Tips for Optimism in Tough Times

By: Stefanie Schefter

Photos: Life is Good Employees

When life feels confusing or overwhelming, tapping into optimism might not be a first instinct. That’s why we asked our employees here at Life is Good to chime in with their best tips for looking on the bright side when the world feels dark.

Optimism isn’t about forcing a smile and pretending everything is okay—it’s about acknowledging the challenges while making a conscious choice to focus on the good instead.

Optimism looks and feels different for everyone, but we hope something below sparks a bit of inspiration as we continue to weather these uncertain times together.

1. Tune into a Tiny Desk concert

“I’ve been watching NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, which are recorded in an intimate setting and give an up-close and personal feeling. They lend a sense of community, inspiration, and connectivity, and for me they are very comforting.” —Tess H., Designer

2. Do something for someone in need

“Donate to a favorite charity, deliver a meal to a hungry family, or run an errand for an elderly neighbor. Remember how lucky you are and do it all with a grateful heart.” —Amanda D., Assistant to the President

3. Practice gratitude

“I count my seemingly endless blessings.” —Roy H., Life is Good Partner/Owner

4. Stay connected to your community

“Stay connected and helpful. Make a list of everyone you are worried about and reach out to see how you can offer support. —Steve G., Chief Playmaker, Life is Good Kids Foundation

5. Focus on the present

“A quote that helps me stay present is this: ‘Fulfill your obligation to the hour in which you are living, and get the most beauty, joy, and love out of the now.’” —Shawn W., Life is Good Partner

6. Prioritize puppy time

“When I’m not feeling particularly optimistic, I take a few minutes and watch some puppy videos, because dogs (particularly beagles and golden retrievers) always remind me to love unconditionally.” —Katherine B., Marketing Manager, Life is Good Kids Foundation

7. Enjoy the beauty of nature

“If I’m feeling stressed or down, I go outside to work up a sweat. Whether it’s working on my jump shot or hitting the trail, physical movement reminds me that even though personal challenges are frustrating and discouraging, I’m still healthy, alive, and able to enjoy the beauty of nature.”—Brian K., Copywriter

8. Take it one day at a time

“I take it one day at a time and I stay grateful for what I have today.”—Kate N., V.P of Learning, Life is Good Kids Foundation

9. Do something to make yourself laugh

“I stay optimistic by dressing my daughter up in a dinosaur costume. She seems to enjoy it too!”—Sara F., Program Operations Manager, Life is Good Kids Foundation

10. Accept what you can't control

“I love Gabby Bernstein’s book, The Universe Has Your Back—it’s all about releasing control to the universe. It’s taught me that if things aren’t working out according to plan, the universe is making way for something even better.”—Taylor C., Senior Marketing Manager

11. Cry it out

“I like to watch things that will make me cry, whether it’s a really sad movie or something really touching (or both). A sad movie can make me appreciate my life more, and something touching can remind me that the world isn’t so bad. Either way, the crying is cathartic …and I also end up laughing at myself about crying so much. Win-win.”—Nia H., Copywriter

12. Find peace in a relaxing activity

“We’re fortunate to be able to stay connected at times like this. I live 1,500 miles from my parents, so it’s great to laugh together over FaceTime. When I want some screen-free time, I work on maintaining my winning streak in Rummikub with my roommates. I also find peace while cleaning my apartment and listening to old soul records.”—Shelby D., First Impressions Manager

13. Focus on the good

“I share good vibes with my peeps. Focusing on what is good and all we still have is a great break from bad news.” —Colleen C., Head of Optimistic People

14. Create a sense of normalcy

“I throw on my favorite, no-fail TV shows and movies: Sex & The City, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, The Darjeeling Limited…the list goes on, and as you can see, there’s really no rhyme or reason to it. I just lean into what feels comfortable and familiar to me, and this helps me retain a sense of normalcy when the world feels weird.”—Stef S., Copywriter

15. Remember that life goes on

“Ducks! On my early morning runs I pass a small pond, and last week I saw a pair of ducks fly off across it in synchronicity and land perfectly together on the other side. They reminded me that life goes on.”—Laura L., Talent and Payroll Manager

16. Listen to feel-good tunes

“I have been using music to stay optimistic in these trying times. I love the emotions that music brings out of me depending on the singer, style, genre, and general vibes. I’ve been selectively choosing music that is soothing to me and makes me smile. I like to call them songs of comfort. It helps me focus on feeling good.”—Julianna P., Graphic Production Artist

17. Be resilient

“I’m lucky to still have my mother in good health with a great memory. She’s lived through so many fascinating times—both good and bad. Her resilience gives me hope. Thanks to her, my family and I know that we can get through anything.”—Alan S., Business Intelligence Architect

18. Take a long walk

“When I’m not feeling optimistic, the cure is a long walk or hike outside. The combination of breathing in fresh air, feeling the elements, and thinking through future goals and plans usually reminds me that the glass is half full.”—Chris S., Front-End Engineer

We want to hear from you! Tag us in your posts or use #ThisIsOptimism on social to show us how you’re staying positive. Let’s get through this together. 

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