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Christmas Time In Lockdown – December, 2020

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Published on , last updated on January 29, 2021

december 2020 happiness diary featured

For new readers: This post is part of my on-going Tracking Happiness Diary updates. It’s basically a public case study on Tracking Happiness, by publishing about the ups and downs I write about in my journal. I started doing this when Tracking Happiness was first launched, and never stopped.

If you’re looking for a long and in-depth review of everything I did in December, you’re going to be dissapointed!

The truth is, December was a bit of a weird month, because not a lot of interesting things happened.

The Netherlands entered another lockdown. It still feels kinda weird to write a sentence like that, but it’s the situation we’re in. Luckily, it didn’t impact my December plans that much. I wasn’t planning on traveling, partying or going to the office anyway!

Instead, I’ve spent December focusing on quality time with my girlfriend (which was a challenge), exercising, trying to stay fit despite the Christmas tsunami of great food, and working on Tracking Happiness.

In other words, this month was kinda dull, in lack of a better word.

What did my Tracking Happiness Diary look like throughout these times?

Here are my personal happiness ratings:

happiness ratings december 2020

As you can see, December was a pretty happy month for me!

My average happiness rating was a 7.94, compared to 7.95 in the previous month.

Before diving in again, let’s summarize December in a couple of bullet points:

  • The weather this month was pretty shit.
  • The Netherlands entered its 3rd lockdown.
  • I’m extremely lucky that my biggest hobbies are not affected by this: running & working on Tracking Happiness.
  • My girlfriend and I tried to make the most of our time together.
  • Spent lots of time with family.

If this all sounds pretty dull to you, I can’t blame you!

I’ll try to keep it short.

Let’s start with the weather.

weather netherlands dec 2020

The Netherlands was completely covered by rainclouds more than once in December.

It made for pretty shitty weather.

Luckily, a little rain won’t stop me from going for a run. Running definitely made it easier for me to keep my head cool in December.

In addition, I was treated to this beautiful rainbow. I took this picture a couple of minutes after I was completely drained from a shower.

I know this sounds cliche, but it made me really grateful for the fact that I’m even able to run outside, whether it rains or not.

full rainbow rainy run dec 2020

In December, the Netherlands entered another lockdown. This one is still ongoing, and it limits the number of people you’re allowed to see at a given time.

Luckily, I was still able to visit friends from time to time. One of the best days of December was when I went mountain biking with a close friend.

mtbing dec 2020

If you’ve been following these updates, you’ll know that my girlfriend and I are both stuck at home, without a job (for the time being).

If you’re new to these updates, here’s a recap:

We quit our jobs early this year in order to travel the world. We call it our sabbatical. We’ve been saving for this sabbatical for year. Unfortunately, the pandemic has messed up our plans big time. We’ve still been able to travel to Sweden and Greece, but our travel days are over for now.

We will have to be patient and make the best of our time together.

If you ask me, we did quite a good job in December. For example, we booked a hotel with a hot tub for a night, just to relax together. This resulted in the happiest days of December.

It’s the positive things that we can still control that we need to focus on these days.

red wine warm bath dec 2020

When Christmas came around, I got a surprise gift box from my girlfriend, filled with sweet presents.

christmas gift basked from gf dec 2020

I’m truly lucky to be in this situation with my girlfriend. There’s no other person who I could be in this situation with. I’m 100% sure that withour her, my happiness ratings wouldn’t be nearly as high.

On the off-chance that she reads this: thank you โค๏ธ

Controlling happiness in uncertain times

Despite everything negative that’s going on right now:

  • 3rd lockdown
  • Increasing covid cases
  • Being jobless
  • Shitty weather
  • Etc

It’s so amazing that December was just another happy month. With all the negativity that surrounds us, I’ve been trying to focus on the things that I can control.

So far so good! ๐Ÿ™‚

Positive happiness factors

There were plenty of positive happiness factors in December. Here’s the top 10:

positive factors dec 2020

There’s one positive factor that (unfortunately) took a bit of a beating this month: skateboarding.

With the shitty weather – and the new lockdown – there’s no way for me to practice my kickflips! ๐Ÿ™

Fortunately, I make up for it by Running more, working on my Business and Relaxing with my Girlfriend.

Which factor made me the happiest?

This screenshot of my Tracking Happiness Diary (which email subscribers get more updates on!) answers that question!

most positive factors dec 2020

What this means is that I was – on average – the happiest when I recorded “Mountainbiking” and “Friends” as a positive happiness factors.

Negative happiness factors

There were a couple of factors that had a negative influence on my happiness.

negative factors dec 2020

There weren’t many negative factors to report in December. The one that had the worst impact was me feeling Agitated.

most negative factors dec 2020

Luckily, these negative factors didn’t impact my happiness all that much. On the one day I was bored, my happiness rating was still above average!

Next month will be interesting.

For one, it will be the first month of a new year. I’m afraid 2021 is going to be another very “weird” year. But above of all, I hope that this pandemic will be sorted out before 2021 is over.

But if 2020 has taught me anything, it’s that my hopes are often naive in hindsight, and I should really just take it day by day…

I’ll be happy if my happiness ratings stay this high! ?

(ps: a complete recap of 2020 will be posted soon!)

(pss: complete recap of 2020 is posted!)

Talk soon!


Hugo Huijer

Founder of Tracking Happiness

Founder of Tracking Happiness and lives in the Netherlands. Ran 5 marathons, with one of them in under 4 hours (3:59:58 to be exact). Data junkie and happiness tracker for over 7 years.

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