DURBAN - A survey conducted amongst nearly 700 people of various ages and backgrounds across the country has revealed the five things that South Africans truly enjoy.
Adele du Toit, spokesperson for the SA Rooibos Council said the pandemic has had a profound impact on our lives.
"It has fundamentally changed the way we live, dress, work and interact with each other. It has also forced us to hit the reset button and question what makes us truly happy," she said.
According to the poll, the top five pursuits that bring us the most joy in 2021 are:
- visiting with close friends and family (65%)
- sipping a soothing cup of tea (56%)
- lending a helping hand to someone in need (39%)
- a good night’s rest and laughing out loud (tied at 29%)
Others cited exercise (23%), reading a good book (22%), spending time with a furry friend (20%) and indulging in a sweet treat (18%) as their “happy place”.
Du Toit says that based on the results from the poll, it is evident that the disruption of the pandemic and subsequent lockdown has changed how people talk about and conceptualise happiness.
"In many ways the pandemic has forced us to take a step back and reconsider the value we place on the simpler, more meaningful things in life," she said.
She added that 84% claimed Rooibos as their 'happy tea'.
Seven in ten said drinking tea helps them to relax, while more than a third remarked that the daily ritual helps them to reflect and be happy in the moment.
Du Toit says mindfulness and tea go hand-in-hand.
"For many, a morning or evening cup of tea is their form of meditation. It sets the tone for the day ahead or helps them to unwind after a stressful day," she
"As you sip your tea slowly, focus on bringing the mind into the present, while drawing peace and quiet into the moment. Bring your awareness into the here and now and align yourself into your day. Allow your thoughts to come and go without holding on to them. This is a wonderful way to stop overwhelming thoughts from taking over and to prepare the mind for the day’s challenges that lie ahead," du Toit said, explaining how tea meditation helps to achieve mindful appreciation.
She says even the act of brewing tea helps the mind to focus on the present.
"Brewing tea demands our attention, which brings us into the present moment. As you brew your tea according to your individual preference for taste, it should serve as a reminder that you can craft only what you can control in life and to let go of what you can’t, in order to appreciate what you do have," du Toit said.
After living through a pandemic for a year, where public health has been at the forefront of people’s minds, it comes as no surprise that the majority (96%) of respondents agreed that “happiness” has become more about well-being than pleasure-seeking. Nine out of ten said they could do with more comfort in 2021 with many admitting that last year was tough on them mentally.
“2020 was one of the most difficult years many of us have had to face and in times of crisis, we turn to comfort and want to spend our time and energy on doing things which leave us feeling content and happy," she said.
The results from the poll were released this week in the lead up to International Day of Happiness - Saturday, 20 March - to help boost public morale during the pandemic.
According to the SA Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), depression and anxiety has worsened during the pandemic with call volumes to their helpline having more than doubled in the last year. The SARC’s poll reflects the same, with only 29% of respondents claiming to be truly happy.