In the uncertain times surrounding our lives, it may be hard to stay positive. Usual routines may have disappeared, and a lack of structure may differ from before. It may feel like everything around you is falling apart.
Where there is a purpose, there is hope and with hope comes positivity. Without these two elements, your life may feel bewildering and upsetting, and you may be struggling with finding your place in the ‘post-pandemic society’.
These are natural feelings and part of being human. While there isn’t a switch to make things “normal” right away, there are tips to improve positivity and increase wellbeing.
One main thought to keep you in positive spirits is that things can, and usually do, get better.
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Introduce a Daily Routine
If you are travelling to work, you will have a set routine, but if you are now part of the millions working from home, you will need a structured day to enable a positive mindset.
Set your alarm each morning, it doesn’t need to be mega early, but it does need to be a time between 7-9 am. Your body clock will embrace a structured sleep pattern, going to bed and waking up at set times. The last thing you want to be doing is languishing in bed; it serves no purpose other than to make you feel groggy.
When your mind is alert, it has room for positive and productive thoughts.
Positivity Tip #1 Enjoy a leisurely breakfast
Make sure breakfast is wholesome, and be mindful when eating and drinking. Take time to savour the flavours and chew your food.
Positivity Tip #2 You can take as long as you want when bathing
Make showering and getting dressed a priority. I know we are all guilty of staying in our nightwear for longer than is probably socially acceptable and that getting dressed may seem pointless, but by building this structure into your daily routine, you will have a purpose. The days of taking zoom calls in pyjamas need to be a distant memory.
Enjoy your shower. Embrace the scents of luxury shower gels, shampoos and body lotions. Those quick leaps into the shower before dashing out the door are no more. In their place are leisurely showers or hour-long soaks in the tub, giving you the time to relax and pamper yourself before or after work. You know you deserve it.
Positivity Tip #3 You can discover new things that you didn’t have time for before
So you’ve had a delicious breakfast, and you are as clean as a whistle, but now what? For those working from home, it’s an easy answer. Brew a cuppa and settle down to zoom meetings, phone calls and keyboard bashing until lunchtime arrives. But perhaps you are currently between jobs and feeling lost; what can you do to increase your feeling of wellbeing?
The answer is productivity. When you are productive, you maintain positivity. Remember when you passed your driving test – how positive did that make you feel. Or when you mastered a language that at first had seemed unimaginable. And not forgetting how you redecorated your bedroom and then stood back, feeling positive about your accomplishment.
Busy hands alleviate anxiety and create a quiet mind. A calm mind relieves stress and creates hope.
Hope allows the mind and body to have meaning. Meaning brings positivity into your daily life.
So let’s find out what you can do from home?
Positivity Tip #4 You can find time for your health and wellbeing
We may all cringe at the thought of leaping about in front of the television, but a healthy body is a healthy mind. It might be an old cliche, but it is the truth.
There are so many online fitness programmes that you can streamline to your TV from the easy to the more hardcore, but one of the popular YouTube trainers is Joe Wicks, suitable for all ages and fitness levels.
How about trying Yoga, a less strenuous form of exercise that can benefit the mind and body by releasing stress from muscles and relaxing your whole core.
Make sure you have a pair of comfortable yoga pants and a breathable vest so that you feel free during your yoga session.
An excellent virtual website is The Akash Between; give it a go, but beware – you may become addicted to this form of gentle exercise.
Yes, this is a form of exercise but for your mind. Sign up for the Chopra Centre, which offers free meditation courses and drift away to the wise words of Deepak Chopra and Oprah Winfrey.
If, like me, your mind flits all over the place, don’t worry; you can’t be perfect at meditating in just a few days. Instead, use it as a time each morning when you can take 20 minutes to relax. Up until now, this may not have been a privilege you could have allowed yourself.
A daily walk is one of my favourite parts of each day and is vital for holistic wellbeing and positivity. Make sure you don’t miss a day because three or four days will have passed before you know it.
While you are out, notice things in your neighbourhood that you may have been too busy to see before. Listen to the birdsong, embrace the changing season and watch the different plants appear.
A fun plant identifier that I use is called PlantSnap, which makes your walk even more enjoyable.
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water during the day to keep your mind and body hydrated.
Positivity Tip #5 You can virtually travel around the world
Now travel is returning to normal, you can start planning where and when you would like to explore a new country. But for many people, this is still a distant dream and not something they feel comfortable doing. If this sounds like you, then try using positive images, written text, and interactive websites to explore the world in the interim.
You can escape to another place through the pages of a book. Positive feelings can be activated by reading fun, uplifting prose. If you love to travel, check out my list of travel-inspired books that will transport you to distant shores.
Watch Travel Films
Revive your travel bug with some of the best travel movies out there. Watch them and then plan for future travel when the time is right.
Many museums, art galleries, national parks, religious buildings, and zoos have now opened their doors via webcams. You can now virtually visit anywhere in the world from the comfort of your armchair. Just type in a place and see what comes up; from the Great Wall of China to the Sistine Chapel, these cams bring the world to you.
Catch up with loved ones
Never has there been a better time to contact people to who you usually only send a Christmas or birthday card. These people have now become like diamonds. More valuable than any other component in your life.
Talking on the phone with Aunt Flo (about anything other than the current situation), networking with work colleagues, and playing online quiz games with family members, will leave you glowing inside. And that glow is positivity.
Positivity Tip #6 You can learn a new skill
These are just a few examples, but why not try learning a new skill? Master a new language, an original recipe, how to paint/sew or craft a piece of jewellery.
Educate yourself with an online course. Centre of Excellence is an excellent site for E-Learning courses ranging from Psychology to Zoology!
Positivity Tip #7 You have the time to catch up on chores
Make time to clear out wardrobes, drawers, the loft or the garage and donate or recycle your old treasures? How many times have you looked at a broken item and thought you would fix it only to leave it?
You can gain great positivity from sorting, mending and refreshing all those things that have been on your mind for so long. The result? A positive feeling of a job well done.
Positivity Tip #8 No rush hour traffic to navigate
Guess what you don’t have to do that if you are now a home worker. Just get up from your desk, make your way to the kitchen to whisk up a healthy dinner (or beans on toast!) and relax on the sofa.
Wind down with music or a favourite book, or why not catch up on those box sets that have evaded you up until now. You are the master of your destiny, so pick something positive to watch or listen to but be mindful that you need to eliminate any negativity from entering your mind.
You control what you see and hear, and to stay positive in these uncertain times, you need to stay away from daily news coverage.
Yes, that’s right, you know what you will see and hear. Death, illness, frustration, hardship – need I go on?
Don’t tune in 24/7; nothing will change in 24 hours. Limit yourself to a quick burst of news once every two days to keep abreast of new developments. Be mindful of what you listen to on the radio, television or internet channels. Your mental health will thank you for it.
Time for Bed
Bedtime may be a tricky time for some. When you are alone and the night draws in, your unoccupied mind can have you thinking about stuff ranging from whether you remembered a friend’s birthday to if you’ve left the gas on! What you want is to be able to drift into a restful slumber, thinking peaceful thoughts.
The first thing you must do is put that mobile phone down! We are all guilty of scrolling through just before lights out, even though we all know that blue light from our phone activates our brains and stops us from getting a night of good sleep.
Instead, listen to some soothing music, light a lavender candle, which will aid with a relaxing sleep and make sure your room is well ventilated, i.e. not too hot or cold. Enjoy a warm milky drink (not containing caffeine!), as the tryptophan enzymes contained in milk will aid with sleep and finally doze off knowing that you have had a positive and fulfilling day.
Remember, you are not alone.
Remembering you are not alone means realising that every human being on our planet is going through something at some time in their lives.
By staying positive and looking towards the future, you will see hope on the horizon.
If you are still struggling, call centres such as MIND can help you through these uncertain times.
Focus on future events
Positivity Tip #9 You have time to plan for future events
Please take a moment to sit down and plan where you want to be in life and how to go about it. Think positively about what makes you happy, and for every person, that will be slightly different.
Have you always wanted to pursue a more varied career? Now is the time to find online courses and update your skillset.
Have you ever wanted to travel? Work out how you could make it possible, rent out your home, check out working as a virtual assistant and more importantly, work out a budget.
Have you ever wanted to change your lifestyle? Now is the time to decide if you can include a new eating regime in your life or cut back on alcohol. Challenge yourself and then succeed!
So there you have it, plenty of time to sit and ponder about what positive directions you may like to take in the future. Of course, if you are happy with your life as it is, that is brilliant, and hopefully, you realise that there are so many positives in just being you.
Positivity Tip #10 Be thankful for your health and happiness
If you are healthy and happy, reflect on those positives. Every morning wake up knowing that you are well and that your loved ones are safe: it is worth more than anything you could imagine. Worries about money, relationships and careers fade into insignificance compared to mortality.
So look for the positive in each day but don’t overwhelm yourself. Some days may be better than others. Setting yourself unrealistic goals and beating yourself up when you haven’t fulfilled them won’t do you any favours.
Some days you may want to lie in bed all day, and guess what? If that makes you happy, then do it, but for now, I hope that this post has inspired you to stay positive each day, knowing that good times are out there for you to enjoy life to the full.
Eat: Sleep: Stay Positive: Repeat
This advice is my own opinion. Although I have counselling, psychology, and holistic wellbeing skills, I am not a mental health practitioner.
If your mental health deteriorates, then please seek professional help immediately.