How are you coping with staying positive at the moment? Life’s certainly not easy right now, usually most of us have one or two major things to worry about at a time – right now we all have loads to stress over!
I don’t think I have ever been this stressed in my life. I have lost tons of work for the forseeable future so we are both stressing over how to top up our income over the coming months. We had started the ball rolling on buying a house in February (pre-coronavirus lockdown) which is in limbo at the moment so we have that added stress in our lives too. I’m also trying to get the work I have left done whilst also homeschooling a child in Spanish. I’m not fluent in Spanish so this isn’t an easy task! Neither myself or my husband have a lot of patience, so I think it’s fair to say we’re not really enjoying homeschooling. On top of that, we have all been confined to the house for over three weeks now as here in Spain we’re not even allowed out for a walk or any exercise.
So as I said…little bit stressed out right now!
However, I’m trying my best to stay positive both for my own mental health and also for the sake of my family. It’s not easy when all you can think about are the problems in your life, but it’s important to try not to let it all get on top of you. We will all come out of the other side of this, and we don’t want the added worry of making ourselves ill through stress. Positive thinking won’t cure your problems, but it does help you to take a step back and work out a plan to manage some of those things that are causing the stress.
If you need a little help on how to stay positive and have an optimistic outlook during this stressful time, here are a few tips and tricks that might help…
Focus on the good things
Sometimes it’s hard not to focus on all the crap going on in your life, but there are always good things to focus on even if they may seem small. Right now, I’m happy that we’re all healthy and we’re safe in our home. We’re not having to rush around getting ready for school, and we have had more time to do things together like playing board games, baking cakes, and cooking dinner – things we’re usually too busy for during the week. As they say, there is a silver lining in every cloud.
Practice gratitude on a daily basis
When you think of those good things among the bad, say them out loud. Tell your family how nice it is that you’ve all been able to play a game together, thank your kids for helping to cook dinner. Think of the people who make you happy, the places where you feel relaxed, and the moments that you have enjoyed.
Start a gratitude journal
Did you know that writing down the things that you’re grateful for can help to improve your sense of wellbeing? Journalling is really popular at the moment, and starting a gratitude journal can help to boost your optimism and positivity. You don’t have to write in your journal every day, you could just write down a list of things you’re grateful as a reminder when you feel as though you need a bit of a boost.
We all know that laughter is the best medicine. It helps to lower stress, anxiety, and depression as well as boosting your mood and general outlook on life. If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, why not put on a funny tv show or film that makes you laugh. Personally, I always feel better after watching a few episodes of Friends even if I have seen them all a million times.
Talk to positive people
Spending time with positive people is a great idea to help put you in a good mood. At the moment, we can’t physically spend time with our favourite people, but with phone calls, Skype and WhatsApp it’s so easy to connect even when we’re all stuck at home. Arrange calls with the friends and family who make you laugh, and try to avoid talking too much with negative people who just make you feel worse.
Practice positive self-talk
Most of us can be really harsh on ourselves and will pick ourselves apart over the smallest things. If you’re thinking negative thoughts about yourself, try to counter balance them with positive thoughts. Don’t think that you’re a failure because you have lost your job, think about your skills and what you could now do instead. Tell yourself that actually you’re a pretty awesome person, and you will get through this like you have many other obstacles in the past.
Start the day on a positive note
We all get out of bed on the wrong side from time to time, but there are lots of ways you can make sure you start the day on a positive. Play song that makes you happy while you get dressed. Have your favourite breakfast together as a family – or by yourself, whichever you prefer!
Some of this may not come naturally to you, and you might not want to (or need to) do all of these things. But hopefully by making the effort to be less pessimistic and by focusing on the positive more, you will be able to get through this stressful period.
Remember that if you feel as though you need to talk to someone make sure you pick up the phone and call your friends, family, or a support line.
Stay positive, and stay safe!