How to be happy – Covid or not.

Tracey Foulkes
Written by Tracey Foulkes

Too often we allow ourselves to get lost in our physical reality (Covid-19 being pretty real right now) and forget that deep down inside our beautiful selves, lies the answer to our very own happiness. It’s just waiting for you to recognise it. Go on then, grab it.

As my hubby paints our office door yellow, I am sitting here reflecting on another tough Covid work week. Yesterday we had a challenging call with some of our team. The type that gets me questioning who I am, what I said, how I said it. I felt their frustration right through the screen; jumping out as anger, pulling me in close. Closer even than if we were meeting in person over a desk with a cup of tea. It felt like a punch.

It was beautiful. Today I am happy.

Early into the Covid lockdowns our team discussions touched on the stages of grief. I found comfort in Scott Berinato’s article in the Harvard Business Review as a solid reminder that grief is not linear, uniform or predictable. I understand that deep into the current Covid-19 world of work, uncertainty remains an unsettling truth for many. It’s crazy how humans have not yet learnt how to adapt to uncertainty with agility and grace. Why is that?

Following yesterday’s call, and half way through this blog post, I realise that today, tada, I have made it through grieving. I’m pegging that call as my proverbial cherry on top. Hundreds and thousands of delicious sprinkles on my brand new Covid reality. I feel liberated. Smiling deep down to my toes.

Reminding myself that I’ll be reading this again at some point of my future existence and wondering just what I was talking about at the time, I think I’ll just colour in some blanks to explain this a little clearer. Here goes:

  1. I am an avid goal setter. I do this for work and pleasure. It’s not a secret that I prefer living my life with intention versus as a free spirited freewheeler (sure, I get this will make some of you yawn). For the past couple of focus sessions with myself I’ve felt a lot stuck. What makes me happy, where do I want my next adventure to take me, how do I do more? Covid crazy hasn’t helped, I dived into work, comforted by Netflix and my sweet tooth. Side note: My Octopus Teacher, The Duchess and The Two Popes are all totally different to each other, but on my recommended watching list.
  2. Today I woke up with the answer to my next adventure. Hubby got back from his ride and asked me why I was glowing. I giggled while I told him about my plan to travel differently. Working remotely as part of a fully virtual team means I really don’t need to wait for this to kick in as a reality (I have a couple of other hurdles to climb, but they are doable and mostly in my control) – whoopee.
  3. I was reminded of my firm and often vociferous belief that without pain, I can’t know pleasure. Covid has brought deep physical and mental pain to the world at large. Today though, I can see the beautiful path by way of opportunity that it has opened up for my business. This is not just for myself, but for the team on the ground; those that remain with us, those that move on, and those about to spread their beautiful wings and experience their next journey. This is so so so good, and an absolute shove towards being better. Despite still having to navigate back to stability, then growth; humans are wired to resist. Covid has forced us to make a change and that is beneficial to everyone.

If Covid has taught me anything this year, outside of my husband being pretty good at cutting my hair, it’s to hang on to my belief that more often than not, great things come from shitty times. Uncertainty sparks change and change, though hard, is so magically, perfectly, gloriously good. This is what makes me happy.

To my friends that have lost loves, homes and perhaps have broken hearts; may you find your happiness on the other side of this change.

To my work mates (and yours), who have discovered new opportunities as a result of uncertainty, may these newest findings bring you richness beyond your imagination and growth that satisfies you deeply.

To my company and colleagues, who have had to grow up so quickly in the wake of the storm, may we continue to be brave in our vision to shape significant and relevant work. It’s needed now more than ever.

And finally, to the many many many millions of exceptional humans that have given their time, expertise and hearts to help those in need, may you be blessed ten fold (and then some) for your kindness.

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.”

Helen Keller


  • An Absolutely lovely read- our adversity quotient is growing by the moment – which just shows we humans can endure so much more than we realize. With a smile. Thank you Tracey

    • Thanks Ally. I like how you term it accessory quotient 🙂

      Reality is that it’s been growing since our first breathe. Things like a pandemic just multiply our awareness (and panic), bringing it front and centre.

      It also brings us closer together (I’ve loved connecting with you over the past few months.) x

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