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How to stay positive by testing your self

A couple of years ago I was going through one of the most challenging "seasons" of my life and honestly thought I was never going to come out of it. Speaking to someone older and wise, they reminded me that life is not always smooth sailing and that it is very necessary for us to hit rough patches once in a while, to learn the lessons we need to learn and to grow from them. She said this quote to me and now I live by it:

 

"Life is like a rollercoaster; it has its ups and downs."

 

1. Exercise
2. Create a space just for you
3. Practice Gratitude
4. Be selective of what you watch and listen to
5. Practice self-care

 

So as we are currently in the down of life, having to adjust to the changes and uncertainty surrounding us, I thought to share a few things that you can do to stay positive.

Stay Happy

1. Exercise

I am a firm believer in exercising whenever I feel down. It takes a lot of energy and motivation to put on some workout clothes, however, once you start working out, the endorphins begin to do their job. Exercising is enjoyable when you find the activity you like, whether it is running, climbing, stretching, yoga, or workout challenges. Take the time to discover what you really like doing, it's important to note that just because everyone else is running it doesn't mean that you should take up running even if you hate it.


2. Create a space just for you

The recent lockdown has made us homebound and whilst home can be a little slice of heaven on most days, it becomes kind of boring? stuffy? when you are stuck in it. Take the time to identify your favorite room/space within your house or in your yard and make it your little safe haven. I love my room and am lucky to live in a spacious house surrounded by nature however I noticed that my room was missing something. In the days leading up to lockdown, I found myself visiting plant nurseries and buying a few plants to raise indoors. As I type this one of my plant babies had a little growth sprout and has birthed a new leaf!

What I'm trying to say is that you should take the time to discover what you like in your space, what makes you calm and what inspires you, then add that into your space. I now wake up to my plants and my mood lifts when I go check on them.


3. Practice Gratitude

It's my previous blog 4 ways to change your life I spoke about practicing gratitude in order to change your life. Gratitude helps you gain a much-needed perspective in times when you feel down. It helps you realize that life is not so bad and that there are still some very good things happening for you. My therapist recommends writing down a list of things you are grateful each day, you can do this in the morning or in the evening. The list doesn't have to belong it's ok to write even 3 simple things that you are grateful for. You can also test your self purity test

I used to write "I am grateful for sunshine". "I am grateful for the meal I ate with my family" and "I am grateful for wifi!". You can be grateful for anything and everything and you are sure to feel a bit lighter, a bit happier once you have done this exercise.


4. Be selective of what you watch and listen to

Read that heading again and again until it sticks. Whenever I turn on the TV and it's on the news I swear that the world is coming to an end, anxiety peaks, and I feel helpless. This also happens when I open my social apps, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are now constant reminders that people are dying and there is not much we can currently do apart from a stay at home.

This is all so depressing, and I have recently decided that enough is enough. I need to be in control of my focus, and to limit the amount of sad / negativity I am ingesting daily so here are a few things I have personally done and you too can do:

  • Schedule 1-2 hours on news channels per day. The news is filled with horror stories and a live death count that we can all agree is not positive. Instead use that 1-2 hour of news time to take note of the key information, listen to government and health advise i.e. social distancing, and take note of positive developments.
  • Spend a maximum of 30 minutes scrolling on your Facebook feed and if you can download the messenger app and keep in touch with friends/family to avoid the feed. Block out keywords on Twitter and filter your content, block, mute, and unfollow anyone who constantly posts/spreads upsetting, scary, and unwanted information. Instagram has a mute button, use it. There is also an unfollow button and hopefully, they add a keyword mute button soon.
  • Listen to your favorite Spotify playlist or choose one of their happy moods selects.
  • We recently got Disney+ and I am watching my favorite childhood favorites, you should too. Netflix has a great range of content too and YouTube vlogs are equally enjoyable.
  • Speaking of YouTube, take the time to learn a thing or two on any topic. I like watching tutorials on how to garden - essential for new plant parents- as well as how to film with a smartphone. YouTube has every bit of information you need to get better at something.

5. Practice self-care

Last but not least, take some time to look after yourself. The best thing to come out of this experience is the opportunity to slow down and catch your breath. The first few months of the year tend to be a sprint and we can begin to lose sight of our needs because we are chasing moving goalposts. Take time to cook for yourself, to do your chores properly, to spend time with your family doing meaningful things together and also just relaxing. You now have time to sleep in during what was supposed to be that 1-hour commute, you also have time to read a few pages a day and time to do homework with the kids.

 

Self-care involves nurturing your relationships as well as looking after your environment. It's not just bubble baths and fresh bedding - though it is equally important- it's about finding that much-needed balance and tranquility.

 

I hope you gained a few insights on how to stay positive during this time. Please share what you are doing to stay positive below and please stay safe.