For a better life, be happy: How to stay positive during the year of COVID-19

design: Abby Robinson

We’re living in the middle of the only global pandemic our generation and many others have faced. It’s easy to be miserable during these months and focus on everything taken away during these times, but where’s the fun in that? At least for now, this is our new normal so we better begin to adapt and enjoy our only years of high school.

If this experience has taught us anything, it is to accept the changes. Just because we couldn’t attend a homecoming dance or cheer in a student section doesn’t mean we give up. Dress up with a small group of friends and celebrate a fake homecoming or “foco” as some may call it. Watch a sporting event on television and scream as loud as possible and even dress according to a theme.

Although the usual events were cancelled, there is no rule prohibiting us from enjoying this year on our own, with family and with friends a small group of friends that is.

This is the prime time to focus on oneself. With the hustle and bustle of (normal) everyday life, we tend to forget about ourselves and meeting our own mental and physical needs.

Let’s take this time to better ourselves in any way we see fit. That may include sticking to a workout routine once a week. It could be something as simple as keeping our rooms clean. Maybe donate some clothes, get rid of anything we may not use or need anymore.

It is a common stereotype that teenagers don’t spend as much time with their families as they may have in previous years. However, no matter the grade: freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior, these are you’re last few years living at home.

Like it or not, eventually we have to move out and start our own lives. Use this time to truly be engaged with our loved ones. Eating dinner as a family, helping out with holiday decorations or even something as simple as a family movie or game night can help make this time a little more bearable and hopefully even enjoyable.

According to numerous studies have shown that those with an optimistic attitude on things live happier lives.

This positive view leads to benefits in many different aspects of life. These may include careers, self-esteem, relationships and even physical health.

It seems that finding the motivation to be productive during this time is practically impossible but it’s not. Take it one step at a time.

Being a little more optimistic day-by-day will slowly help to improve our lives in every way possible. A lack or absence of optimism will only lead to negative things.

According to optimism can in fact lead to longer (and of course happier) life. However, pessimism can be the root of many mental illnesses.

The tendency to expect negative outcomes is usually where anxiety, stress and depression begin to arise. This, of course, is a period full of the unknown where being pessimistic is the easy and almost natural outlook on our circumstances.

Instead of finding anything and everything to possibly worry about, let’s challenge ourselves to do the opposite. Each day, try to do at least one thing that makes us happy. What about finding three positive things that happened to us today?

Dare ourselves to switch our mindset. Things can only get better from here.