Sounds oxymoronic, right? Happiness during COVID? But how? Let’s be honest here, it’s not been a great year in terms of what’s been happening in the news. However, the news is not your life. Your life is your life. It does not have to be dictated by the big, stressful events happening elsewhere. That’s why we’ve taken the time to write all the ways you can start discovering your happiness in the era of COVID.

The Importance of Self-Discipline

When it comes to making something positive of the current COVID-19 situation, there’s one vital thing we all need to be thinking about. Self-discipline. This isn’t just vital in the current situation, it’s always been absolutely crucial, no matter what’s going on in the world and your life.

Ex-Navy SEAL, Jocko Willink talks about how discipline equals freedom. In an almost excessively American sense, freedom is everything. We’re not free if we’re spending all our time worrying about something meaningless, about money, food, the opposite sex, whatever it is, if it occupies space in your head, and it shouldn’t, you’re not free.

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Maybe it doesn’t work to equate happiness and freedom, but to my mind freedom is the ability to choose the life you want, to have agency, control and power over your direction. To me, that’s pretty close to happiness, providing you spend your freedom on the right things.

That brings me back to my original point. COVID has brought much of the world into lockdown. Lots of us have spent far too much time sat about at home, wondering what we should be doing (unless you’re a healthcare worker, massive respect to you!). When you’ve got the kind of free time and the levels of uncertainty that have been going around the past few months, you need self-discipline more than anything else.

Self-discipline, in this arena, is the difference between having an amazing, uplifting and productive time during COVID, and simply wasting a few months of your life. If you can embrace self-discipline, you can make your life exactly what you want it to be. As a side note, it’s well worth reading some of Jocko Willink’s books on this topic.

Now You Have the Control

This is the defining aspect of COVID for many. We’ve lost our jobs or been furloughed, and we’re finding ourselves at a loose end. For much of the world, the situation is far from over. This all seems a bit dire and depressing, right? Wrong!

How many of us can say we were living our best lives before all of this? Very few, I’d wager. This is an unprecedented opportunity to sit back and take a look. To wrestle back control of your destiny and make your own decisions. All you need to do is take that control, and make some real palpable plans that will set you hard in the right direction.

It’s about making powerful, strategic plans that will allow you to pursue the goals you care about. It’s about seeing the big picture, and breaking away from the humdrum trudging of the last few years. Even if this doesn’t apply to you personally, it’s still an opportunity to sit back, take a breather and think about how you’re spending your energy. It’s a chance to take back control, and see positive things happen.

As you can imagine, when you know you’re working in the right direction, embracing self-discipline and getting on with the things that really matter to you, happiness is only a matter of time. You’re working on things that you really value, and even if you don’t achieve instant success, you know that you’re moving along the right path for you and that is totally invaluable.

Exercise and Diet

One thing that’s come out about COVID is the importance of fitness and health. We’ve always known that it’s a great thing to be in shape and health. We all know that, and we all make excuses that stop us reaching our goals.

Take the current situation as your permission to focus on yourself. Be vain, start focusing on your appearance, or your strength, or your cardio. Whatever it is, do it. Chase the fitness goals that matter to you, and utilise diet to achieve them faster and more effectively.

The great thing about the current situation is that with less or no work, we can shape our days ourselves. We schedule what we need to do, and we get after it as and when we tell ourselves to. This is a huge thing. Being able to decide when you’re working out, instead of just when you’re exhaustedly getting in from work is a massively useful thing.

Beyond that, you might not be leaving the house anywhere near as much. This means more home cooking, more intelligent diet decisions, fewer sodas, less junk food. More control, and more ability to make your goals happen going forwards. We’ve always had obstacles in our path before, but now the ball is in your court.

Oh no, you can’t go to a gym?! So what? Order some overpriced dumbbells online. Buy a skipping rope. Find somewhere you can do pull-ups and push-ups. There’s a million solutions out there, and there’s plenty of knowledgeable fitness specialists online putting out content that explains how you can get in shape with less equipment.

Get in shape, and know that you’re going to be stronger, more disciplined and more reliable for the people in your life as a result. Even if you get COVID, you’re more likely to shake it off now you’re in shape, according to some studies. What are you waiting for?

Family and Friends

For many of us, we’ve not been allowed to see our friends and family for months at a time. It’s been a hard summer for lots of people, and there’s no doubt about that. However, if this has taught us anything, it’s that we should value the people around us, and start putting in the work to make our relationships happen.

Prior to this epidemic, you might have taken your family and friends a little for granted. I know I did. But as soon as you know you’re not going to be seeing them for months at a time, it quickly becomes apparent how much these people actually meant to you.

There’s no doubt, we all need friends and family around us, we’re communal animals after all.

If there’s one take-away, it’s that you should always be putting the effort in to stay connected with your family and friends. Schedule weekly calls, or maybe once a month. Stay in touch. There’s so many apps and ways to do that nowadays that there’s really no excuse.

This is exactly what millions of people have been doing all summer. This kind of dedication and effort strengthens and reinforces relationships, making you really value your family and friends. Imagine how good its going to be when you next see them? That’s the benefit of COVID in this sense.

Sit Back, Re-Evaluate

Life is fast. Once we’re out of school and university and working, things only seem to speed up and get faster and before you know it, you’re settled into something that you might not consider your ideal lifestyle. A job you don’t like, a place you’re not fond of, hobbies you don’t love. It’s too easy to sit back and end up like this when life speeds by the way it does.

COVID has presented us all with a rare opportunity to sit back and re-evaluate the ways in which we’re living. It allows us to challenge the status quos we have created for ourselves and break out of our bad habits. Start moving in the right directions by making powerful strategic plans. Plans that, had all this epidemic stuff never happened, you never would’ve had the chance to sit back and come up with.

It Is What You Make It

Finally, I’d like to leave you with one last final thought. All this situation can both be an opportunity to supercharge your happiness and purpose or it can be exceptionally hard and depressing. This is entirely down to you. It’s up to you where you spend your energy, whether that’s working on hobbies, fitness, new career opportunities or sitting around eating junk food and watching daytime television. This is your call, and you can make big things happen if you make the right decision.

Don’t forget to give yourself a break once in a while too, these big powerful changes don’t happen overnight, so if things aren’t developing quickly enough, maybe look and see what you can change or just take a simple breather for a day or two. Also useful is the app, Analyze.Life. Allowing you to track and monitor your happiness, while providing tons of helpful content, tips and tricks, this can be a great addition to your forward momentum during COVID.