Does anyone else feel like they’re holding it all together this year with a Band-Aid? 

Walk back through the last twelve months and look at everything you’ve survived. 

• COVID?
• Politics?
• Working from home?
• 24/7 relationships with your immediate family?
• Adult children moving home?
• Kids navigating school online?
• Caregiving?

And that’s just the start of it. 

Will the world ever be the same again?

I’m a glass-half-full kind of person. 

But even I have had meltdown after meltdown these past few months. And the thing is, when you’re the one holding everything together for your family, it doesn’t sit very well with your loved ones. 

“What can I do?” “What’s wrong?” “Is it something I did?”

Nothing. Everything. No. 

Sometimes I just get this little voice deep inside that says: okay, it’s your turn. You’ve taken on more crap than anyone should have to. Go ahead, be sad. Cry. Throw a tantrum. Get it out. Just do it. 

Of course, that feeling passes quickly. It has to. 

I have too much on my to-do list. 

The Follow-Everyone-To-Pull-Yourself-Up Strategy

I’ve found, in general, people work in one of two ways when this level of tragedy hits them.

1. They ignore everything. They don’t visit social accounts, they ignore news programs, they pile magazines up by the door. They lose interest in everything, and instead wallow in the past.

2. They reach for something more. They start dreaming in overtime. They follow everything and everybody to try and get an idea that will help them move forward. They take classes, read books, listen to podcasts. They move out of their current world by focusing on what is possible.

Yep, I fall in the second category. My inbox will prove it. I just looked – I have 2,078 unread messages. And all of them are newsletters, eclasses, free reports, and other information I’ve signed up for throughout the year. Things that I had every intention of following up on, but other things got in the way.

Even with that level of information unread, I’ve still done my share of learning.

I believe the only way to a happier, healthier future is to be a better person today. Strive to be better today than you were yesterday. And you can only do that if you learn something new.

Try this experiment.

Head to Netflix and watch a show you’ve watched over and over again. How does it make you feel? Did anything change? Did it change your perspective on life? Did it motivate you to do something new? It may be feel-good, like an old friend, but I bet it did little to change your perspective.

Now watch something new. I’ll suggest My Octopus Teacher, a wonderful documentary about a man who strikes up a friendship with an octopus.

 

It makes you think. It gives you a new perspective on life. It builds creativity.

And that’s the whole point.

I believe we as humans need two things to thrive in life:

  • Strong relationships?
  • Self-knowledge/education?

If you work on these two things, you’re more likely to have a clear vision of how you’ll move forward.

Happiness 2.0 – Life After COVID

One of the most devastating things about this current pandemic has been separation and isolation. It’s split people up, without a clear plan for putting it all back together. We’ve been learning as we go along.

While the effects are only starting to be analyzed, this time period will be studied for years to come. One recent study reported that average daily happiness levels fell on average 16 percent compared to the same time the year before.

Of course, there are many variables there – where you live, your job, your relationships, etc.

But in general, I would say that’s a pretty good guess. Even if very little in your life has changed over the past year, you still participated in living through the greatest threat ever to this generation. You can’t help be impacted, just by living through it.

I wallow on some days. When something makes me question how all of this will impact our future, I can feel sadness creep into my consciousness.

That’s also when I go to work on myself, doing what I need to pull myself back up.

Lean into my relationships

I go for long walks – I have several friends I walk with every day. We chat about everything … and nothing. This morning we had a great conversation about the books we’re reading. I added several of them to my list. Other days we dive into politics, how our kids are doing, or the state of the world. We recommend podcasts and classes. We exchange recipes. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it this past year without these women.

I’ve also leaned into my husband and daughter. Living with people 24/7 means you become attuned to your feelings and moods. We’ve made a conscious effort to sit down and talk at any time, to be there whenever we need each other.

Even my online friends and mentors have been there through everything – some of them don’t even know my name. I joined a mastermind one year ago, and it’s connected me with several great teachers and lots of like-minded people throughout the world. I’ve chatted in private Facebook groups, listened to their videos and podcasts, learned from them in so many ways.

If I’ve learned anything from this year, it’s that nobody can do this alone. Open up. Ask for help. Join groups. And lean in to better your world.

Self-knowledge/education

Did you pick up the crossover between relationships and increasing your self-knowledge? By joining a mastermind, it gave me a private online group to visit every day.

On some days, I lurked and read. On other days, I participated, posting ideas, and commenting as others asked for help.

We had one of the largest Zoom conferences ever, with thousands in attendance from all over the world. It was quite cool to see the technology Tony Robbins had created especially for his mega-events. I learned a lot.

With my eyes wide open, I watched the technology being used, I thought about how this will impact future events, as well as learning from the teachers who were using the technology to get their messages across.

No matter what, tomorrow will come.

And we’ll all adjust accordingly. We don’t have a choice.

So why not learn from what’s being done today, and apply it to tomorrow?

That alone can ramp up your happiness factor. It can get you excited about what’s coming next.

It’s worked for me.

Maybe it’ll work for you too.