Inspirational coffee mugs everywhere remind us that “life is about the journey, not the destination.” Even I couldn’t help but roll my eyes while writing that. But it’s true, and it could be your key to feeling better during Covid.
Many people are putting off their happiness until “we get our lives back,” but here’s the thing: this is your life. Your life is always happening in the current moment, even during times like these.
This is actually great news. Because it means that feeling better now is as easy as cultivating the practice of enjoying the current moment.
Now I don’t mean that you’ll feel happy 24/7. That’s not our human experience. What I mean is that we feel all of our feelings (including sadness, fear, anger and disappointment) so that our current moments aren’t wasted resisting them. Because resistance prolongs the negative feelings and makes us numb. Then that numbness carries over and we miss out on the good stuff too.
I can help you feel better, even during challenging times like Covid. It all starts with a phone call.
Let’s hop on a free, 30 minute, no pressure call. We’ll talk about what’s happening, what you wish was happening, and how to bridge the gap. Click here to schedule.
What you’ll learn in this episode:
- My motto for creating good stuff even during our “shelter at home”. [0:55]
- Realistic perspective on how to enjoy our current moment just a little more. [2:26]
- What to do when you are done feeling sad / angry / frustrated. [5:30]
- Why my dentist is an inspiration to me. [8:40]
- Examples of creating pockets of happiness by priming our brains to look for ways to be happy now.
Get a full episode transcript:
Hello everyone. I’m kicking today’s podcast off with one of my favorite quotes that I’m using to guide me through this quarantine time.
“Unhappy journey’s don’t have happy endings”.
I hear so many people waiting...like there is some future moment when “we are going to get our lives back” as if our life has gone somewhere and we are waiting for it. As if today “doesn’t count” because our schedule is different than usual.
Like our life isn’t always happening. Think about that for a moment. Our life is always happening just like it is.
And so with this quarantine time it is worth finding a way to enjoy it. Exactly like it is. Or maybe to enjoy it more. Even if you rate this quarantine a -5 maybe find ways to make it a -3. Or find little pockets of time to enjoy it.
And the best way to do that is to
Stay present to what is. Resist nothing. The time and energy it takes to resist your feelings always ends up prolonging them. We have always taken a big trip in March. And my daughter had one scheduled to volunteer for habitat for humanity with her school. When it got canceled she was really disappointed. And I just let her be disappointed. I helped her feel the very human emotions of being disappointed by not trying to cheer up out of them.
I just let her be disappointed until she wasn’t and then we moved on. Feeling our feelings has motion to it. It’s different than endlessly fondling the story of how unfair it is. We feel our feelings in order to process them and move on. Not to build a house or set up camp in our sadness. And you’ll know the difference. Expressing genuine sadness or frustration has a different felt sense in your body than ruminating in your sadness does. And I’ve got a podcast on feeling your feelings so I won’t go into more detail here.
Once you’ve done that...decide what feels better. Decide what you want to experience in this time and then look for ways to give it to yourself. Look for evidence that you can HAVE it.
This is not some new age mumbo jumbo. This is a practical way to live. How do I know? You are already doing it. We all are. Just most people are collecting evidence of what they don’t want.
A common example from my facebook feed.
* My husband is the “laid back one” and I get stuck being the bad cop and enforcing all the rules. First off - is that true? You husband never supports a rule in any way. Not even by role modeling good behavior. He never picks up a dish or asks someone to come to the table. I’m not saying that it’s 50/50 or even 75/25. I’m just saying that using language like “never” is probably making you feel worse than more specific language like I wish he would tell the kids no to going to Target.”
And even better what if you believed instead that you are the good cop because you are willing to enforce rules that keep your kids safe. What if you really believed that your kids were lucky to have you. How would that change things for you?
What if your belief about your good cop-ness came from your own self instead of their reaction? How cool would that be? How much more fun could you have doing what you are already doing if you believed in your good cop-ness.
I think about the politicians right now that have to make decisions, that no matter how good the decision is, half the people aren’t going to like it. OR professions like being a dentist. I don’t like going to the dentist. But he isn’t dependent on my reaction to feel good. He just does his job.
We want to stop pinning our good time on our kid’s reactions.
We get to choose how we feel about this time. What we want to make of it.
**So another really common example is all the emails I’m getting from
Companies trying to sell me something by saying they “know that everyone is having a hard time right now.”
I see those emails and think - you don’t know what I’m feeling. And you are trying to stress me out so you can sell me office supplies.
Those email are priming your brain to look for examples of “having a hard time.” And I guarantee you will find evidence.
But we know that if we look for evidence of “having a good time”
i will notice
- that we are eating more meals together. Heck my daughter and I are cooking amazing lunches together every day and I’m eating better than I ever have.
- That in general I’m enjoying having my hubby work from home. I get little pockets in the day, just 5 minutes here and there where we chat and it’s super fun.
- That I’m getting extra sleep. Because we are running around less, I literally have more time to sleep.
And it’s not just me…
- My mom is enjoying more activities at her retirement community because she’s out less.
- HEck she got siri to look up what Ockam’s razor was after hearing it in one of Govenor Cuomo’s broadcasts. Do you know what a major technological victory that was for her?
And I bet you can come up with some of your own too. I’d love to hear them! You can always reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know…
1. What are going to DECIDE to be having during this time?
2. What can you already celebrate having that’s like that.
We can build this skill now. And then use it whenever life throws us a curveball. Or heck when things are going well we can use it to appreciate our amazing families even more.
I can’t wait to hear what you come up with. Talk to you next week!
Featured in this episode:
- If you need help feeling your feelings, you can check out this episode here.