When you hear the words “stay positive” especially during a crisis like the one we are in now it seems too farfetched right? You are probably thinking what good will come out of this, how can I be positive during this time, my life has changed so much, and I don’t know what’s going to happen. And you are right, it is a time of uncertainty and gloom for the whole world but what we think, feel, and believe affects us more than we may realize. As cliché as it may sound the power of positive thinking is not only beneficial to your mental health but also keeps the physical body healthy. Numerous studies show the impact of having a positive thought process on better moods, feeling more confident, happy, calm, and relaxed. The result of this on the physical body translates to better overall functioning at all levels.
So, having been under lockdown now for over a month what’s changed? Being away from the things that you loved doing – work, family, friends, the coffee shop or the park, playing a sport whatever it was for you, has definitely had an impact on your mood, emotions, thought patterns and energy levels. While some of us are quick to dismiss our emotional health, we do need to give it some attention so that we come out of this stronger and in more control of our wellbeing.
What do you need to do? Well it is not hard or time consuming and definitely not a one size fits all solution. There are many different things you can do, and it is important choose the things that you feel most connected with or you can relate to, to start out with. But also, do not dismiss the other tools out there. You never know what you might like once you have given it a try.
So, here are a few things you could start incorporating into your life to care for your mental and emotional wellbeing during this lockdown:
Create A Happy Space
Choose a part of your home, apartment or room and make it a safe and comfortable place, put a picture you hold dear, some candles (if you like), plants, personalize it so that it is yours. You may already have such a place and if you do its great and you can enhance it if you like. And every day simply spend time in your happy place doing something you enjoy and is completely for you.
Put Out Your Affirmations
So, what is it that you really want, and have you been asking for it in the literal sense? The simplest way to go about this is identify what you do not want and turn it into what you want. For example ‘’I do not want to be lazy anymore’’, it’s a good thing right to be saying this to yourself? But what you are not doing and is important to make the shift is to start focusing on what you actually want. Like ‘’I am active and motivated”, now this is the affirmation you want to put out because this is really what you want to be.
Make a list of all your affirmations and put them around you, like on the fridge, on your phone screen, laptop screen, on your mirror so it can be the first and last thing you see. When writing affirmations keep them positive, in the present or present continuous tense and use words that you connect to and see your thoughts become your actions.
Turn Your Thoughts Around
On most days there comes a time we get into a negative thought space and it is very easy to spiral downwards in that moment leaving us feeling low and down in energy. Can I stop the negative thoughts? No, but what you can do is acknowledge them and move your thoughts into a positive space. Write or talk out loud and see what you learn from the situation you are thinking about. There is always a silver lining only you need to be willing to see and recognize it. You could start a gratitude journal as it helps us see and really appreciate the small things in life. Simply start by writing three things you are grateful for every day; you can do this before you go to bed or any other time.
Revisit Happy Memories
Do you see an old picture from a fond memory and instantly smile, feel your body and mind light up? In that moment if we are mindful of our senses, we can truly feel all that we felt then. And the body remembers all the good emotions and positive energy and your cells get recharged. Wouldn’t it then be really nice to spend some time in the day reminiscing on all the good and happy memories? Pull out photo albums, videos if you have, reconnect with an old hobby or even simply just remembering will lift your mood and energy. During this lockdown do not let the lack of physical nearness keep you apart, call your loved ones, get on a video call, write letter (post them on a later day) and keep the good energy flowing.
Create A Vision Board
This one is fun because it is a hands-on activity. Creating a visual representation of what you really and truly want in your life is exciting and fun. But first you have to write down what you want, do not get into the how and when while writing but put your most cherished dreams on paper. Then you collect images, words, phrases that reflect these wants and paste them onto a board. There are lots of You Tube videos that will give you great ideas you can use.
But remember what you put on your board should be what gets you excited, the very though of having that in your life fills you with positive energy. You can use old books, magazines, newspapers or print images off the internet. Be sure to place your vision board somewhere you can see it several times a day. Take a picture of it and put as a screensaver on your phone, laptop etc. Then go on and start putting down how you are going to get what you want and be mindful of the things around you as opportunities will start showing up. Be sure not to miss out.
Being positive and staying positive is not a onetime investment. You must spend time daily nurturing and caring for your emotional health because it is easy to get back into old habits and pulled down by negative energies especially in this time of worry and uncertainty. So, remember to make a habit of one or more of the above tools and then it will become easier. “It’s up to you today to start making healthy choices. Not choices that are just healthy for your body, but healthy for your mind.”― Steve Maraboli
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