COVID-19 Coping Skills: Increasing Happiness

Nope, that title is no joke.  Even in these stressful and uncertain times, you can find ways to boost positive emotions. The ASPCA Shelter Outreach team’s Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP, and Karen Walsh, CAWA, LVMT, CFE, have a quick question on this topic for you before Wednesday’s must-attend webinar, “The Road to Resilience.”

Did you know that happiness can be scientifically measured? Better yet…did you know that while about 50% of a person’s happiness depends on genetics, the other 50% is under our control? Finding and celebrating that happiness is one of the key practices that help us meet our basic needs as human beings and strengthen our resilience. 

So how can we maximize the other 50%? Regular practice of simple exercises designed to evoke gratitude, engage in a sense of mindfulness, and build self-compassion are good places to start. In fact, there are dozens of research-based practices that have been scientifically proven to do things like increase positive emotions, decrease anxiety, and improve performance. 

Start simple – think of one thing that brings you satisfaction in your professional or personal life. Can you identify what it is about that thing that you enjoy? 

Join us this Wednesday, April 29, at 3PM ET for our webinar, The Road to Resilience, where we will share simple ways to recognize and boost happiness in our animal sheltering work.

Helpful Links

Register for the Webinar: The Road to Resilience, 4/29
COVID-19 Coping Skills: Increasing Resilience
Science-Based Practices for a Meaningful Life


Brian DiGangi, DVM, MS, DABVP

Dr. Brian DiGangi is Senior Director of Shelter Medicine at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. He has published research on canine heartworm disease, veterinary field clinics, feline adoption, pregnancy detection and immunology. He is board certified in both Canine and Feline Practice and Shelter Medicine Practice by the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the American Heartworm Society, and served two terms as President of the Association of Shelter Veterinarians from 2015-2016.

Karen Walsh, CAWA, LVMT, CFE

Karen S Walsh, CAWA, LVMT, CFE, is the Senior Director of Animal Relocation for the ASPCA and the former executive director of the McKamey Animal Center in Chattanooga, TN. Karen has held leadership positions in both veterinary and animal welfare organizations and was appointed to serve on the Tennessee state Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.


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