More than 10 years ago I decided that it was time to explore the world. I did not plan another holiday, which I love, but I wanted to stay in a place longer, a few years. I wanted to explore a new culture, make new international friends and work with different styles than at home. I did the big leap and then I simply enjoyed every moment since. The pros are far more than the cons and the major thing I miss, is not really pasta, but my family. I arranged to visit home a few times per year and even if not perfect, I could still have good contact with family and friends

Then came Covid-19 and everything changed. I really struggle not to be able to travel and be back to visit my family. This is common to many friends. Some friends, who come from another continent, may even have bigger problems and they have not seen their home country for years now. Following these changes, a new sense of negativity started to grow in me. I often caught myself with negative thoughts that I did not have before. 

Values are part of Happiness

When important values like family and friends are touched, you are forced to re-think about what is important and what you really want in life. This happened to me and to many other people because Covid-19 has changed the way we live. Latest statistics forecast a return to normality not before another year. Therefore I asked myself what I really wanted. A good answer is Happiness and my friends agreed on that. We all want to be happy and this virus is challenging us a lot. What we want right now is to be in control of our own happiness. 

What is Happiness

I find suggestions about what is happiness and how to find it very useful. I started with Knowing Your Values. This was the issue I found: family and friends are important to me and I want to be in touch with them. Already being conscious of my values helped me understand why I was so upset and negative. Then I needed to act toward the realisation of my values. This is Finding Balance between the situation we have and what we can do. After checking the options, I decided not to put at risk the health of people and therefore not to travel. Therefore the next best option I had, was to book the next flights. If everything goes fine with vaccines, we will be able to travel and I want to be there when it happens. Fortunately, many flight companies allow you to re-book if there are problems. In this way, I find my best compromise that follows my Values and keep myself the sense of Integrity I need to make decisions. 

I needed to push myself further and found that Exercise helps me a lot. When the weather allows it, I am outside to jog or even just a nice walk in nature. To further control my thoughts I added some Gratitude practices, to focus on the positive aspects of my life. In this way, I can balance my thoughts and feel better. 

After that, I feel already more positive and happier. My thoughts are less negative and I feel a better sense of control of my own life.