A new poll shows that Americans have not been so unhappy in 50 years. The COVID Response Tracking Study from NORC at the University of Chicago found that only 14% of Americans say they’re very happy. It goes on to draw other conclusions related to stress, optimism and loneliness.
I cannot imagine why! Things in the world have never been better. We have never been more connected to friends, family and co-workers. We have never been so united as a country, so willing to hear what others have to say before tweeting. We have never consumed less alcohol.
Weird! And yet this research must be true.
One thing wellness blogs have taught is that endorphins can help fend off misery while also producing some sick gains. Try doing these simple, at-home exercises to boost your mood. They can be done with objects around the house, so feel free to cancel your gym membership even though the gym is operating as if everything is fine.
Start flat on your back staring at the ceiling. Swing your legs to one side of the bed and stand, only to be overwhelmed by the sheer impossibility of existence. Hold for two. Sit, swing legs the opposite direction and lie back down. Exhale and repeat until the first Zoom meeting of the day starts, or until a child cries.
Open the front door, engaging the deltoids. Breathe in, smelling something familiar. It might be grass clippings and mulch. Then again, it might be a fire down the street. Imagine the worst possible thing you can conjure up, then retract the door, engaging the biceps. Repeat until the mail truck arrives.
Check the top shelf for something, anything, to make you feel better. Finding nothing, bend at the knees, taking care to keep the torso straight, and look for something on the bottom shelf to fill the empty hole inside you. For a fierce cardio finisher, drop to the freezer level and spring into a burpee, grabbing the tub of sour cream on the way down.
Scroll through your news feed. Keep scrolling. Don’t stop. No. Don’t stop. Keep scrolling. OK, now stop. Start to type something that matters to you. Stop. Second guess yourself. Decide it’s not worth it. Scroll again. Keep scrolling. Stop. Wonder if you are doing or saying enough. Make a post. Feel good about this post. Scroll. Look at your post. Wonder if it is actually bad. Think about deleting it but figure it is too late, and that deleting it would only make it worse. Keep scrolling. Keep scrolling. Keep scrolling.