Whether you’re staying at home in self-isolation or going about your business while social distancing, right now times are tough and it’s all down to one thing – the coronavirus pandemic. People are scared, stressed out, and unsure so far this summer and it’s no surprise. None of us know when things are going to get back to normal and many of us are worried about our health and the health of our loved ones as well as the wider community. With things as they are, it’s all too easy to fall into a negative mindset, but that would be counterproductive.
Obviously, it’s important that we all know the fact and we do what we can to minimize the risks – ignorance is not always bliss – but there’s no need to spiral into negativity, or spend every waking hour glued to the TV news, which let’s face it usually just makes things worse! Staying positive is far better for our mental health and that’s great for our physical health too – thew two are inextricably linked. Since we all need to be as healthy as we can right now it makes sense to keep positive, but how can we do that?
Limit your news intake
If you’re a news junkie, this one might be a bit hard to start with, but it’s worth persevering with it because too much time starting at or reading about all of the doom and gloom in the world this summer will just bring you and your family down. So, set aside a specific period of time in which you can watch/read your favorite news sources and then stop., Do something else instead; it’s summer so heading out for a walk with the family (if it’s safe to do so) could be a good option that will make you feel better rather than worse. You could also read a good book, snuggle up o the couch, or play a board game with the kids – anything that’s likely to get you feeling a bit more upbeat is ideal.
Remember past disasters
Remembering past disasters and times you struggled might seem like a good way to feel even more negative about life, and it could be if you dwell on what went wrong, but if you remind yourself how you got through other hard times in the past, it will help you to feel stronger and more like you can get through anything. Remind yourself regularly of your resilience and resolve to keep on going – you can do it.
Plan a vacation
You may not want or even be able to go on vacation right now, although more countries are allowing visitors as you can see at this travel updated list so it could be a possibility – but research has shown that you can get just as much happiness and enjoyment from planning an amazing vacation as you would get from actually jetting off! It sounds mad, but it’s completely true, and since it is summer, what could be better to lift your spirits than pouring over exotic locations and all the things you can do there as soon as you get the chance. Get the family involved and you can all choose a dream location/vacation activity that will lift your spirits and give you something to look forward to in the future.
Mindfulness is all about being in the present moment, watching your thoughts but not identifying with them or following them down the rabbit hole. It can be an excellent practice for anyone who is plagued with negative thoughts or anxieties. It teaches you how to simply be and stop listening to every single thought that goes through your head. It gives you space and in that space you can find a little bit of peace. Even if you can only spare five minutes to mindfully make a cup of tea, it will be five minutes well spent and you may just find yourself feeling so much better than you ever thought possible.
Watch something funny
Whether its a video of a cute cat being cute on Youtube or a few episodes of The Good Place on Netflix, spend some of your time this summer watching funny stuff and you’ll quickly be able to lift your spirits. Funny shows can help to take your mind of negative events and laughing can boost your mental health as well as your immune system, which is something we all need while coronavirus is an issue. It might seem like such a simple thing that it couldn’t possibly work, but give it a try and you might just be surprised.
Video Call a loved one
If you’re social distancing you might be missing the usual BBQs and picnics that so many of us look forward to in the summer, but you know what? You can still recreate them. Cook up some delicious food and lay out a blanket in the yard before video calling a good friend or family member who’s doping the same. It won’t be quite as much fun as being together in person where you can hug and touch and all the good stuff, but it might just help you to feel a little less isolated because let’s face it, even if you’re living with a whole busy family right now, there are still plenty of people to miss and it can be lonelier than many of us would like to admit.
Take up a new hobby
Whether you get the whole family involved in landscaping the garden or you escape to a quiet corner of the garden and learn how to knit, crochet, or sew in the sun, now is the perfect time to take up a new hobby. You’re likely to have more time on your hand and fewer interruptions so make the most of it and do that one thing you always wanted to do but could never quite fit into your schedule.
Summer should be a fun and easy time so don’t let coronavirus spoil it for you and take action to stay positive and have fun!