How to flourish in the wake of the pandemic

Savoring and celebrating small things, doing good deeds, and looking for communities and connections are among the ways that people can boost their overall well-being after the trauma, isolation, and grief of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to experts.

A growing body of research has shown that simple steps can help lead to a marked improvement in well-being, according to a May 4, 2021, article in the New York Times. The article listed a number of activities that could help, such as creating a weekly gratitude ritual or trying a new hobby or recipe.

Achieving a combination of physical, mental, and emotional fitness is known in the psychology community as “flourishing,” according to experts quoted in the article.  “Flourishing really is what people are ultimately after,” said Tyler VanderWeele, John L. Loeb and Frances Lehman Loeb Professor of Epidemiology and director of Harvard’s Human Flourishing Program. “It’s living the good life. We usually think about flourishing as living in a state in which all aspects of a person’s life are good—it’s really an all-encompassing notion.”

The article also offered an interactive version of a 10-question quiz that VanderWeele uses in his program to assess people’s overall well-being. The higher the score, the better, although VanderWeele noted that simply taking the quiz and reflecting on the questions can put someone on the path to making positive changes.

Read the New York Times article: The Other Side of Languishing Is Flourishing. Here’s How to Get There.