This is all a bit surreal really isn’t it. Coronavirus changed the world as we knew it in 2020.
We went from zero to one hundred in seconds and the whole world came to a complete standstill.
Over the last year we’ve ridden the waves of dismissing how serious COVID-19 is, all the way to emptying the supermarkets, lockdown, changing the way we travel, a beautiful British summer, thinking things were getting better, and now, a new strain and a winter 2020-21 lockdown.
In the UK the current advice, depending on where you live, involves social distancing and no non-essential travel or trips out the house. At the supermarket the queues are longer, the shelves are emptier, and the roads on the way to the shops are quieter.
With the overwhelming amount of coverage surrounding this global pandemic on social media, the TV and the radio, it’s pretty hard to not believe we are entering a dark hole. It’s serious and action needs to be taken to control the coronavirus from spreading, but it is very frustrating that there’s no leading power to bring a more positive approach alongside this challenging time.
So here’s my contribution…
We have two choices: to face difficulty with optimism or to face difficulty with pessimism.
Personally I’m choosing the optimistic route. As someone with a certain level of influence, I’d like to share some reasons to be positive during this time in order to make this challenging period a little lighter mentally and emotionally… resulting too in inevitable physical benefits.
19 ways to stay positive during the COVID-19 pandemic
1. Limit your media intake
Sure we still need to take in the appropriate government guidance regarding what steps to take next but it’s seriously damaging to our mental health and mood to be absorbing unnecessary amounts of negative and low energy conversation. There’s a lot of that being passed around and it’s a dangerous spiral to get caught up in.
Acknowledge that being completely absorbed in the media during this time will do you no good. There’s very few people that can spend hours and hours in front of negativity without feeling the impact. If you’re feeling a little low in mood, limit your media intake to 30 minutes at the end of the day to get the updates and please, continue with your day.
2. Use this time for self care.
This is possibly the biggest silver lining that I see in this whole situation. Our day-to-day distractions have mostly now been removed (self quarantine life) and we are being encouraged to look a little closer to home to keep ourselves afloat, mentally and emotionally. Self care and habits like meditation are often pushed to the side in our busy lives but now I truly believe the universe is asking us to do this work.
Not sure where to start? Is self care a little too general a topic? Check out ’12 self-care habits to increase your happiness’.
Not sure of your direction and want to use this time to refocus? Check out ‘Goal setting: how to bring your dreams to life’.
3. Follow positive accounts on Instagram.
Fill that feed of yours with goodness. Follow people that are adding a lighthearted nature to this difficult time and bringing you uplifting messages. Here’s a couple for you:
- If you’re looking for health advice that’s reliable, my doctor and dear friend @thefoodmedic is your girl.
4. Take responsibility for speaking and sharing positively to your peers.
It’s all so easy to say that our individual contribution doesn’t have an impact, but this virus is evidence that we are all in this together and our efforts individually and collectively go a long way.
Let’s focus on the positives as much as we can. Share posts, captions and comments that are positive. Positive attracts positive. Let’s spread it. Positive thoughts and emotions are known to increase your immune system, also giving you an increased power in overcoming the virus should it come your way.
5. Pull together in your community and support small businesses where you can.
One of the saddest things about this coronavirus pandemic is the effect it’s having on business globally. Small businesses and large ones, it seems that with each day that passes, there’s very few not being affected by the global lockdown.
There are little things we can all do to keep the economy afloat:
- Order takeaway from your local restaurants
- Rearrange the trip you’ve booked instead of completely cancelling with travel companies
- Be patient and refrain from cancelling all your event bookings until absolutely necessary. If you can, wait until nearer the time to see how the situation develops.
Please be kind as you protect yourselves. People are losing everything.
6. Write down 5 things you’re grateful for, every morning.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, positive breeds positive. Doing this in the morning gives you an incredible headstart to having a positive day.
Here’s an example and my 5 things to be grateful for today:
- the access I have to nutritious food to fuel my body through any potential virus
- having shelter and a roof over my head to keep me warm and safe
- family and friends to talk through difficult events with (e.g. having all my work cancelled)
- that I’ve invested in meditation over the years and I can control my mood very well regardless of my environment
- my body’s capability to move and workout, wherever I am
7. Cherish time with the people around you and deepen connections.
Whether you’re back at home quarantining with family, living with friends, your dog or all by yourself, deepen those connections. Ask questions you never ask. Ask how this time is affecting you and them and pull together with whoever and whatever you have.
I for one usually have a very busy life and my time with friends and family has increased significantly since this Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic started. Would I have said no to this much work and got to spend this much time with them otherwise? Most likely not…
8. Look after your immunity and stick to the rules, knowing that’s the best you can do.
Many of us will eventually get the Coronavirus COVID-19 that’s taking over the world. Being afraid of the virus is bad for your mental health.
For most of us who catch it, our system will fight it and we will recover absolutely fine. For some, we may not get it or we may not experience any symptoms even if we do. Unfortunately, it is vulnerable people that are the main concern, so it’s especially important for them to isolate and build up a good immune system. Sticking to social distancing rules and looking after your immunity are the very best things we can do for ourselves and for each other.
I’m no nutritionist or medic so I cannot advise exactly on what specifics to top up on or what to avoid but I do know that continuing with a balanced, colourful diet, staying hydrated and curbing the likes of alcohol and sugar is likely to assist your immune system.
What I can also say, from experience, is that a positive mental state is proven to increase your immunity and chances of overcoming illness in the body. So, choose health, choose positive and choose you.
9. Top up on sleep and get on top of things you usually push to the side.
Pure and simple.
If you are working from home and/or quarantine you’re likely to have more time to hand because of the removal of commuting time. Take this time to get an extra hour in bed or get on top of that admin that keeps being shoved to the bottom of your to-do list.
10. Write down a list of all the things you miss, that you’re now appreciating even more.
I know it’s hard because some of our favourite pastimes and daily routines have been removed, but let’s think about the bigger picture here. It’s not forever and we can definitely adjust things to accommodate. Perhaps writing down a list of the things you probably take for granted, that you now miss, but will most likely get back soon will flip the situation on its head. Here are mine as an example:
- Walking my dog with friends
- Going to workout classes and sitting down in a cafe for brunch afterwards
- Travelling the world and going on adventures
- Chatting to people and hugging people
- Seeing my friends who live abroad
11. Become best friends with your mind. Spend some time in there.
Mentioned briefly within the self-care point but worth it’s own point for SURE.
Every situation in your entire lifetime presents you with different options. As they say, it’s 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.
Coming to the realisation that you are not your mind and that you can completely separate from your thoughts, if only you invest the time in learning how to so is a privilege. I’ve taken on the journey or meditation over the last few years and I honestly cannot imagine being back in my old ways.
Wouldn’t you love to be able to control your inner peace and calm at any given point? You have the opportunity and now you have been given the time. Start investigating your curiosity. Check out my beginner’s guide to meditation here. If you’re not sure what awareness is and you want to find out more, check out this blog post about awareness.
12. Build resilience. Hard times = growth.
As much as the difficult times are difficult, they always result in growth that shapes you into a considerably stronger human being. Call me weird but whenever I’m in a shit old situation, I get kind of excited to unlock a new level of my being. Through difficult times you have to learn new things and are awakened to strength you didn’t previously know you had, in order to pull through it. You always grow. You always become stronger and more resilient to the same thing ever happening again, similar to the virus and your immune system.
13. Learn something new.
Some of us have no work and have an abundance of time, and some of us have increased work and reduced time. Some people need this time to stop and reset, and recover from whatever life has thrown at them leading up to this. Whichever situation it is you’re in, it’s important to embrace it.
My work in travel has come to a halt for now so I’m taking the unusual amount of time I have and investing it in other things.
If you happen to find yourself with extra spare time, here are some suggestions:
- Learn a new language online
- Buy an online cookbook and try some new healthy, immune boosting recipes
- Learn how to edit on Lightroom or Premiere using YouTube
- Use YouTube to learn anything in fact: camera tips, hair tips, make up tips etc.
- Take some online yoga classes
- Learn to meditate with my beginner’s guide here.
14. Get dreaming. Plan your next adventure.
Just because travelling adventures have come to a halt, it doesn’t mean you cannot dream or plan your next adventure for when this passes.
Don’t lose the passion for travel. Keep the adventure alive within you and get dreaming on Pinterest.
15. Make the most of the spare time you may find yourself with.
As mentioned above, you could learn something new but you could also just do nothing or do something you never get around to.
- brainstorm a new business idea
- watch tv
- read a book
- start a new hobby
Make the most of the time that works in a way for your situation and your health and wellbeing.
16. Think of the global awareness being raised.
I don’t think you could have written this situation if you tried. It’s like something out of a movie. Everyone and everything is being affected and coming to a halt right now. But, within the global attention to this virus, we are being forced to wake up to the fact that, ultimately, we are not in control. No amount of money, social media fame, possessions or more can protect you.
We are all one. We are all equally at risk. We are all back to the fundamentals of life. Ourselves, our health and love.
By removing all the distractions, which would never ever have happened otherwise, we are all being faced with this realisation.
17. Positive news for the environment.
There have been a few reports and maps floating around online about the positive immediate effects to the environment that have occurred as a result of the reduction of travel and global movement.
With both the virus and with the environmental pollution, it’s become clear that we cannot be selfish and exclude ourselves from our involvement in the matters. In just two months of forced travel reduction we have made a CRAZY difference. Why does it take being forced to quarantine and stay closer to home to realise what beautiful things we can do to our home, planet Earth?
18. Switch up your workout routine
We’ve probably all got our gym membership or go-to workout class that we religiously attended, but all over the world gyms are out of bounds now.
Support people online and indulge in some of the incredible workouts on offer. Not only can do continue to work out at home but YouTube workouts are FREE! Here are a few suggestions:
19. Netflix it up.
Not that you need the encouragement. You can even watch Netflix with your friends and loved ones from a distance with the ‘Netflix Party’ chrome plug-in.
What are your top tips for staying positive?
Have you found any new habits to have a positive effect? I’d love to know!
Love as always and happy adventuring,
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I can’t do this without you.
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