A woman told me that her eight-year-old daughter “has a habit of being happy. She lives life to the fullest.” I was impressed. How wonderful to make happiness a habit and live your life to its fullest capacity! Day follows day and her daughter will look back and see she has woven a pattern of happiness and health. Our mental attitude and habits have a lot to do with our physical health.

Unfortunately, over the last few months many of us are not happy and we seem to be in a holding pattern over our own lives. The necessary isolation brought on by the coronavirus has presented unique challenges for us all. With all of the uncertainty, maintaining good mental health and practicing self-care is more important than ever. As we learn to deal with new stressors arising from social distancing, it is important to find ways to cope and maintain positive routines—healthy habits if you will.

Like all actions and thoughts, good or bad, something becomes a habit only if we practice it over and over again. To make changes to how we think, we just have to be consistent. It’s way too easy to get into the habit of thinking, “When this whole social distancing is over I can do this, or go somewhere, or see this person in person, but until then everything stops in my life.”

It’s more than easy to put everything in life on-hold. It’s a no-brainer—we don’t have to really do anything except do nothing at all. But doing nothing, waiting for a normal life to begin is self-defeating. Your life is a priceless commodity that needs to be allowed to grow and expand now, not at some later date. You cheat yourself by stopping living your life. Now is important.

Be the author of your own life and remember—all good writers edit. If something you are doing right now is not working, edit it until it does. Spend less time focusing on how to become happy, and focus more on the little things that make you happy. Live your life in the now.

Opening your eyes in the morning is like opening a window to your day. If you put your life on hold during this trying time, the view you have is negative and you will feel miserable all day. Get into the habit of staring the day with a moment of gratitude for good things. Write down 3 things you are grateful for in your life right now. Start the day with a positive mindset.”

In a day that can be demanding and draining, do one simple thing that gives you pleasure. A cup of coffee, a short walk outside, a look at the power of nature as spring comes forth in full bloom. You deserve this. Surprisingly, you will find that not only are you in a better frame of mind about your day, you actually have something to which you can look forward.


  • Kristen Houghton

    Kristen Houghton

    Thrive Global

    Kristen Houghton is the award-winning author of the popular series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation.  She is also the author of nine novels, two non-fiction books, a collection of short stories, a book of essays, and a children’s novella. Her horror novel, Welcome to Hell, was nominated for a Bram Stoker Award. Houghton has covered politics, news, and lifestyle issues as a contributor to the Huffington Post. Her writing portfolio includes Criminal Element Magazine, a division of Macmillan Publishing, Today, senior fiction editor at Bella Magazine, interviews and reviews for HBO documentaries, OWN, The Oprah Winfrey Network, and The Style Channel. Before becoming a full-time  author, Kristen, who holds an Ed.D. in linguistics, taught World Languages on the high school and university levels. Along with her husband, educator Alan William Hopper, she is a philanthropist for Project Literacy and Shelters With Heart, safe havens for victims of domestic abuse and their pets . mailto:  [email protected]