I’ve been thinking of cheerfulness all week. I’ve been thinking about it because all of our smiles are being hidden by our masks. How do we show our cheerfulness during this COVID time period? My daughter’s preschool teacher painted a smile on her mask, because a kid asked, “are you mad at me?”  I thought that was a great idea.  

It dawned on me that for this time that we have to wear masks, we will need to work hard on our “tone of voice” and our verbal communication skills.  When I get tired, I notice my voice gets more stern. My kids are quick to point that out.  So when I’m tired, I need to especially concentrate on keeping my voice “happy”.   In public, in the past, we could smile with a request, but now, with masks covered, someone can’t’ tell that we are smiling. We actually have to concentrate and make our voices sound happy. LOL How do we do that? Well, the secret is, we need to still smile!! 

Smiling creates relaxation endorphins and actually relaxes the face muscles. I learned years ago, during telephone training, to always smile while talking on the phone, because if we’re smiling, it helps our tone change automatically.  One last smile tip – Have you ever visited an older adult home? It’s a great place to get volunteer hours because people are so lonely there. While visiting old adults, I noticed that the adults that smiled their whole life are actually better looking then their counterparts that didn’t. Ha! So smiling creates beauty too. 

Sending smiles and “cheer” to each of you,

~Jennifer Mongan