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Five strategies for staying happy during the pandemic


5 coping tips from Dr Santos

Good mental health is crucial. According to Laurie Santos from Yale University these are the five most effective evidence-based strategies for staying happy:

Physical exercise. The most effective way for improving your health is physical exercise. Half an hour of physical exercise is for some people more effective than taking anti-depressants.

Gratitude. Your mood can significantly improve by writing down the things that make you happy. Santos: „It can be something small, such as a cup of coffee.”

Sleep. Mind your sleep in these challenging times. Getting enough quality sleep is essential for staying physically and mentally happy.

Social contact. Research shows that happy people have stronger social contacts. Consequently, even when your are down, the suggestion is to call someone or take a walk together. Furthermore, according to this Dutch article discussing resilience at work in these remote times, it is important to find ways to stay in physical contact.

“Loneliness” is often at the top of the list of downsides to remote work. According to this Bloomberg opnion article, the pandemic may have erased our ability to run into one another at the coffee machine, but it has also provided more insight into our coworkers’ personal lives — their home decor, their keyboard-obsessed cats, their kids. That is a pandemic reality to embrace now, and one day carry with us back to the office.

Emotional awareness. To move on, you have to accept your emotions. Pushing away your emotions will not work, says Santos. It is better to accept your emotions, so to move on.

Watch this video for more coping tips.