Life is a natural cycle of ups and downs. Although some people may experience more high points than low, or vice versa, one of the things that we are constantly reminded of throughout our lives at our lowest points is that "it will get better." Variations of this phrase are used as comfort by teachers, friends, family members, therapists and basically anyone we might turn to in our time of need. And in a way, it is a fact. If we persevere we usually do turn the corner to better times, let go of our past troubles, grow, change, and generally move forward to a more positive space in life.
But nothing is ever constant, definite or clear, and even the people who seem like they should be the happiest don't always exist inside the perfect reality we expect them too. If things will always get better, this implies that at one point, they will get worse too. This is why motivating yourself to move forward and seek happier times is not simply about the goal of "becoming happy." There doesn't exist a product for consumer consumption labeled "happiness" and there is no distant future where hardship is abolished. Life isn't so much about obtaining happiness as it is about learning coping skills for the hard times and cultivating connections with others that keep you afloat.
I've been thinking about coping a lot recently due to the fact that the quarantines across the world have pushed many of us out of our routines and suggest we stay indoors more than most of us would like. It is hard to be separated from friends or family, and it is also hard to abandon our usual schedules. Many people's mental health issues may flare up simply from lack of outdoor time. It is during times like these, or any difficult situation we might face throughout our life, that we must practice resilience and hope to avoid succumbing to our sometimes despairing thoughts.
Instead of giving into the negativity of the situation and abandoning the usual routines and connections that provide us with happiness, it is important to modify our behaviors to make sure that we all continue to engage in activities that offer us relief. If our immediate response to struggle is always to force ourselves to practice positive behaviors, regardless of how we might feel internally at the beginning, with time and dedication our responses to threats will start to change from resignation to motivation.