Maintaining Positivity Within a Pandemic!
What a strange time this is for us all! Managing the emotions of coping with a global pandemic is something we haven’t had any practise in and so can seem pretty intimidating, especially now we’ve got so much time to have to do it! Having a lot more time to think about life and the world can feel like both a blessing and a curse. Time to reflect can be really helpful for mentally working through feelings that have maybe been ignored within the hustle and bustle of everyday life, but this also can be an overwhelming thing to be faced with. Luckily there are lots of simple exercises (not physical exercises – don’t worry!) we can do to make this easier, and help us feel more positive during this time.
Now more than ever it is important to take care of your own mental health. This means lots of different things to different people, but here are some of my ways of reassuring and helping myself to feel more positive…
- Get outside! – Even if it’s just for a walk around your garden or up and down the road. Feeling some fresh air, seeing the sky, and focusing on the sounds you can now hear can help! (If you do have a garden, or any patch of grass, going out with no shoes on to feel the grass under your feet is a very good calming exercise – credit to my mum on this one).
- 3 good things – remind yourself of three good things about yourself, your life, or the world every morning, night or whenever you feel like it!
- Stay in contact – if you’re feeling far away from everyone one of the best things to do is stop that feeling in its tracks by giving someone close to you a ring! (Try not to think too much about it before doing it otherwise you might just make excuses not to – like I do sometimes). Bonus points for talking about your feelings when you do this!
- Give yourself a break! – I know it seems like everyone’s being productive and becoming professional bakers or running marathons during this time (which most people aren’t by the way – see the next point!). BUT sometimes the best thing to do is just to stop making yourself feel bad for the things you aren’t doing, focus on the good things you have done, and just accept that you’re having some time to relax and not do anything at all!
- Avoid too much news/social media if you’re feeling overwhelmed – this is something I’ve had to do a lot since all this began as I’m finding the news very stressful and social media an easy place for negative thoughts to arise. Since like I said, social media seems to be full of people fit to burst with productive things they’re doing every second of the day. Don’t get me wrong, this is amazing for them if that’s what’s getting them through, but if it’s making you feel bad then taking a break from it will help! Also it’s important to remember that people often only post their highlights on the internet, it’s likely that they’re having days in bed eating nothing but crisps sometimes too!
- Meditation – I’ve previously doubted my ability to quiet my brain for this kind of thing but when I’ve actually done it I’ve felt so much calmer and refreshed so definitely worth a shot (guided meditation apps and videos on YouTube will be helpful here!).
- Create – I know it might feel like another thing you “should” be doing but I often find that making something, however small, can lead to a really nice feeling of achievement! Especially on days where you can then say “well, I haven’t got dressed today but I DID make a pasta necklace!
- Do something JUST for you! – After all YOU know yourself best, so think of something you really enjoy doing and do that for a while!
- And I know I said “not physical exercises – don’t worry” right at the start but sometimes it really can help make you feel good. But don’t put any negative pressure on yourself to do it, just focus on getting into it to make you feel like The Rock for 5 minutes!
So, I really hope some of these can help you feel more positive, even just a little bit. I think it’s also important to point out that staying positive doesn’t mean being happy all the time, and means a lot of different things to different people. But to me it means staying hopeful that better days will come soon.