1. GET FRESH AIR
Whether you’re working from home or binge-watching Netflix, it’s easy to get in the habit of not leaving the house at all during lockdown. But just breathing fresh air for a few minutes — and it’s *especially* fresh right now, minus all the cars and factories — can make you feel less cooped up, even if that means just sitting on the stoop for awhile. It’s also important to keep the air fresh inside when you’re stuck indoors for so long; our new odor eliminator, Veil, can help with that.
2. LAUGH AT INSTAGRAM
No matter how mad at the universe we are, every time we see an Instagram account like @sidewalkface, we can’t help but laugh. There are a million meme accounts out there, but something as simple as a random hole in the ground turned into a smiling weirdo will do it for us every time, especially when we smoke. If it’s anxiety you’re dealing with, the hashtag #oddlysatisfying — or the soothing animations of designers like @wannerstedt — work wonders, too.
3. FOCUS ON GOOD NEWS
Famed musician David Byrne started Reasons to Be Cheerful in 2017, but right now, it’s everything — a stream of news stories focusing exclusively on what’s actually going right in the world, instead of the bajillion things going wrong. Subscribe to the newsletter so you can get a weekly reality check in your inbox.
4. TAKE A HAPPINESS CLASS
Can you learn to be happy from a class? Yale thinks so: They’re offering a free online course called “The Science of Well Being” that features “a series of challenges designed to increase your happiness and build more productive habits,” and we think it’s worth a shot. Other potential inspirations include a series of three happiness classes led by a psychologist on Youtube, and an instructive documentary about a designer’s personal quest to find happiness (spoiler alert: it doesn’t exactly go as planned).
5. DO SOMETHING CREATIVE
Some experts are saying the key to getting through this time, emotionally speaking, may just be to distract yourself — to keep your mind busy with something other than worrying about the dumpster-fire situation we’re in right now. The best way to do that is by getting creative, and luckily there’s a ton of tutorials floating around right now that will teach you to make things at home. We're biased towards the Instagram Live DIY sessions that Sight Unseen is hosting every day this week at 2pm EST — yesterday’s with @blockshoptextiles, today’s with @likemindedobjects — but you can also try nail art, making a tiny chair out of household objects, or making a tiny room out of clay.
6. DANCE DANCE DANCE
If anyone won this quarantine (besides Purell and Charmin) it’s probably Ryan Heffington, the Los Angeles choreographer whose Sweatfest dance sessions on IG Live almost immediately went viral. The last time we joined one of his broadcasts, there were more than 6,000 other people dancing along with us, and Heffington’s moves are so easy that anyone can get into it. If you’re a little more skilled in the dance department, though, we highly recommend the virtual sessions of hip NYC dance class Moves, or just posting up in front of a mirror and turning on this playlist.
You’ve probably heard it a million times by now, but take it from this monk: It’s great time to learn to meditate, or to devote more time to the practice. Meditation doesn’t work for everyone — if that’s you, see “distract yourself” above — but clearing your head, especially when your head is full of yucky stuff, is a great skill to have right now. There are countless gurus that offer meditation programs, from Sharon Salzberg to Tara Brach to Deepak Chopra and Oprah (lol).
8. BUY YOURSELF FLOWERS
We don’t know about you, but walking into a room with fresh flowers always makes us happy (bonus points for always feeling compelled to clean the room first). Don’t wait for someone to get them for you, get them for yourself! Plenty of bouquet-delivery services are still operating atm — including Urban Stems, Floom, and The Bouqs — but you can also opt for live plants that will stick around awhile (in chic planters, no less) via The Sill.
9. WATCH A COMEDY
Ok, this one’s a lil obvious, but hey, it works — nothing can banish a bad mood like 30-120 minutes of unbridled hilarity. TV-wise, our all-time personal favorites include Party Down, Parks and Recreation, and Broad City. Movie-wise, you might as well take it from the experts: Here are four lists of the “funniest movies of all time,” from Rolling Stone (#1 = Blazing Saddles), Indiewire (#1 = Sideways), The Guardian (#1 = Raising Arizona), and Forbes (#1 = Airplane).
10. HELP SOMEONE ELSE
There are four chemicals in your brain responsible for making you feel super happy: dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, and endorphins. Exercise increases them; so does sunshine, and sex. But one of the most foolproof ways to give them a boost is by helping others. Yeah, it's cheesy, but it's also scientifically proven — if you go out of your way to make someone else happy, you make yourself happier in the process. Call someone who's elderly and alone. Offer to pick up groceries for a neighbor on your next trip out. Or — another spoiler alert — shop our upcoming 4/20 sale, in which we'll be donating part of our proceeds to a really good cause.