How to Feel Happier During COVID-19
As we enter into May (Mental Health Awareness Month) when the weather begins to warm up and the days aren’t as short, for 2020 it is during a time of isolation with the COVID-19 pandemic. For some, not a lot has changed in their daily lives. But for others, they are experiencing anxiety and/or depression for the first time and find it hard to feel happy. Here are four things anyone can do to help increase their happiness.
Giving to others or being a volunteer can make a person tremendously happier. It gives people a sense of belonging and purpose. Even a small act of kindness like dropping off a care package at someone’s doorstep or donating to a cause that’s important creates social connection, even in these times of physical distancing.
Did you know that when you smile or even force yourself to smile it can trick your brain into releasing chemicals related to being happy? Smiling releases dopamine, serotonin and endorphins. The best thing is to find something that truly creates a smile and think about it first thing in the morning and throughout the day. Perhaps keep a photo or a note close by for a reminder.
The benefits of exercise are always mentioned when it comes to physical health. Exercise can also help increase mental wellness and happiness naturally. If a person exercises 20 minutes a day, it can even boost happiness for up to 12 hours afterwards. This happens because endorphins are released, and that makes a person feel good.
Give yourself obtainable goals
Setting any kind of goal, whether it is for your career, relationships or a personal goal can create a better vision of the future. Setting and completing goals releases dopamine which plays a part in the reward system of the brain. This is why to-do lists can be helpful for people to manage and maintain their busy schedules.
What if that’s not enough?
Contact a doctor for a referral or find a therapist. They can work to design a custom plan for wellness. Secure treatment is over the phone or computer with telehealth, providing coping skills for grief, loss, depression and anxiety. They will work with you one-on-one to get you feeling better.
Lifeline Connections is committed to long-term mental wellness for our patients. We offer an integrated, holistic approach that includes therapy and case management. Our doctors specialize in the treatment of co-occurring mental health and substance use disorders, working to solve ones that have a compounding effect. Contact us and reclaim your life.