We all desire for joy and happiness, but it often eludes us, especially when we are facing uncertainty with COVID-19.   With many of us forced to isolate and we have to find new ways to work, go to church, shop, and simply live out the daily routines, we can face anxiety and grief as a result of the life we once took for granted.

These changes can steal our joy, but we can find happiness by making a few changes that shift our focus to one of peace and gratitude, by learning to slow down and treasure life, to stop and smell the roses and to focus on the good things that life offers in a new way.

Gratitude is the true key to joy, and with seven simple steps, you too can learn to change your mind and routines to focus on all that is good and start to fill your heart with joy.  With a few key tips and small changes, gratitude is there for you to grab ahold of by;

  • Focusing on the little things. I find that gratitude is the best way to change your mood. Appreciate the little things that can change your mindset.  It can be as simple as observing nature and enjoying the beauty of it all or starting a new hobby that you enjoy or trying a new recipe.  For me, I like to write in my gratitude journal, taking walks with my dog, and helping others. By making these three small changes in my daily life boosts my spirits.
  • Spending time in prayer and reading the Bible, I begin each morning with a cup of coffee and time in the Word and prayer. I have a prayer list of those I want to pray for and for our Nation as we struggle through these difficult times.  I then either study scripture, read a devotional, and memorize scripture that I can use throughout the day when I need it.  God wants to spend time revealing His truths and wisdom. In Psalms 119:105, it says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  By starting my day with God, I can face the day with confidence that He will fill me with joy.
  • Schedule time in your day to relax and be peaceful. Meditation or yoga helps set a more tranquil mood for the day.  Make it a way of life, even if you do not do it daily. The goal is just to do it even if only for a few minutes and be still as God tells us in Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;  By learning to slow down, breathe and meditate you will start to relax.  Set the alarm to put yourself first and rest, especially those days when you feel stressed will help put your anxiety at ease.
  • Beat stress with small things. It is such an unsettling time; it is good to find outlets to express our emotions.  As we spend more time housebound, find a little corner somewhere and relax.  I have a place in my bedroom with a comfortable chair, and I love to grab a cup of coffee, light a candle, and read a book.  This is an excellent time to try new recipes or play board games. My house has never been cleaner, and this is a great time to organize some of those closets The other thing that I love to do is give back, pay for coffee for someone,  call a friend who may need to be uplifted, find ways to help others in any capacity is a way to feel happy. Whatever you decide to do, the key is to be busy and learn to be grateful.
  • Lift your mood with exercise. Take a 20-minute walk or check out some exercise videos on YouTube.  Exercise automatically increases your mood, and your getting healthy at the same time.  A little bit of movement each day is all it takes. I tend to take my dog for short walks several times a day, getting out to exercise and in the fresh air helps me not feel so isolated and along.
  • Feel supported by your friends. I have a few close friends that I truly cherish, they are my confidant and support system, and I am for them.  Having friends, you can phone or get on zoom with to be able to share.  Knowing you are not the only one who might be going through a challenging time is endless comfort.
  • Make healthy choices. Many of us are tending to eat more while isolated, but instead, use this time to get fit!  I am focusing on eating the right food using the 80/20 rules, and I feel much healthier. When I eat well, I just feel good mind, body, and soul, plus seeing the scale go down is a bonus.  Try making a few healthy changes each day.

All of these tips are easy, not time-consuming, and can help you develop not only an attitude of gratitude but can bring you happiness when you see the results of done or doing one or all of these suggestions. Remember, not matter what we are facing, we can still find joy in the journey.

Comment below with what you are doing to find happiness during these unsettling times.