As we have learned, living through a pandemic can trigger all sorts of negative thoughts and emotions. The reality of what’s happening can get overwhelming and send you into a spiral of negativity that affects how you live your life. In challenging times when things feel out of control, the best place to start is with you. You have control in cultivating a positive mindset. Use the tips below to help you manage during this strange and unexpected time.
- Move your body in ways your enjoy
When you find exercise that works for you at home you’ll reap the benefits, including increased energy, improved mental clarity and an enhanced mood. Exercise produces the feel good hormone serotonin, which has an uplifting effect on your body, mind and emotional self. Once you understand how different types of movement nourish your body in different ways, you can create a menu of activities to do at home to keep yourself in balance.
- Stop resisting change
It’s time to come to terms with the facts: isolation, working from home and social distancing are here indefinitely. Stop waiting for the current situation to end to live your life fully again. Accepting what is going on and focusing on what you can control will help you experience more positivity during this time.
- Stop the negative self-talk
Beating yourself up on a daily basis takes its toll, whether you’re feeling guilty for not being as focused and productive as usual or for comfort-eating chocolate or because you skipped a workout. When something triggers your inner critic, say “cancel cancel” followed by a positive comment or affirmation. This will help you learn how to speak positively to yourself.
- Start a self-care ritual of gratitude
Even when you think everything is out of control, use a practice of gratitude to focus on what you have today. Keep a gratitude journal and each day write down 5 specific thoughts you’re grateful for.
- Fill your life with like-minded, uplifting people
People who are living with the same values as you will keep you grounded, inspired and focused on what’s important. Create a Youtube list of inspiring videos to watch; join online workshops and courses on topics you love, only follow people on social media who make you feel good about yourself and arrange virtual coffee dates with friends that lift you up and make you laugh.
- Doing good for someone else
Focus your energy on lifting up someone else and notice how your energy elevates as well. Could you order food to be delivered to an elderly family member? Send a bumper pack of kids activities to a friend who is juggling work and home schooling? Set up a virtual quiz night with your friends who live alone? Helping others around you can cultivate positivity.
- Have something to look forward to each day
You are allowed to enjoy yourself, to make space in your day to do something that helps you take a break from work. When we get into creative flow we experience more positivity in our lives. Is there a hobby you can do from home? How about learning a new skill, watching your favourite comedy series, or having a virtual dance party?
And let’s not forget to prioritize the basics: eat well, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep. By doing this you’ll feel better in the short term and you’ll be taking preventative steps for your future health too.
We can’t always control what happens, but we can control how we respond to things. Cultivating positivity isn’t just about enjoying the good times; it’s also about finding hope and the silver lining during the more challenging times too.
• Heidi Jones coaches career women to take action to balance their health, happiness and career goals.