Life can be really serious sometimes. It can feel like a really dull cloud lingering around and it can be hard to find the sunshine.

Sunshine is pretty essential for me to feel a sense of happiness and light. I love being in the sunshine. I feel a full feeling of pure joy knowing the sun is out and I can go outside and feel it on my skin. It really impacts of my mood. But with autumn now in full swing and winter on its way, I need to find my version of sunshine as there is no guarantee of the actual sun being present. So I focus on what brings me joy and makes me feel the same way.

For me laughter helps so much. Having a chat with friends and just laughing most of the way through the conversation really brings me out of myself. For a bit I am transported somewhere else and I can just be me and laugh and enjoy myself.

Having comedy relief is so helpful. I’m not talking about going to a stand-up show, but just being around people that you can fully open up to and just have a laugh with is pure medicine for a shit day.

The state of the world right now is shocking and very unfunny. People are grieving, trying to cope, trying to heal and really suffering. There’s just not much to laugh about. So it’s hard. Laughing and having a good time can often feel shameful and embarrassing because of the struggle of 2020. Who am I to be laughing right now when I read on the news another devastating event has occurred again?

I think it’s very easy to get bogged down with everything, to overthink and not know how to deal with it. It’s the constant negative headline and the continuous defeated feeling. I realise I am privileged right now. I am able to bring myself out of a situation I’m not happy in and to try find my sunshine; because for a lot of people there’s a very heavy cloud above them with not really any escape. So I acknowledge that. I remain grateful for where I am; for the people around me and the freedom I do have (even if I don’t feel it a lot of the time).

I have found my emotions to have been impacted by the year we’ve had. The negative emotions have been prevalent but I have laughed along the way. The phrase, ‘I’ve got to laugh or I’ll cry’ really sums up where I’m at.

My boyfriend is a big source of my joy. He has the ability to bring me out of my slump. We laugh together most of the time. It’s not always sunshine but 90% of the time, there’s no clouds.

My friends really help too, whether it’s a video call, a walk, an exercise class, going out for drinks (when we can). It’s just so nice to have connections and laugh and be present in the moment.

Finding sunshine or joy or whatever you want to call it, it’s important. Think of it as self care. Making the effort to laugh and smile and enjoy the things that pre Covid you took for granted.

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