Being hit by yet again another lockdown is not easy for anyone. Whilst we have all started to get used to spending lots of time at home, it still hits you hard when the news arrives. It is that feeling of taking one step forward followed by 10 steps backwards. It is easy to feel as though your own life is outside of your control which can send you into a spiral of negativity. However, it is important to try and stay as positive as possible. For your own sanity and health. Positivity isn’t something that just happens, you have to work hard to be positive. Here are a few things I employ to stay positive when times feel very testing.
I LOVE writing a list and I write them every single day. Whether it’s an outline of my day, what I want to eat for dinner, shopping lists, to do lists, whatever it is I love a list, and there are many reasons why.
It helps me feel like I’ve achieved. There is nothing more satisfying then ticking things off a list. No matter what I’ve done in a day, whether it is completing a piece of work or going to the supermarket, when I tick that job off my list there is a sense of achievement and accomplishment attached to it. A list allows you to feel as though are succeeding at something, even when there is little to make you feel like that outside of your bubble. However, remember, there is also no harm in leaving things on your list. You don’t need to finish everything you write on it. Simply move it on to tomorrow’s list or the next days. You will eventually get round to ticking it off.
Another power of the list is the structure it adds to your day. If you write down everything you want to get done, ideally in the order you want to do it, you have your day planned out in front of you. With lockdown, for some there is little motivation to get up for the day ahead. However, writing a list sorts your day out and gives you that drive to get up and start ticking things off it.
The little things.
It’s been a while since we have had the usual things in our lives to look forward to. However, this doesn’t mean that we can’t get excited by anything, it just means we need to find excitement in other things- the little things.
For me, my excitement tends to come from food, but there are other things too. If you try to cook new things, or recipes that you find particularly tasty each evening, you will find yourself getting slightly excited by this. Be kind to yourself, and allow yourself something tasty to enjoy each day. You will feel much better, trust me. There is no need to deny yourself anything in normal circumstances, but doing so during lockdown, will only make you feel miserable. Another thing you can do is get stuck into a series. Box sets have been the saviour of the past year. I have been watching The Serpent on BBC and recommend it to everyone. It is based on a true story, which makes it absolutely shocking, but it is also very addicting. If you enjoy reading, like I do, order some books and get stuck in!
This is ESSENTIAL to staying positive. Never underestimate the power of exercise, even if you don’t like it. You will feel SO much better for exercising and getting some fresh air. Even on the days where all you want to do is lie on the sofa and watch movies, getting outside for any form of exercise, be it a walk or a run, will brighten your mental state considerably. This time is about looking after your mental health, even more than your physical health (whilst this is of course very important), but prioritise being kind to yourself. Exercising in the fresh air, 100% makes you feel better. You will then enjoy curling up on the sofa all the more.
Catch your thoughts.
Finally, when you feel your mind drifting to a place of negativity, catch it. Find things to distract yourself to keep your mind in a present, positive state. If a negative train of thought is taking over, direct your thoughts elsewhere, to what you are going to cook later, maybe phone a friend, do anything to bring it back. Another thing I find helps is colouring. It helps concentrate my mind and stop it from wondering off. I always remind myself that positivity is something you have to practice and it will eventually become habit. This is what I have found myself.
Being positive isn’t easy, we have to work at it like we would anything else. You will then see it as part of a journey and welcome the challenge of learning to be more positive.
I love to run and I love to write, so I write about running!