Seasons can mean a significant change in mood for many people, as about one in three adults have Seasonal Affective Disorder SAD), a disorder with symptoms similar to depression, according to the Royal College of Psychiatrists .
With the United Nations’ International Day of Happiness in mind, we asked our staff what makes them happy, and looked for information outside of Possability People on what we can all do to help us feel more happy.
According to the NHS, managing stress can make a difference. Time management, such as making to do lists (and crossing things off or adding extra things to them), working out what your life or work priorities are, focusing on results and taking lunch time away from work, such as a walk outside, are important.
Getting enough sleep, limiting how much alcohol you drink and taking regular exercise are other factors which the NHS says could help you feel less stressed and more happy. Delve into their resources here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-anxiety-depression/feel-better-and-happy/.
Over the last few weeks, the Possability People staff team have shared some of the things they do to help with happiness. “This year I have learned how to appreciate being outside and able to go walking, and that has lifted my mood massively. Even something as small as hearing the birds singing makes me smile,” said one Possability Person.
“I find that a good audio book along with a spot of beanie knitting works well during the winter, come the summer it’s the same but add a refreshing sea dip,” said another.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Happiness is Keep Calm. Stay Wise. Be Kind – a subject that resonates with many in the staff team.
Another Possability Person describes what makes them happy. “Spending time with my son, being near the sea, watching my cats chase their tails, a Cary Grant movie on TV and a big bowl of crunchy popcorn, talking to my best friend on Skype, finding the perfect birthday gift for a friend, a really good book that I can’t put down”, and another finds the gesture of checking in on other people to be invaluable. “Calling parents everyday and hearing they are ok makes me happy,” she said.
This year’s Day of Happiness acknowledges the strain of living through the Covid-19 pandemic and is promoting three positive steps we can take when facing difficult times:
Keep calm: there are many things outside our control. Remember to breathe and focus on what really matters so we can respond constructively.
Stay wise: Making wise choices helps everyone. Choose positive actions that support our wellbeing and help others to do the same.
Be kind: We’re all in this together, even when we’re forced apart. Stay connected and reach out to help others who may be in need.
Being kind often crops up in discussions about how to be happy, and the national organisation, Action for Happiness, is committed to building a happier and more caring society. Their website has a wealth of resources and tips including monthly action calendars which you can add to a Google calendar, a smartphone app, cafes (currently Covid closed) and local groups. They refer to 10 keys to happier living, which spell out ‘Great Dream’. Find out more at https://www.actionforhappiness.org
Other themes that make Possability People happy include nature and friendship, as seen in the following comments:
“Drinking a cup of tea, whilst listening to birds singing”.
“Keeping myself occupied by having many friends on social media, and keeping my mind focused on good things, as well as looking forward to doing voluntary work for Possibility People. Time itself is a great healer and I look forward to seeing my friends at Possibility People again”.
“Seeing my friends and family smile, hanging out with my dogs, trees, books and long soaks in the bath are all things that make me happy”.
“Spending time with my family and friends outside in our beautiful countryside. We go for long walks in the woods, build dens and go on scavenger hunts. In the winter months we take our camping stove and have a winter picnic – usually hot dogs and coffee. We are so lucky to live where we do”.
“Dancing flamenco, singing acapella with my friends. Eating really burnt bread, traffic lights staying green for me and of course my family and my partner”.
And given that the pandemic has made many of us evaluate what we can do to feel happier, one member of staff was happy that there is now a vaccine.
Possability People is a charity committed to helping make more things possible for you in your life, no matter what your situation might be. We work with disabled people, older people, younger people or anyone with an impairment or long-term health condition.
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