- Get outside. Nature is life affirming. Wherever you live, head for a patch of nature as often as you can. It might be a park or a beach. A forest or a moor. Fields or gardens. Watch the wildlife, count how many different plants or flowers you can see, breathe the fresh (or fresh-ish) air.
- Listen to music. It doesn’t matter what music – as long as you like it. Go to a jazz concert or listen to classical radio in your kitchen. Dance to the latest tunes in a nightclub or put on pop classics at home. Music has a great way of making you feel connected to other people, which is why listening to sad music can still be beneficial.
- Be generous. Give a friend a surprise present. Donate to charity. Volunteer. Teach someone a skill they want to learn. Bake a cake for your neighbour. Everyone has something to give, however little. Giving feels great and makes other people feel great. In the spirit of generosity, give without expecting anything in return. If you do receive thanks or a reciprocal gift, it will be all the sweeter for being unexpected.
- Write. Okay, I’m biased, but writing is fantastic for helping you to connect with the world because there is always an implied audience. Even if you write a journal and don’t intend to show it to anyone else, the implied audience is your future self. Write anything – a story, a letter, a rant, an email, a text message, an online dating profile, a greetings card, a list, a recipe, a poem… It doesn’t matter if you rip it up straight away. It doesn’t matter if you shut it in a drawer forever. Just write.
- Cook or bake. Like writing, this involves an implied connection – even if you are cooking for yourself. It also has connotations of nourishment and care; we cook or bake for the people we love. We feed people soup when they are ill. We give people cakes when it’s their birthday. Preparing a meal or snack, no matter how easy or difficult the recipe, reminds us that we are living beings in need of nutrition. It highlights what we have in common with everybody else on Earth.
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