Never let anything rob you from your joie de vivre

Happiness is…Surviving COVID-19

Happiness is.. Surviving the Coronavirus

Empty store shelves. Churches voluntarily closing their doors. Banning events of more than 100 people. People advised to stay in their homes and avoid all physical contact with others. I would challenge you would have to go back to WWII to find the measures that we find ourselves facing from the COVID -19 scare. I didn’t fear dying when diagnosed with Kidney Cancer, and I don’t fear dying from this latest virus. What bothers me more than facing the possibility of running out of toilet paper is the fact that people are losing their joy of life because they have become so pre-occupied with this virus. I’m not saying we shouldn’t take precautions. If we took these same precautions all the time, it might reduce the 30,000 to 60,000 people we lose every single year from influenza. And I’m not being Pollyanna-ish. This could turn out to be as bad as the Polio Outbreak of 1952. But it’s simply a proven fact, that worrying will do absolutely no good, and will actually lower your immune system making you more susceptible to any illness.

So I challenge you to not let yourself become a depressed puppet sitting in front of the TV, or the internet, awaiting the most recent Breaking News report.

Make a list of things that makes you happy. I’ll help by listing a few things that brings me joy. Then see how many of these things you can compete every day.

  1. Try to wake up early enough to watch the sunrise. While watching it, give a prayer of gratitude that you’ve been given another day of life, and pray that you’ll make the most of it. Do this before you turn on the TV or your computer.
  2. Make a promise that you’re only going to check the news, email, and Facebook no more than 3 times that day. And you’ll not spend more than 5 minutes when you do.
  3. Read, or re-read, a good book.  (I recommend The Choice: Embrace the Possible by Dr. Edie Eger.
  4. Find an old scrap-book, get it out, and relive a very special vacation. I did this by getting out my photo albums from my two tours of Ireland and Scotland I led for a group of 6 people. Relive happy moments.
  5. If you’re going to watch TV, don’t watch the news. Watch shows that will make you happy; make you laugh. Shows like Andy Griffith, I Love Lucy, etc.
  6. Phone someone you haven’t talked to in a while. Have a mirror in front of you, and while you talk, make sure you smile into the mirror. Let the person catch your joy.
  7. Each day contact a person that has been very special to you, and express your gratitude to them.
  8. Don’t less the stress force you to make bad decisions: limit alcohol intake, eat healthy, exercise more than usual.
  9. It is more important than ever, during this time, to surround yourself only with positive, hopeful people. Avoid the “doomsayers” at all cost.

Practice these “happiness effectors” daily, and I promise you, This too shall pass.

And one last thing. Go to my website, and read one of my other blogs.


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About Jerry Haynes

OK, where do I start. I was born…., no that line has already been taken.Call me…, oops so has that one. Well, I won’t attempt to spout musical prose, and just be myself. I grew up in the small cotton mill town of Fries, VA. My parents were hardworking members of the middle class. They never earned more than a little over minimum wage, but I can never remember lacking for anything. After graduating from Fries High School in 1969, I started to VA Tech. After two years of partying (1st), going to movies (2nd), and studying, well, much further down the list, VA Tech decided I need a two year break to get my priorities straight. With a number 8 in the draft lottery, I knew that even if the Hokies didn’t want me, Uncle Sam did. I joined the US Navy. I got my priorities straight. I’m proud to be a Viet Nam veteran, but feel guilty I never got deployed. I graduated from Tech in 1977 with a BS in Civil Engineering. For the next 35 years I would work in both the private and public sectors. My first job took me to Tazewell County, Virginia where I soon joined the Jaycees. This ignited my passion for individual development. This passion still burns today.

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