The Coronavirus outbreak has brought the world anxious and trying times, bringing unpredictable difficulties. For those of us staying at home, it’s important to find the silver linings and try to stay positive, despite the complete upturning of our previous ‘normal’ life.
I am definitely a glass half-full kinda person, but at the moment it’s easy to fall into a downward spiral of worry, which I definitely did at the start of lockdown. I found not being able to predict what is going to happen, the stress of uni work, not knowing when I can next see people, and if people were going to be okay really stressful and worrying. I now have more certainty about what is happening with uni and as we’ve now been in lockdown for a while, I am doing my best to stay positive and proactive. To combat all the negative effects of stress, it’s really important to find small moments of happiness in our days. I’ve compiled a list of things to help create positive emotions/things that have made me happy over the past months.
1. Remembering to be grateful
- Being stuck at home has made me very grateful for my family. I live with my younger siblings, parents and three cats, and getting to spend so much time together has made me feel very grateful for the good relationships we have. My siblings and I get on very well, there is laughter everyday and so far we have only argued about what to have for dinner or my brother screaming and jumping at his Xbox so loud it sounds like he’s going to fall through the ceiling.
- I feel so lucky to have a garden and as we’ve been blessed with sunshine recently, the flowers are in full bloom.
- My boyfriend and friends!! I miss them all so much! I just had my birthday, which was strange but very lovely. Social media posts and cards really made me smile. Two of my friends came round my house for a distanced chat and it made my day :))
2. Savouring the small things
- Despite lockdown, we can still find pleasure in the every day things we did prior to the situation. For me this is having a huge mug of tea in the mornings, the smell of coffee, showering, stroking the cats and so on.
- This would come under gratefulness too, but lockdown had made me grateful for social media, instead of often viewing it as a negative thing. There is a huge physical distance, but this lockdown would be a very different experience without the ease of video call. The online society created via social media is bringing us all together via the challenges we’re taking part in. My university football club had tour cancelled, and instead we are racing the distance to Croatia against UoB netball for NHS Charities Together.
4. Staying active
- I’m an active person who enjoys keeping fit, but I’ve actually found this quite hit and miss in the past month. I miss having to walk to places and being able to go to the gym. I think there can also be a lot of pressure to see lockdown as a time where you need to get fit and eat healthy. But it’s a stressful time, be kind to yourself.
- Just doing a little bit here and there is important. I’ve been really enjoying going on cycle rides, but my sister has got really into home workouts, everyone is enjoying different things. But I do know that I rarely regret getting active, so when I am motivated releasing endorphins feels great.
5. Manage your news consumption
- To be checking the news or to have it on in the background is an easy habit to have and it is good to stay informed, but this might just make you less productive and more worried.
- I have stopped checking in the morning, opting to only check in on the main headlines in the afternoon. But obviously everyone is different. This article goes into more detail.
- At the moment I am quite buried in dissertation work, but it’s also a good time to find new hobbies.
- I like cooking, and so I have started a herb garden. Sadly my coriander has most likely died but we are trying to revive it, fingers crossed.
- If you’re looking for something to do, sorting through my music the other day took me hours and hours. I had so much fun finding old songs I used to love, and I compiled new playlists of my all time favourite songs/albums. Try and make a list of your top 10 songs, I couldn’t.
Take each day as it comes as we don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s okay to feel sad or unmotivated sometimes, don’t beat yourself up. Spread the love! xxx