We may be smack in the middle of a pandemic — many of us confined to our homes and missing our friends and family members — but the truth is, we can still find things to be happy about and grateful for. Many of us have had some much-needed time to rest, have quality time with our partners and kids, and spent the day in our comfiest, coziest pajamas; we’ve seen an outpouring of love, humanity, and creativity all over the world that’s been heartwarming to witness.
In other words, there’s no shortage of good things happening in the world right now. And all we have to do is decide which ones to participate in.
Here are five ways to bring joy into your life right now:
1. Have an ongoing trivia night with friends.
It’s important to connect with others, and we’re so lucky to have technologies like Facetime and Zoom to lean on. That said, it can be hard to find positive, non-COVID-19-related topics to discuss. That’s where games come in. Games take your mind off what’s going on outside your homes and allow you to lose yourself, even if it’s just for an hour. They’re great for all generations, which means you have a session with your family or one with just your friends.
Expert hack: If you really want to mimic the feeling of a night socializing with friends, opt for games that require four or more players. Everyone will be talking over each other and it might feel like chaos doing it over Facetime or Zoom — but that’s kind of the point. So, break out that Trivial Pursuit, Cards Against Humanity, and charades. What are you waiting for?
2. Name Your Plant & Plant a Tree
Yes, you read that right. Thanks to Boxed Water, you can now plant a tree right from your home. How, you ask? Well, they teamed up with the National Forest Foundation to plant two trees anytime you share a photo or video of your favorite house plant with the hashtag #betterplanet.
Hundreds of thousands of people have already participated, which means more than a million trees have been planted. To celebrate this huge win for planet earth, they’re hosting an online celebration on May 15th. All you have to do is sign up, submit a name for one of the new trees, and then tune in at 2pm ET / 11am PT to see if your tree makes an appearance.
Why the names, you ask? Did you know by naming a tree you develop a deeper connection to nature and the environment around you? And we could all benefit from a stronger relationship with the natural world right now? So join Boxed Water for an afternoon of celebration, connection, and join them on the path to 1 million more. We may not be able to hike in the forest right now, but we can still show our appreciation for nature right from our homes.
If you missed the tree-planting ceremony, you can still participate and name your own tree. Anytime you post with the hashtag #BetterPlanet (or just head to the Boxed Water site and fill out this form), two trees will be planted in collaboration with the National Forest Foundation. That simple act helps with a major effort towards reforestation, protecting the natural habitat of wildlife, and ensuring we all have clean air to breathe.
3. Tune in to the best new show on YouTube.
Just when we thought we couldn’t like John Krasinski any more, he proved us wrong. In response to all the stress and uncertainty in the world right now, he launched a new show called SOME GOOD NEWS where he reports from home on all the good things happening around the globe. (Spoiler alert: there are plenty of them!)
With special guests like Steve Carell, Martha Stewart, and the original cast of Hamilton, Krasinski reminds us of the importance of laughter, music, food, family. Sounds like a foolproof way to inject a little joy into your life, doesn’t it? Bring your tissues and be prepared to witness the unbreakable human spirit in action.
Dance is a fundamental part of being human. In fact, research has connected dance to better emotional regulation, self-esteem, and trust levels. One study revealed that dancing led to higher energy, less tension, and a more creative mood; and another showed that dance therapy can decrease depressive symptoms and increase life satisfaction.
The take-home? Dance is a great way to support our mental and physical health (think about it, it’s nearly impossible to dance without a big smile across your face). And while we won’t be attending any dance classes or salsa clubs for a while, there are a ton of ways to have a dance party right from your home. It can be as simple as turning on your favorite dance playlist and rocking out for five minutes a day; or, try tuning into Dance Church or follow choreographer Ryan Heffington on Instagram and prepare yourself for some epic dance parties complete with celebrity guests!
5. Plant a mini herb garden.
After you’ve posted your photo for Boxed Water, named your tree, and tuned into the celebration of a million trees planted, continue to deepen your relationship with nature by planting a mini herb garden.
You don’t need a ton of space or time for this, and the benefits are huge. You’ll experience the joy of watching something grow right before your eyes and you’ll get access to fresh, healthy herbs — like basil, cilantro, and mint — without having to leave the house. There are plenty of easy and inexpensive kits to choose from and many of them available online or for curbside pickup.
During difficult times, it’s important to find something to lean on. So whether it be nature, laughter, dance, or community that brings you joy today, make sure you give it room to fill you up and put a smile on your face.
Oh, and go ahead and name your new basil plant, too. You know you want to!