Today I discussing how to stay positive during a pandemic.
As COVID-19 spreads steadily around the world, many of us are finding ourselves spending more time at home due to government restrictions.
I have taken advantage of this extra time to focus on how I can be more motivated, organised and practice self-care and self-development.
This is a difficult and stressful time for us all. Anxiety levels are high and the pressure of having the whole family at home 24/7 can be a lot to handle.
Working from home whilst home schooling is tough, but if your home is a mess and you have no routine this can have an even greater impact on your anxiety levels and mental health.
At a time like this it is vital to for our homes to be a place of comfort and calm. So, if you feel like you need some help then there has never been a better time to get organised.
Let’s get our homes in order, create a daily routine and give us something to focus on.
Today I will be sharing some tips and advice to stay positive during a lockdown and keep you mental health intact.
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How to Stay Positive During a Pandemic – Ultimate Guide!
Mental & physical health
First of all, I would like to talk about the importance of continuing to take care of your mental and physical health.
The lockdown is frustrating but this could also be an opportunity to develop yourself or an idea you have been putting on the back-burner.
This is a good time to read a book, take an online course and start a new home workout regimen.
There are plenty platforms online that have lots of courses that you can explore for new careers and hobbies.
Fitness professionals are also developing home online exercises that you can follow along at home with your family.
Physical activity of around 30 minutes daily will help keep you healthy, this could be going outside for walks, run, a ride while keeping a safe distance from others. You can also dance to music, walk up and down the stairs.
If you are working from home, make sure you do not sit in the same position for long periods. Get up and take three minutes breaks every 30 minutes.
When you put Mindfulness into practice your mind will declutter massively!
I can’t explain how much this practice has changed my life. When you’re mindful your life will transform.
By living in the present moment, you become at peace with your past thoughts and illusions made up in your mind.
Observe your thoughts, become at peace with them, take away the emotional attachment.
When you find your mind wandering, revert back to the present moment.
The more you live in the present moment, the mind quickly loses control over you. The mind is a tool that should be working for you, not controlling you.
This takes a lot of practice, as your mind has spent so many years in control. The mind has been projecting its illusions on you all your life.
Purchase a book, research it on YouTube. The Mindfulness practice is life changing when used consistently and persistently!
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.
Life is so fast paced these days, that we begin to lose sight of our needs, because we are chasing moving goal posts.
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 may 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 tranquillity.
Set out a daily routine
This one won’t be for everyone, but for a lot of people it is essential when trying to protect your mental well-being.
Setting out a routine every day can ensure you keep being productive whilst staying indoors on lockdown.
It also gives you a reason to wake up every morning and keeps some normality and stability in your life, as being organised with a routine can often help people feel more in control of their situation.
Having a routine also ensures you don’t spend all day in bed doing nothing, which is the worst thing you can do for your mental health and well-being at a crucial time like this.
Even if you don’t do any super productive things, even reading a book or putting a load of washing on is much better than nothing!
I thought this was complete nonsense a few years ago, now I love it.
The one thing that calmed my mind beyond belief, if done properly, is meditation.
This helps you become at peace with your thoughts, and also mindful meditation helps you stay in the present moment.
Try to meditate before breakfast, if not, then late afternoon/early evening is a good time to do it.
Meditation will seem like a chore at first, but the more you practice, it will become more of an enjoyable experience that you will look forward to.
There are tonnes of videos on YouTube to help you get started.
Set goals, but enjoy the process of working towards them
I try to live in the present moment as much as possible in my life, but how do you focus on the present while you’re busy working toward your goals for the future?
It’s an interesting paradox that I struggled with for a while.
Over time, I realised that you can set goals for the future, but you have to be present and focused while you’re working to accomplish them.
I used to always rush through projects just to get them over with, but I realised that’s not a good way to live my life.
Instead, I told myself to enjoy the process a little bit more.
When you’re always rushing through things in order to move on to the next project, you miss opportunities to be creative and produce your best work.
These days, I try to be more present when I’m working on something.
Reflection is important, so I’ve started doing weekly and monthly check-ins with myself to stop myself from charging ahead into the future.
Make a daily to-do list
Knowing your goals is great, it means you know where you want to get to. But that is not enough without knowing what you need to do to get there.
Ultimately, every goal needs to be broken apart as much as possible and written down as a simple list of to-dos.
Having this little list of what you need to get done every day enables you to organise your time and how to tackle things. It helps keep you motivated.
Every morning, try to write down your top 3 priorities for the day, and only after that all the other smaller things you’d like to get done during the day (IF you have the time).
This will help you stay focused on the things that matter and, in the same time, it will raise your energy levels and get you in that ready-for-action mood.
Gratitude helps you gain much needed perspective in times when you feel down. It helps you realise that life is not so bad and that there are still some very good things happening for you.
Most therapists recommend 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 be long it’s ok to write even 3 simple things that you are grateful for.
If you don’t know where to start, here are three things to start you off: I am grateful for the sunshine today. I am grateful for the meal I ate with my family and I am grateful for the wifi not playing up today!
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.
Facetime or call family & friends
Keeping in contact with family and friends is essential to protect your mental well-being.
Facetiming is a great way to ensure you are still keeping in contact with other people during the lockdowns or restrictions, rather than being completely alone in the house (if you’re on your own that is).
Some people I know have fallen into the habit of not socialising and speaking to people regular since the lockdowns – humans are social beings, it’s important to communicate with other people.
Facetiming is also good to talk about something other than the pandemic, so it can take your mind off it and leave you feeling in better spirits.
I also find facetiming helps protect your mental well-being, as seeing another person’s face can bring you back down to earth and keep some normality in your life.
Another activity that can really help you sort your thoughts and keep a positive mindset is journaling.
To be honest I am not journaling regularly, even though it can have a very positive impact. When I am journaling, I am particularly writing down my feelings and emotions when I am not feeling very good.
It is a good way to get these pulling down thoughts that keep circling through your mind out of the way. Once you have written down your concerns you 100% feel lighter and there is more room for positivity.
What you are writing has not to be in a certain order, just write whatever comes to your mind.
I would recommend using an empty notebook that is just being used for journaling, so you have all of your old journals at one place.
If you keep doing this regularly or when you feel like you need it is up to you!
Get some fresh air
Fresh air can work wonders when you need a break or just want to recharge your batteries. Even a short walk outside or just sitting on a park bench can make you feel uplifted and energised.
Not only that, but vitamin D deficiency is a known cause for tiredness and fatigue, so you must ensure you get enough of it.
Depending on where you are in the world, you’re probably allowed to be outside at least for a short time for some daylight and/or exercise.
Make the most of it and don’t let any day pass by without being outdoors for a little bit, if you can help it. If not, at least open your windows wide and let the sunshine in.
Limit your media intake
Sure, we still need to take in the appropriate government guidance regarding what steps to take next but it’s seriously damaging to our mental health and mood to be absorbing unnecessary amounts of negative and low energy conversation.
There’s a lot of that being passed around and it’s a dangerous spiral to get caught up in.
Acknowledge that being completely absorbed in the media during this time will do you no good.
There are very few people that can spend hours and hours in front of negativity without feeling the impact.
If you’re feeling a little low in mood, limit your media intake to 30 minutes at the end of the day to get the updates and please, continue with your day.
Listen to podcasts
Podcasts are literally my favourite. They are easy to access and can help you escape from reality for a little. By listening to podcasts you are staying informed and growing as an individual.
I optimise my time by listening to them while I am working or getting ready for my day in the morning.
Drink more water
A simple yet vital daily requirement, drinking water. This not only hydrates you but improves your bodily functions, preventing headaches, washes out toxins from the body, and helps with weight loss.
Drinking water can solve other problems such as clearing skin issues and providing mental clarity. One way to drink more water is to keep a water bottle with you at all times so you can hydrate yourself throughout the day.
I personally like to drink room temperature and hot water; this helps with digestion.
Make your bed
At the risk of sounding like your mom, please make your bed. Not only will it feel good to get into a made bed at night, but it’s important for the success of your day.
Making your bed first thing every morning means one small win before you even have a cup of coffee, which subconsciously will motivate you to achieve thousands of small wins throughout the day (and you know what they say about small wins: they lead up to really big ones).
Plus, Gretchen Rubin found in her research that it’s the easiest and most common daily habit you can do to boost happiness.
Reading just 30 minutes a day over time will produce amazing benefits. I hear you – “What? I don’t have 30 minutes a day to read!”
Well, quite honestly, I think we spend at least that amount of time on other activities like social media or television each day.
Plus, I would add that we really cannot afford not to acquire this habit. Reading 30 minutes a day would mean that you could probably get through 2-3 books in a month and 24 to 36 books in a year!
That is amazing! Think of all you could learn in one year by cultivating a simple daily habit of reading.
Learn new things
Learning never stops – even though some people stop learning as soon as they are done with their education.
However, the only way to survive in this world and stay on top of things is to be adaptable and continuously learn new skills and gain new knowledge.
With all of the information and books available online nowadays, it’s very simple to do this.
Now is the perfect time to get into every room of your home and have a good clear out – you can’t beat a great big declutter!
There will be many items you can throw or recycle but you may need to put some bigger items aside to take to the tip once social distancing is over. For now, you can store these items away in a garage or shed.
Disposing of your physical clutter will help you deal with your mental clutter and anxieties – tidy home, tidy mind.
Remember the restrictions are temporary
One of the biggest things I’ve been struggling with is not knowing how long these restrictions will last – it seems like they have been going on forever.
The thing we all need to remember is that, however long it lasts, it won’t last forever. Take things one day at a time rather than looking for an end point.
Try to enjoy the time you have right now by living in the present moment and enjoying life living in the now.
How to Stay Positive During a Pandemic – Final thought
So, that’s my tips on how to protect your mental well-being whilst being in lockdown or self-isolation during this hectic global pandemic.
Do you have any other tips? Please write them in the comments so other people can see them. Stay safe and keep smiling.
I would love to hear your thoughts on what you are doing to change your life in the coming days and years!
If you have any questions please reach out to me via firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to hear from you!
I really hope you found inspiration in this article.
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Hello! My name is Adam and welcome to my space on the internet. Here you can find me writing about subjects such as spiritual growth, self-discovery, wellbeing, addiction recovery and mental health. Please connect with me on my journey and join the community!