5 ways to stay positive during difficult times
‘These are unprecedented times we’re living in’ - a phrase we’ve all probably heard so many times over the past few months, but it really does sum up the extraordinary situation we found ourselves in.
As we approach the tenth week of lockdown, and with the initial perks of staying in our pajamas all day becoming a thing of the past (the novelty soon wore off), many of us are finding it hard to stay positive during these difficult times.
It’s so important now more than ever before to look after your own mental health and wellbeing, as coronavirus will impact us all in different ways. As it’s Mental Health Awareness Week, and this year’s theme is ‘Be Kind’, we thought it’d be helpful to put together a few ways you can stay positive and be kind to yourself during this time.
1. What are you grateful for?
During difficult times, it can be extremely hard to find positives as sometimes it just doesn’t feel like there are any - but there always is. Whether it’s the company of your fluffy, faithful companion who is always there, the support you have from your family and friends who love and care about you, or perhaps just the little things like being able to cook your favourite meal and enjoy tucking into some much needed comfort food.
2. Learn to let it go
Come to accept the things you can control, and those you cannot. Some of you will find this much harder than others, but if you feel things are getting on top of you, try writing down all of your worries and organise them into a list of what you can control and what you can’t control. This will allow you to focus your time and energy on the things you do have control over.
3. “This too shall pass”
If you’re feeling stuck in a negative rut, say to yourself, ‘This too shall pass’. Negative thoughts do not last forever so allow yourself to feel them, acknowledge them and rest assured that they will pass and tomorrow is a new day.
4. Stay present
Focusing on the here and now can help bring a sense of calm and rebalance. Breathing in for five seconds through the nose, and out for five seconds through the mouth for three to five minutes can help calm an anxious mind and a racing heart.
If you like this technique and it works well for you, you might want to explore meditation. Meditation can help focus your attention on your senses, such as sight, smell, hear and touch, and again, helps you stay present in the current moment rather than letting your mind run away with you.
5. Be kind to yourself
If you’re being too hard on yourself, stop and ask yourself, would I say these things to a friend who was struggling? Probably not, then you should stop treating yourself this way. If you’re having a bad day, couple of days, week etc. cut yourself some slack. You are allowed to feel down and you don’t always have to snap yourself out of it. It’s good to feel your emotions whole-heartedly in order to heal yourself and move on when the time is right.
For further support, or to find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week, please visit Mental Health Foundation.
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