5 Things Bringing People Joy During the Pandemic

“They say a person needs just three things to be truly happy in this world: someone to love, something to do and something to hope for,” Tom Bodett once said.

While all of the above are vital, something to hope for is clutch as we continue to stay home to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic — with no definitive finish line. As Americans have pivoted their work life, home life and hobbies, the wellness app company LifeOmic surveyed nearly 2,300 of their users to learn more about what’s bringing them hope and joy amid the stress.

When asked to rank several activities in terms of what respondents valued the most and have found most day-brightening, survey respondents ranked these as the tops.

1. Connecting with others.

Although in-person family meet-ups and friendly hangouts have decreased during the pandemic, connecting with others in new and unique ways has become a priority. Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and other tech tools are allowing everyone from crosstown neighbors to long-lost college roommates to faraway relatives to reconnect or stay in touch.

In fact, it’s even allowed some to rekindle and grow relationships: 62% of respondents are connecting daily or weekly with loved ones (compared to 49% connecting monthly or less before COVID-19 came to the U.S.). About 8% more people are also making the effort to connect with loved ones at least once per week.

2. Getting more sleep.

Without late nights out on the town or long evenings at the office, sleep can be a bit more of a priority than before. One in five respondents ranked sleep as their most enjoyable healthy habit. But insomnia is also (unfortunately) having a moment, according to the National Sleep Foundation.

3. Working out at home.

Gyms are closed and many recreation paths are packed, so more people than ever are turning to home-based workouts. Before the coronavirus, 23% of those surveyed worked out daily at home, and now 40% do. And those who rarely if ever broke a sweat are stepping things up: 27% of them are getting their heart rates up every day.

4. Meditating.

More than 1 in 10 of those who had never practiced meditation before have started dedicated mindfulness practices to try to manage stress during the pandemic.

5. Cooking new recipes.

Whether it’s a bit of stress baking or a solution to clean the old produce out of the fridge, those who reported that they’re trying new recipes at least once per week has jumped from 36% to 63%. Even the restaurant revelers are joining the cooking club too. Nearly 50% of those who used to try a new recipe once a year or less are now digging out their aprons: 29% of them are giving new recipes a shot at least weekly.

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