yet? I know I’ve been experienced a few! Maybe you’re slowly finding your feet amidst this unsettled time – or maybe not quite yet.
Perhaps solid ground can be found through what we do.
What We Do Determines How We Feel
I just want to put it out there – I understand the need to indulge to make us feel better. Over-consumption, whether wine, chocolate digestives or social media, soothes us and takes us away from our challenging emotions in the present moment. And yes the present moment is a little surreal, to say the least. It is ok, acceptable, and normal to be doing this than you usually would.
That said, let me ask you this – are your actions making you happier in the long term, the short term, or not at all? We have a choice; to:
- Scroll mindlessly through Instagram watching other people who inspire us, or we can take inspired action ourselves
- Consume the news and other information that increases our anxiety, or we can read a book or watch a movie, journal or think
- Stay up late and feel tired because getting off the sofa feels like effort, or we can get to bed and rest.
The first option to all of these feels like the easy and comfortable route, right? Doing is hard, I know. That said, we won’t get anywhere if we don’t do the things we know we need to feel better.
Instant Gratification versus Personal Growth
As I’ve said before, this is not a call for #newpandemicnewme. However, maybe we can come out of this lockdown feeling better than we did in the first couple of weeks. Caveat: I don’t think over-consuming and ignoring ourselves will get us there.
Positive psychology teaches us that sustained happiness and joy come from doing hard things. That could be:
- Putting your phone down more
- Creating more and consuming less
- Going to bed when we’re just starting to get tired, rather than stagnating until exhaustion
- Taking rest when we need
- Focusing fully when we are able
The funny thing is, we often know what we need to do to be kinder to ourselves, and to help us feel better. Getting out of your comfort zone and doing something against your default behaviour is challenging.
An Invitation For You To Create Long Term Happiness
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get where you’ve always got”
The phrase above resonates with me every time I hear it. It’s a call to practice what does not come easy.
You can turn your attention inwards and be mindful of the actions that you take. Be compassionate if they’re coming from a place of anxiety and survival. If the actions are not comfortable and not giving you sustained happiness, perhaps this is your opportunity to get curious. What would you like to do instead? How would that make you feel? Who do you need to get on board to support you?
I’m opening a couple of spaces up for online individual coaching. I’m here to support you, whether you feel you need one session or twenty – as long as you are fully committed to show up and dive deep into this work. If you feel like you need more support to get where you want to be, reach out. You can find out more information about my coaching and/or get in touch for a free consultation here. If you want a chat or get some quick advice, I’m here for you too.
Take care of you.