There’s nothing quite like being stuck at home to test certain aspects of your character. Whether we’re at home due to a pandemic, an illness, a new baby, or choosing to be there, feeling cooped up can test our patience, resilience, and positivity. That’s where this Happy at Home Challenge comes in.Even under difficult circumstances, we can determine our own happiness. Happiness is an attitude, a choice.
It’s obviously easy to choose when life is roses! But when life is more challenging, that’s when it’s even more important to take responsibility for our own happiness and do what we can to improve it.
The research is clear. There are things that we can do that increase our happiness.
So will you join me in this Happy at Home Challenge? Try it for just two weeks and see if it makes a difference for you.
Gratitude is consistently shown to correlate to higher levels of happiness. Simply writing out 3 things each day you’re thankful for will dramatically increase your satisfaction with your life.
For many years, I had my kids write out 5 things they were thankful for to start out their homeschool day. And when the pandemic lockdown hit last March, it’s a practise we started again right away. It was so good for all of us.
The challenge? Jot down 3 things you’re thankful for each day. Write each one on a Post-it note and stick those around the house in places you’ll see them to get even more reminders of your blessings.
Serving others provides us with connection to community and triggers feelings of pleasure in our brains. In other words, helping others also helps us. It feels good.
I also find for myself personally that helping others gives me better perspective on my own circumstances as it brings a greater awareness of the needs and pain of others which leads to me realizing that I have much to be thankful for.
This Family Kindness Calendar is full of lovely ideas for ways to help others. The kindness suggestions included can be done by school-age children or younger children with the help of an adult. They’re great for getting the whole family working on a common project.
The challenge? Do one small thing for someone else each day. It can be a kind word, an act of service, or even writing a little note on a Post-it and sticking it on their door. If you’re having a hard time thinking of ideas that are safe given the pandemic restrictions, we have a list of ways you can spread kindness without spreading the virus.
Yes, we’re talking about when you’re stuck at home, but the research is clear. Going on a nature walk, spending time in a forest, or even just getting fresh air improve mood and decrease cortisol, the stress hormone. So even if you’re not able to go far, get outside.
The challenge? Get some fresh air every day. If possible, add some movement like going for a walk to get those endorphins going.
Speaking of endorphins…
Endorphins are one of the brain chemicals which are known as neurotransmitters and endorphins trigger positive feelings in your body. They are the “feel-good” chemical and you can release them naturally through exercise.
The challenge? Move more every day. Choose whatever you want and are capable of. Run up and down the stairs, do a YouTube workout, do an exercise video, yoga, or have a dance party with your kids in the kitchen.
Write down your feelings.
Writing out your feelings helps clarify your thoughts, relieve stress, help you identify specific emotions and get at their root causes, and more efficiently solve problems.
Of course, as adults, most of us can identify our feelings, but kids may not be able to easily identify their emotions or the emotions of others. That’s one of the reasons it’s so important to give your kids an emotional vocabulary.
The Teaching Emotions Toolkit helps parents or teachers provide kids with a rich emotional vocabulary and better understanding of their feelings.
The challenge? Start a journal to track your emotions.
These things can all contribute towards you feeling more happy at home.