How are you doing? No, seriously. How are you doing?
It has come to my attention that a lot of my friends/peeps/readers are struggling, and the end of summer isn't helping. Some of you are doing your best to cope with heartbreaking grief. Some of you are grumpy from too much time inside, too much uncertainty, too much solitude, too much together. Too much.
Whether your reality is grief or grump, telling you to, "Look on the bright side!" isn't going to help. Fortunately, I have more than platitudes up my sleeve -- I can share a few happiness hacks, double-dog guaranteed to stir up the chemicals that accompany happiness, including serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. Heck, with these hacks, you might even get the old endorphins going.
- Be more like Milo, the pup. Snuggle up. Get your rest. Hug someone in your circle -- I read a story that said hugging might be safer than shaking hands. It's certainly more fun. If you really want to feel better fast, pet a pup. Cuddle a kitten. Have a baby nearby? They're almost as good. ;-)
- Refocus. Get your mind off your life. Watch something on TV that makes you laugh. Go for a walk and look for something you've never seen before. What could that be? You tell me. I tried this on my walk Saturday, and noticed a design on a political sign that indicated the candidate was a doctor. I had walked by the sign dozens of times, but never really saw it before. (Does it matter? No. But my mind was happy to be searching for something new and not focused on ... whatever. And that matters!)
- Do something for someone else. Mail a postcard to a friend. Bake cookies for the neighbors. Tell that masked clerk at the grocery store that you really appreciate all she's doing.