Don’t worry, be happy! This may have been easy for you before these uncertain times we are facing. The global pandemic that we are experiencing is creating fear and anxiety. These might be emotions that are new to you, leaving you feeling chaotic. The following are steps you can take towards happiness. Last year, you may not have needed to be reading something like this, but last year we were not homeschooling our children while trying to work at home, or make ends meet on one income. Don’t be hard on yourself, be happy!

Step 1: Don’t let your past determine your future.

Do not dwell on the past. For this situation, we are going to take a different approach to this phrase. No matter how you USED to parent, that was then, this is now. Do not worry about things you used to do when life was normal. Whatever you do to get through the day as a family unit is what is good enough for today. Just always do your best. We can not worry about the future, or the past. Stay in the present.

Step 2: Adjust your beliefs to support pursuit of goals.

Let go of the control. Change your plans, adjust your goals. If you hang on to the thoughts of “it wasn’t supposed to be like this”, you will never reach happiness. If you can adjust and go with the flow it will be easier to adapt to the ever-changing months. I mean, did you have it a goal to successfully homeschool your child to the end of the school year? No, but you did it!!

Step 3: Develop a strong connection to your inner gut and trust it.

Call it your parental instincts. It can be used in fear situations or intuition. But what if we simply used it to do what felt right. During quarantine, our children are just as confused as we are. Just do what feels right. Does movie night with pizza in front of the TV feel like it is what your household needs? Then that is what you should do. Don’t fight the fun! We need the little things right now to create the happiness. Keep an eye on that intuition and see what else your gut might be telling you.

Step 4: Set up concrete steps to start taking.

Just like a recipe for your favorite dish. Write down the steps that you need to help you through your daily living. Some days might be different than others. But have steps in place to follow when you feel like you need them. Just like cooking, somedays you don’t need recipes, and some days you do. Happiness is just like that. It is okay to have the cheat cards! Just make them personalized to you and your situation.

Step 5: Be Patient.

Don’t try to rush things. Yes, somedays we want to the clock to speed up to bedtime so we can finally sit on the couch and watch what we want to watch in silence. The saying, “good things come to those who wait”. Figure out what that means to you. Taking this time to work on being a happier parent and enjoying family time might be what they are talking about.