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Creating Tomorrow: the happiness spectrum

How happy do you feel today, on a scale of one to 10? A little like asking how you feel about this whole pandemic, I imagine. It’s unsurprising that social distancing is having an impact on our emotional state. And, if you’re anything like me, each week unfolds as a rollercoaster of emotions rather than trotting along with a simple steady state of calm, stress or unhappiness.

From a business perspective, what’s interesting right now isn’t necessarily whether people are feeling happy or not, but that their definition of happiness is changing.

On a sunny April day last year, happiness to me would have equalled a beautiful meal out with my family with great wine and food and fantastic conversation. Happiness today is measured by whether my wifi is working and how many times I’ve screamed at my router – although I did feel exceptionally happy last night when we shut our computers at 6pm and sat outside with a glass of rosé to catch the last rays of sunshine.

A snapshot survey we ran at WGSN last week showed that 67% of you have changed your definition of happiness since the coronavirus outbreak.

However, even before the pandemic, happiness was undergoing something of a makeover, and not necessarily for the right reasons. We live in a culture that prizes happiness. The more we demand it, the more we struggle to cope with unhappiness. The rise in what’s been dubbed ‘toxic positivity’ – essentially the concept that keeping positive and only positive is the only way to live our lives – has been rising, and Covid-19 is a bundle of extra wood on the fire.

Or is it?

The hidden reserves of resilience we are all finding, and the self-care we are being moved to administer, are strengthening our ability to cope not just with the current challenges, but those that come in the future.

In the new WGSN report The Happiness Spectrum, strategist Cassandra Napoli delves into what this means for brands like yours today, and also tomorrow.

In other news, the examples of #creativityVcrisis that stream into my inbox continue to delight.

If you haven’t heard about #visorarmy yet, go search. This call to arms has seen some of the world’s most brilliant fashion designers and milliners, including Philip Treacy and Stephen Jones, turn their skills to creating visors for frontline staff in hospitals.

Ultra-clean homes are a necessary byproduct of this pandemic, and given it was Earth Day this week, it seems appropriate to mention a new all-purpose cleaner from Veles. Made from 97% food waste and packaged in recyclable aluminium, it’s just about the most sustainable way you can keep your home clean right now.

Not related to sustainability but another brilliant #creativityVcrisis invention is @artistsupportpledge, which aims to support artists hit financially by Covid-19. In a nutshell, artists upload pieces for sale (no more than £200 each) to Instagram, and as soon as they reach £1,000 of sales, they must pledge to spend £200 on another artist’s work.

A new kind of circular economy for a new time.

You can follow Carla on InstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

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