The Happiness Connection  

Tips for tough going

It has been a tough few months for tourism in the Okanagan.

Firstly, there was flooding to deal with. The heavy snow pack, rainy spring, and warm temperatures, banded together to create an invincible force.

We worried when it rained, because the creeks were getting too full, and when the rain stopped, we worried about the warm temperatures because they were melting the plentiful snowpack, making the creeks even fuller.

Where did all that water go? Many creeks burst their banks, and the lake rose until it was overflowing too.

There was a concentrated effort to create sandbag barriers to protect properties, but despite that effort, many buildings and fields were flooded.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the high-water level meant the beaches all but disappeared. Many of them were behind protective chain-link fences and sandbag barriers.

Even as the water began to recede, the beaches were left needing major clean up. The rushing creeks gathered branches and debris, and carried it into the lake where it was deposited on the beaches.

We knew this situation wouldn’t last forever, but as the beaches reappeared again and were cleaned up, we were hit with wildfires.

We haven’t been one of the hardest hit areas, but you don’t have to have your own flames, to feel the effects of the resulting smoke. Some days are relatively clear, while others are downright soupy.

It isn’t exactly an ideal situation for a tourism destination. Many businesses, count on the summer tourists to keep afloat during the rest of the year. It is a worrying time for many.

How do you deal with tough times, without sinking into the depths of despair?

Here are three tips to help you when circumstances you can’t control, threaten to overwhelm your positive spirit.

Take Action

It helps to view life as a journey. One of the most frustrating things to deal with when you are travelling, is being forced to stand still when you want to move forward.

If you aren’t sure about the truth of this statement, think back to a time when you were on a road trip and your car broke down, or you got caught in road closures. Sitting in your car for several hours, waiting for the road to open, or for the tow truck to arrive, may have been agonizing.

People like to see themselves moving forward in life, rather than being stuck.

There is no use getting frustrated or angry about things you can’t control, but rather than just standing still and dwelling on the negative, find a way to move forward — in some way.

This is a good opportunity to get creative.

  • Can you find more clients from among the locals?
  • Can you make the experience for those tourists who do come to the Okanagan, even better?
  • Can you create a strategy to improve your winter trade?

Finding a way to move forward, even if it is a slightly different path than you originally intended, will help you feel you have a say in your future.


Having a spiritual belief can be an enormous advantage when you feel you’re at the mercy of fate. You may believe in God, energy, or internal strength, it doesn’t matter.

If you trust that everything will work out in the end, you are in a better place to weather a storm like the ones we are experiencing this year.

Scan your Environment

I believe that life happens for me, not to me. I like to look for learning opportunities, people and experiences that might not have come my way if these unusual circumstances hadn’t been thrown onto my path.

This is something lucky people do. They are always on the lookout for chance meetings, and unexpected opportunities.

If you let yourself sink into feelings of negativity, you will limit your focus to what is immediately around you. This is a good strategy if you are in a win-lose situation, and wanting to ensure that you are the winner.

To our instincts, winning equals survival, but when your focus is limited, you can’t see what is bobbing around on the horizon.

If you keep your outlook optimistic, you are in the perfect frame of mind to notice new things in your environment. Your mind is in prime curiosity, and learning mode.

If you keep your eyes and mind open, you may discover an opportunity that you had never even thought of before, or you may have a chance encounter with someone who inspires you, or shares a wonderful new idea with you.

There are no guarantees in life. When you find yourself in a tough situation with no end in sight. Turn to these three tips.

Do something to feel that you have some control over what is happening to you, trust that God/the universe/your own ability has your back, and keep your eyes open for a creative solution to your problem.

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About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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