How to Be Happy at Home With Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is joining us this week to talk about how she and her family stay happy in their home during the pandemic – and how we can all do it. Hear how she talks about the rules, daily routine, and philosophy that help her maintain a sense of inner peace despite the chaotic state of the world. Rubin is the author of the New York Times bestselling books The Happiness Project , Happier at Home, and The Four Trends , as well as the host of the Happier With Gretchen Rubin podcast.

After our conversation with Rubin, listen to Lifehacker Senior Health Editor Beth Skoreki talking with epidemiologist Rene Najera about how to effectively limit the spread of COVID-19 and what to expect as life slowly begins to return to “normal.”

Listen to The Upgrade above, or find us at all the usual podcast locations including Apple Podcasts , Google Play , Spotify , iHeartRadio , Stitcher, and NPR One.

Highlights from this week’s series

From an interview with Gretchen Rubin

On a strategy that helped the family stay polite during quarantine:

We did what we didn’t really [provoke], but the threat involved was very useful, namely the two-hit policy. Each is given two hits, which means that you can single-handedly tell someone that they can’t do something. It’s like I wear shoes all the time. Now I wear indoor and outdoor shoes, but I wear [them] and put the shoes on the bed, on the bed, under the blankets. You know, on the couch, everywhere. And my daughter said, “I might have to use my blow against you.” Or my husband is sometimes caught drinking straight out of a carton of milk. So no one really ever referred to it, but people threaten all the time. And it’s kind of a lighthearted way of saying, “You know what, you’re really getting on my nerves, and give it up,” as if joking. And then we all laugh.

Along the way, she shaped her vision for this unprecedented moment in history:

[T] The way I am now talking about this to myself and to other people is a public disaster, a personal calamity, and a personal loss. So a public disaster is like having Wuhan shut down for a month or, you know, New York is heading for a climax. This is a social disaster. A private disaster is like a restaurant around the corner that we think is going to go bankrupt soon, and we are very sad that this business will go bankrupt and people who are about to lose their jobs … And this, you know, this is terrible problem. And then there is a personal loss, namely: my daughter did not finish her first year of college. Is this the same as a stock market crash? No. Does she feel it? Yes. And so I feel like I want to understand that these three levels are happening for all of us all the time, let me kind of [conceptualize] that.

Learn more of Gretchen’s tips on how to maintain your wellness while practicing physical distancing by listening to the entire episode!

Any feedback or ideas for future episodes? Do you want to participate in the show? Leave us a voicemail at 347-687-8109 or send a voicemail to upgrade@lifehacker.com.

Episode transcript

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