Staying Positive in the Darkest of Days
Updated: Apr 10, 2020
Change can be very difficult - especially when you are not prepared for it. I've always viewed change as a positive act. During times of change, we learn a great deal about ourselves. About our reality, strength, perseverance, mindset and more! This COVID-19 pandemic has quickly brought drastic change to millions, if not billions, of people around the world. Regardless if you are fighting the virus itself, have lost your job, are unsure where your next meal will come from, or even battling homelessness, this change is real and we need to adapt.
In the interest of transparency, I write this going through immense struggle myself. I say this only so you know that what you read here will not be easy to do. It will not make everything OK, but what it will do is allow you to take control of how you handle this situation so you are not completely broken when all this is over. I encourage anyone to find time to try some of the things below to improve their overall wellness during this crisis.
1. Limit Your Media Intake
It is very important to remain well informed during this time, but we have to be mindful not to overload on media. Do I believe the media is trying to push fear out by the joule? Honestly, no I don't - at least not as much as they usually do. The media is still playing political games, however, it would be irresponsible for us to blame all the spread of fear on the media. A lot of fear and over reactions, come from people who submerse themselves in 24-hour pandemic coverage. It creates the pandemic as their only reality and that is a dangerous place to be at. When you place full focus on what is happening and don't allow yourself to enjoy parts of your life or even give yourself a break from all the COVID-19 talk, you put yourself in a position to allow fear to fill your body. If all you do everyday is watch the struggle everyone in the world is going through, how could you not let fear overcome you? That's a scary reality to live in constantly - so please don't forget to make time in your life for the things you enjoy, not matter how hard they may be to find.
2. Set Goals & a Schedule for Yourself
We can't allow ourselves to be put on "auto pilot" in our daily lives, just moving through the motions until stay at home orders are lifted. This allows us to get more depressed about the situation as you are no longer engaged with anything else but your own thoughts and the few people you may be social distancing with. A main perk of schedule and goal setting is hope. Even if you are currently working from home, schedule yourself lunch and breaks, allowing yourself to have accomplishments throughout the day which will inevitably increase your hope and happiness - and will do so even during social isolation. If you are not working from home, building a schedule could be more of a challenge, but that's exactly why it is so important. Schedule time for anything you want to involve in your daily life: going for a walk, making dinner, browsing social media, talking on the phone with friends, reading a book, watching and/or reading pandemic coverage, etc.
Anything and everything can go in your daily schedule and after some consistency, you'll notice a better attitude and outlook towards the situation. By setting a goal to call a specific friend for a wellness check or just to talk, it will give you an immediate boost in high vibration energy. First, it will become more clear that you are not alone in this. Also, the ability to accomplish goals that were set not only a felling of normalcy, but being able to accomplish goals during such an unprecedented situation, will give you more power to push through the struggle and ensure life will be OK on the other side of this crisis.
3. Practice Random Acts of Kindness
Obviously, social distancing has limited the number of people we come into contact on a daily basis, but we can still practice random acts of kindness. Are your groceries being delivered? Leave a note or a small gift for the delivery person! Maybe you have a neighbor that you can check on that may need something. Maybe your neighbor isn't able to cut their grass - just do it for them! What else you got going on right now, if you aren't an essential worker? Have you been using Uber Eats like many during this time to get food for your family? Maybe that delivery driver deserves a good review/note and a little bit extra of a tip. I am not saying anyone should do so much for others that they put them self in danger, but that extra $5 bucks for that driver could make a huge difference! I mean do you think they would be out there, putting them self at risk if they didn't need to keep working to survive?
4. Start a New Hobby
I might be a little bias, but I think meditation is a great hobby for people to start learning during this time, but it doesn't have to be meditation. Search your heart for things you are passionate about. Maybe it's something you have always wanted to start doing, but just never did. This hobby can be anything that brings your into the present moment without focusing on the pandemic. Creative writing or keeping a journal during this time can be very beneficial! The possibilities for bringing a new hobby into your life are endless and it'll bring you some of the happiness and pleasure that you are missing being able to go about life normally.
5. Checking on the Health and Wellness of Others
Checking on the wellness of others is often underestimated with regards to what it can do for you personally. Especially if you are someone who is at "low-risk" for severe symptoms, others in your community may not be. Simply calling, texting, or walking over and knocking on the door (while complying with social distancing recommendations) and asking how someone is, doesn't just make that person feel good, but it will make you feel good too! It is also good to remind yourself that there are others that have much more to lose or are struggling through stress and anxiety at a much higher level than yourself. In doing so, you transform yourself into part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
6. Focus on What You Can Control
In many aspects, we feel powerless during this situation and those thoughts come from fear, depression, anxiety, and the uncertainty of what is to come. Shifting your thoughts to what you can control rather than what you can't control will allow you to hold onto self-confidence and hope during this time. Many things beyond our control are going to happen and this is hard for many of us to accept. We want to think we are in control of our lives, and in a way we are - we have free will to make the decisions we do. However, we can't control what happens in the world around us. We can't control other peoples thoughts, words, actions, etc. but we can control how we react or don't react to them. If you find yourself wanting to react, take a moment and take a few deep, slow breathes in through your nose then out your mouth. Bring the focus inward and approach life with some mental clarity to ensure you can stay in control of your own thoughts and emotions.
7. Support and Gift
Local businesses are struggling all over the country. Do you have a favorite restaurant? Obviously, until social distancing recommendations are lifted I don't suggest trying to find a restaurant to dine-in at (nearly all around the country are closed for dine-in anyway and only allowing take out or delivery). However, buy a gift card to that business. It will help that business stay open (if they currently deliver) and will help that business pay their employees! You could even go for the double whammy and send said gift card to a friend who may be struggling a bit more than you. Not only are you helping the business stay open, but that act of kindness not only helps the individual receiving, but as mentioned above, it will help you stay or become more positive during this time.
8. Show Gratitude
This is so important! Gratitude is such an important emotion in our lives, not just towards others, but towards ourselves. I began doing something a few years ago that helped me a great deal during times of struggle. At the end of each day, write a gratitude list! It doesn't have to be a long list, but it should include things from that day that you are grateful for! When you take some time and think about it, you start to realize that even in the darkest of times, there is still so much around to be grateful for.
9. Adopt a Pet
This may not be possible for those struggling with financials right now, but many adoption centers are offering free adoptions and free vaccinations for pets adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of course, not all are doing this, the best thing to do is research your local area to find places that may be offering little to no cost. Of course, taking care of an animal will also add some expenses so I suggest taking a good look at your financial situation before doing so.
If in fact you are able, adopting a pet can add much needed energy and companionship into a household that may be suffering from the effects of social distancing and staying at home! I rescued the beautiful girl shown about 2.5 years ago. I can't even do justice in describing the amount of love that enters a house and enters your life, when you rescue a pet. She has been healing the soul during this time, always letting me know that things will be OK.
This is just a start to things you can do to stay positive and I know many people are struggling, but we need to help ourselves as much as possible so that we are able to effectively help others. Some people who read this may be saying to themselves, how can I stay positive with what I am currently faced with? I had a client reach out to me a few days ago, hoping for some ways to help until she can resume her healing sessions and get back to her daily life. As she described her situation about losing her job and her home, and not knowing what will happen next, I found myself between a rock and a hard place.
I too was struggling and going through much of the same things. My business is currently closed with all events suspended until they can resume, I have lost my home, and find myself battling back the demons in my mind that want to take over and let me give up. As I listened to her describe her feelings and emotions, I began feeling my own emotions about the situation and questioning myself.
How could I offer her advice, when I am struggling just as much as she is? I soon realized, that was the ego talking. Just because we are all struggling, doesn't mean we can't be there for each other. And just because someone is struggling doesn't mean that person still doesn't have the guidance and advice to help others. This type of shift hasn't happened to us during our lifetimes and it will cause a lot of us to invite doubt, fear, anxiety, etc. into our minds. I encourage you to do all that you can, to beat back the ego, release the fear and anxiety, and help yourself and others through this shift!
I wish everyone the best! And if anyone reading this finds themselves consumed with fear, doubt, anxiety, etc. during this time - please don't hesitate to reach out on Facebook messenger. I am not a therapist, psychiatrist, or doctor, but I am hear to listen and offer any guidance I can that may help you through this time - so you can be your true-self on the other end of this pandemic!
If you are looking for something new to try - I highly suggest looking into one of my online meditations. Our Stress Release Meditation happens every Saturday @ 7:00 am MST. This meditation is a great session for those who don't really know much about meditation. As a matter of fact, zero experience is necessary in order to benefit from these sessions. If you have been feeling stressed out or you are just looking for a new hobby, you'll be glad you gave it a try! I have brought all my meditation session down in price to just $5! Normally, the meditation sessions that Awaken One Love offers range in price from $40-$60, but in an effort to make these sessions available to all who could benefit, until this pandemic has concluded, all online group meditation sessions will remain at $5.