We all certainly know that times are tough right now, but that makes it more important than ever to maintain good mental health. An important aspect of this is to keep positive and do things which make you laugh and feel good.
First of all, it is important not to over think things and worry too much about things that may not even happen. For example, when the news broke that the schools in England would be closing, there was so many parents on social media breaking down as their children may not get to return this school year and therefore would be missing out on important milestones.
The key part of this was the `MAY NOT’. People were getting so stressed and upset over something that may not even happen. The problem with this is that you may be making yourself unwell unnecessarily and by sharing it on social media, you are spreading the fire and others will start panicking too about something that may not even happen.
The ‘what I control’ strategy
I am not trying to single anyone out, I am just using this as an example, but this is true for many different situations. It would be far better to write down things that you are worried about and look at what you can and can not control. So using this school example, you might have written down that you are worried that your children will not get to return to school and say goodbye to their friends and have their party that they were looking forward to.
So you can not control if they get to return to school or not as that is dependent on the current health problems and when the government reopens the schools. However you can control other things so you could make a plan of what YOU can do if the worst happens. Maybe you could speak to other parents (online or by phone) of children in your child’s year group and arrange a party once the schools do reopen so that your children do not miss out.
Using this strategy is far more constructive and it helps you to stay positive and gives you good things to focus on too.
Change your thinking
It is easy to focus on what you are missing out on or what you have lost. Unfortunately it seems to be human nature, but instead of wasting time on those things which you can not control, why not think about all of the things that you are grateful for. There are probably even some things which you will have gained from this experience too.
You could even make a game out of it by challenging your friends or family to write a list too and see who can think of the most honest answers.
Limit your exposure to fake news and scaremongering.
If you are struggling to stay positive, anxious or prone to overthinking things, then it would be a good idea to limit your time on social media. As much as I am a fan of social media, I am also well aware of the problems it can cause too. Fake news is often shared on social media and can really scare people.
I have been following the live updates on the BBC website as I personally feel that they are a reliable source, but even that can be a bit much when you are not feeling your best. If you have someone that you trust in your life who is following the news then you could ask them to keep you updated on essential news so that you can keep away from it all together.
There are often positive news stories too, especially at times of great distress so you could ask family and friends to forward them on to you. Seeing the wonderful acts of kindness is sure to lift your mood.
Distract and relax!
Distracting yourself from your worries can do wonders for lifting your spirits and relaxing. You could;
- Read or listen to an audiobook.
- Have a go at some mindfulness colouring
- Test your brain with some puzzle books
- Write letters to friends
- Watch movies or binge watch that new Netflix series you’ve been wanting to see.
- Play a favourite computer game.
- Exercising lifts your mood and also helps keep you healthy so you could do a home workout or go for a run.
- Organise all of your photographs
- Have a spa night and pamper yourself.
- Play board games.
- Learn a new language
- Take up gardening
- Learn to play an instrument.
- Write that novel you’ve been wanting to start.
- Make a scrapbook,
- Start knitting, embroidery or crocheting.
- Get in the kitchen and make something new.
- Papercraft/card making
- Try your hand at Origami
- Sketch or paint.
- Start a blog or YouTube channel!
- Learn Calligraphy or brush art lettering.
Music is often a powerful tool. It can do wonders for lifting your mood and energising you if you are feeling low. Why not make a happy playlist with all of the songs which make you smile and then you can play it when you need uplifting. You could also make a playlist of music that makes you want to dance and then get yourself moving as that will get your blood pumping and those endorphins flowing.
Singing is also great for the soul so you could have a karaoke night or download one of the singing game apps on your phone and sing your heart out! If you would rather people not hear your singing then put a waterproof radio in the shower and blast away your blues while washing away the day.
Planning for better days
Planning some fun things to do once the crisis is over can give you a boost and something to look forward to. You could make a bucketlist of things that you would like to do once normality has returned. You could also plan a holiday. You do not need a date to plan your holiday. You could pick the location, budget how much you will need and plan the things that you will do while there. Then once things are more settled, the only thing that you will need to do is pick a date and everything else will be planned.
I hope that I have given you some useful ideas for keeping positive during these tough times. I would love to hear what you think or if you think that I have missed anything that would be helpful.