The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us in ways we could never have imagined, from unprecedented amounts of family time to home-schooling to working remotely – or not working at all. These sudden, rapid changes in the way we live, coupled with uncertainty, can feel overwhelming. While we may know that it’s helpful for everyone to stay positive, it’s sometimes easier said than done. Here are some suggestions for uplifting your outlook:
Focus On What You Can Control
While you cannot control your feelings, your thoughts, or the actions of others, you are not powerless. Shifting your attention toward those aspects of life that you can control can help restore your sense of agency and self-confidence. Things in your control can be as simple as your daily and nightly routine, what you eat, and what you wear each day. They can also be as profound as how you speak to yourself, how you’ll pursue your beliefs and goals, and how you’ll respond under pressure. Whether they be big or small, mundane or extraordinary, challenge yourself to make a list of all the things within your control.
Even when life seems bleak during the current pandemic, there are things we still have for which we should be grateful. Establish a daily practice in which you remind yourself of the gifts, grace, benefits, and good things you enjoy. Notice both significant and small items for which you are thankful. Important things can include your home, your health, your family, your friends, your ability to put food on your table, and other essentials. Small things are more momentary pleasures, like a hot cup of coffee, a calming bath, a good book. Be sure to include as much detail into your gratitude journal as possible.
Limit Your Media Intake
In order to be up-to-date on the CDC’s and WHO’s recommendations on the COVID-19 pandemic, you may be glued to your phone, TV or computer. Of course, we all want information and guidance on what we can do to keep ourselves and our family safe, but the amount of information can be a double edged sword. Limiting how much time you spend watching the news and scrolling through social media can help restore a sense of normalcy while reducing your sense of dread. This doesn’t mean putting your head in the sand, but being knowledgeable and respectful of your own emotional and psychological limits.
Set A Personal Schedule And Goals
Continuing to take steps toward your personal and career goals can also help you throughout all this. This may be through exercise, reading, writing, honing old skills or acquiring new skills. While the pandemic may have put some things on hold, you should continue to take reasonable steps toward becoming your ideal self.
Invest In The Uplifting
Surround yourself with uplifting media, people, activities, and thoughts that can help encourage a more optimistic outlook and mindset. The more you immerse yourself in activities that involve peace, happiness and positivity, the more it can influence your mood and outlook. Make time for the things that bring you joy, whether it’s reading a novel or cooking something new. Self-care is important, now more than ever.
Celebrate Small Wins
It may be tough right now, but so far, you’ve managed everything really well. Think about the physical, mental and emotional struggles you may have encountered in the last few months, and the good – even great – way you handled those challenges. Close each day with a positive acknowledgement of something you’ve accomplished, learned or are grateful for. It will help dilute some of the negativity you’ve absorbed from social media or the news and will remind you, not everything that’s happening right now is bad.
Remember it will not be this way forever. This is a difficult time, but it’s just that – a time. You’ve got this!