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How to Be Happy When Times are Tough

Written by: Janeen Messinger

My name is Janeen, I’m 48 years old and I live in a small town in BC. I love going to the library, to movies, to restaurants, to parties and to the yearly Blossom Festival Parade. But, all my fun things stopped in March 2020 when Covid 19 came.

At the time I didn’t understand why my favourite restaurant closed, why the movie theatre closed and why my friends couldn’t come over. And when I did go shopping I had to wear a mask. I didn’t like wearing a mask because it made my glasses foggy and I can’t read lips when talking to other people. However, a friend gave me a book about Covid 19, so I started understanding.

My caregiver helped me keep busy by helping me learn sign language because I’m hard of hearing and have friends that are also hard of hearing. I have learned lots of words in sign language now. I also got a soft-tip dart board and started practicing every day! I am getting good at it and play with my foster brother.

Now I use my iPad to write down five good things that happen each day and that makes me feel very happy before I go to sleep.

Here is what I wrote last night:
1) Rescued cat from the shelter after he was abandoned. He was skinny and scared. Today he sat on my lap and watched bird videos on my iPad with me because he loves me so much!
2) Celebrated my 21st Anniversary living with my caregivers. We had a little party with pizza, pop, cheesecake and dancing!
3) Made a new friend. She uses a wheelchair. We both like the same music – ABBA!
4) Went to the Blossom Festival Parade finally! It was cancelled for two years so this made me very happy.
5) Got an email from my sister! I’m learning how to get emails and download family photos.

So if you were like me, and were upset about not being able to do all the old things you like, try something new! I enjoyed learning a new language, a new game, making new friends and remembering good things that happen each day. They help me stay happy and they might help you too!

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