PHOENIX (Olivia's Book Club) -- "Knowing that other people are going through similar things can be really comforting," says Gretchen Rubin. The best-selling author, CBS News contributor, and host of the "Happier With Gretchen Rubin" podcast is well-prepared to tackle challenges head-on and emerge the better for it. Having researched strategies for coping with stress, enhancing happiness, and increasing productivity for books like "The Happiness Project," "Happier at Home," and "Outer Order, Inner Calm," she advises people to remind themselves about the value of self-care.
"Sometimes people think it's selfish to think about our own happiness. Why am I getting exercise when the world is falling apart? But research shows when we do take the time to try to make ourselves as happy as we can be, we really help ourselves and others. It is like first putting on your own oxygen mask, " she says.
Rubin is sharing her strategies in more ways than ever during the pandemic, including a daily live Instagram chat.
She says her book "The Four Tendencies" is particularly relevant right now because it can help you learn how you and those around you tend to respond to demands, change, and expectations in general. It's a useful lens through which to view the transitions thrust on us now, like working from home, home-schooling, and social distancing.
To find out if you are an Upholder, Rebel, Questioner or Obliger, you can take her quiz at GretchenRubin.com.
Word of warning, Rubin says if your tendency is to rebel, that might be why you are struggling more than others with the new normal of the pandemic. If you need to communicate effectively with a rebel, approach this way: "I think when you stress to people there's something that they can't do, you have to remind them this is what you choose to do because you're a responsible person -- this is what you want to do."
Upholders (like Rubin and Olivia), might pivot more quickly and be able to help others do the same. "Upholders tend to gravitate to to-do lists and schedules. And with something like this, I find myself taking comfort in developing new routines and sticking to them. And I think in some ways upholders are suited for situations like this. They're like the turtle that can quickly remake its shell, and find comfort that way."
GRETCHEN RUBIN'S 8 TIPS FOR FEELING HAPPIER DURING AN UNHAPPY TIME
- Remind yourself of reasons to be grateful.
- Remember your body.
- Do something fun.
- Take action.
- Look for meaning.
- Connect with friends and family.
- Make something better.
- Act toward other people the way you wish they'd act toward you.