As media outlets continue to bombard us with distressing news about the Coronavirus, it’s only natural to worry about our well-being and safety and that of our loved ones.
It’s also the time, however, to be proactive about creating moments of happiness in our days, given the findings in psychology research that positive emotions help us to undo the negative effects of stress.
Have you heard the saying, ‘this too shall pass?” During this difficult and stressful time, repeat to yourself “this too shall pass.” We need to remind ourselves that tomorrow will be better and that we have the power to turn our day around and make it enjoyable starting right now.
From Forbes Magazine (https://www.forbes.com/sites/williamarruda/2020/03/15/9-ways-to-stay-positive-during-the-coronavirus-pandemic), here are a few tips to help you stay positive and look forward to the future.
Limit your intake.
You could watch 24-hour news channels, listen to dire warnings on the radio, or visit countless websites and be bombarded with the angst of the moment. Instead, choose a single news source and decide how much limited time you’ll spend with it each day. Then stick to your plan.
Look to the past.
Get hope from your past resilience. You have likely endured other unforeseen major life disrupters like 9/11, major hurricanes, or the financial meltdown of 2008. You made it through! And you are stronger because of it. Know that you will get through this. Remind yourself of your resilience on a regular basis.
Look after your neighbors.
You may be at low risk of severe consequences from the virus, but it may not be the same for your neighbors whose immune systems are compromised. The act of checking in on them (keeping six feet apart, of course) will not only make them feel good, it will make you feel good and remind you that there are others for whom this predicament is even more stressful.
Send gifts in the mail.
It may not be wise to drop in on your loved ones with some fresh-baked goodies, so send them a card or gift in the mail. Unexpected treats can be a huge pick-me-up-in times of stress. This is especially valuable to the elderly who are living in nursing homes. Many facilities have closed their doors to all visitors, making residents feel even more isolated and vulnerable.
Take a daily inventory.
Close your day, every day, with a positive acknowledgement of something you accomplished, learned or are grateful for. It will help dilute some of the negativity you’ve absorbed and remind you that not everything that’s happening right now is bad or depressing.
Bottom Line: Staying positive is the best way to get through periods of stress – so let your positive emotions help you see the endless possibilities in life!
Man’s Search for Meaning, by Victor E. Frankl
Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom
The Giving Tree, by Shel Silverstein
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