With so much dragging us down, how can we stay happy and healthy in COVID times?By John Shumway

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – It is so easy to slip into a funk right now with the Steelers done, social distancing, the weather, and worrying about getting Covid. So how do you reach out and find the sun, the hope, the joy in your life?

When we took to the streets of Pittsburgh with the question, “What do you miss the most during this pandemic time?” we got these responses:

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“Seeing people’s emotion on their face. Honestly, because I like seeing people’s smiles and stuff like that and so not being able to see that it’s kind of sad.”

“Going out to dinner. We used to go out to dinner all the time and now we haven’t been out since March.”

“Definitely going outside, enjoying the weather being around people.”

“Just playing basketball with friends. I like playing contact sports, and that’s pretty much a no go for this whole time.”

“I miss live music. Playing and hearing live music.”

“Enjoying the weather and going out to eat and enjoying family coming in from out of town.”

“Hugging people.”

“We’ve got to find more things to do, especially January, February, it’s really hard.”

But how do you do that? Well, our informal panel says they are finding joy in a variety of ways.

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“We’ve been playing a lot of games we got some game boards up, we’ve been playing games.”

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“I definitely find joy in my job serving people.”

“Playing video games, small interaction with people, as the best thing as of right now for me.”

“Family’s gotten close. We’ve learned to go back to old ways and do things together and like family the most important thing.”

“I’ve become a great eater, for sure, I’ve gotten a lot better at that.”

“Working with my kids on school and cooking home-cooked meals and different things like that. I cook a lot, I cook a lot.”

“I started playing the piano again a little bit. I played when I was younger but not so much lately but I started to practice.”

“Just spending time with my husband and taking him (DOG) out for walks and just enjoying the day-to-day and the fact that we’re healthy and we have a roof over our head.”

Here are some other ideas you might consider to fill the days with something that will help break the Covid Funk.

  • Exercise – good for the body and the mind.
  • Read – and to make it even more interesting do it with someone else reading the same book and then talk about it as you go.
  • Increase your sleep – again good for the body and mind.
  • Re-decorate your artificial Christmas Tree – great to do with kids, make homemade decorations.
  • De-clutter your home, rearrange your furnature, make your bed everyday.
  • Cook – try things you’ve never had before, do it with other people helping, involve your children.
  • Vacation – plan a vacation or just do some vacation dreaming
  • Take a drive – go explore someplace you’ve never been before
  • Smile and say “thank you” – even with a mask you can make someone’s day and your own.

Just some ideas to consider until we get on the other side of this pandemic.

Mental health experts also toss in this thought, especially if you have children: remember that you are making memories.

Some day down the road we will all look back on this time and tell stories about how we got through it.

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Be creative and the memories could bring smiles!