Staying positive can be hard in difficult situations. Now, more than ever, the whole world is struggling to find hope in the midst of this pandemic. Families and individuals, who have had symptoms, exposure and the sickness itself, fervently pray for a negative test result. And we join them to hope for positive outcomes.
Whether you are stricken with the illness or the fear, in the hospital or at home, below are 5 simple steps to help us stay positive in this negative time.
Believe it or not, gratitude has scientific benefits, not only in our outlook in life but in our overall health. A study in 2016 required a group of people to write a gratitude letter every day for 4 weeks. They were compared to another group who attended counselling and another who did nothing. It was amazing to see that the group who wrote the letters reaped a general improvement in their mental health as compared with the other groups!
If you want to, you can but, you, actually, need not write a letter every day. Make things simple and just be thoughtful about the things you are thankful for each morning and you’re good to go for the day. Our list can be as short as 3 things, big or small. Watch what happens after several days and weeks!
Think positive thoughts
What is positive thinking? Is it disregarding the negative things staring at you right in your face?
According to selfcaredaily.co, positive thinkers make the best out of every situation, focusing on what they can control, letting go of what they cannot, and searching for ways to improve the situation and for lessons to learn. I know, right? This definition cannot be more appropriate in our current pandemic situation and we should try to do just that! Again, this time, step-by-step. To be a POSITIVE THINKER, one should:
- Make the best out of the situation
- Focus on things you CAN control
- Let go of things you CANNOT control
- Find ways to improve the situation
- And look for lessons to learn
If you haven’t yet, then start looking closely for the silver lining in these dark clouds. Is it in staying at home and spending time with family? Or is it in feeling more fulfilled in your job? Have you asked yourself what you CAN do? How about what you CANNOT do? As above, stick to what you CAN do! Bless the health workers for they are capable of helping the Covid patients directly. Commend the government officials for they have the power to direct aid where it is most needed. Lucky are the other front liners for they are able to serve in this time of great need. For most of us at home, staying home is our number 1 contribution. It is hard to imagine, but doing just that, we help improve the situation. One day, we will all look back and be thankful for the things the pandemic and quarantine has taught us.
Now, let’s pack more of our positive thoughts, not only for today but for future’s use as well. Let’s claim it! What do we want to do after the quarantine is lifted? What food do we want to eat? Things we want to buy? Friends we want to visit? What are you waiting for? Get your calendars and start marking! Believe and it’s happening!
Productivity can mean a lot of things. For manufacturing companies, it may mean turning raw materials into sellable products. They check the quality to ensure customer satisfaction. For farmers, it could be either planting seeds to harvest fruits for tomorrow or harvesting fruits yesterday to turn to profit today, contributing to healthy eating of their consumers. For the event specialists, it is in carefully planning and coordinating with suppliers and people involved to run an organized party, thereby making his clients happy.
The common denominator, I find, is that you gain something for the work that you put in, whether tangible or intangible. And whatever it is that you have gained, it is relative, not only for how you’ve worked for it, but also in how you feel about it.
Wherever we’re at today, let us continue to be productive in our own unique ways.
If we are aiming for tangibles, then, we can start that ideal exercise routine we haven’t had time for and get that body we were dreaming of. We can attend that webinar and be certified for an important skill at work. We can spend time teaching our kids their weak subjects and spend less time, once school starts. We can complete crafts or woodworking projects so we can start the business of selling them once we’re allowed out of our homes.
Or we can aim for outcomes felt by the heart. Be it doing our jobs despite the risks (treating patients, fixing traffic, or delivering food), staying indoors, watching TV or reading this article, I hope you are happy with the things you reap: fulfillment and happiness, safety and relaxation, and learning and inspiration.
Connect with others
I am writing this article because I want to hold your hand in this difficult time. This is not the time to be alone or to feel alone. Now is the best time to be active on social media. Why don’t you send a message to your high school best friend? Or say Hi to your college barkada (peers)? Go ahead and like the post of your neighbor. Comment on your parents’ blurred selfie. Share your colleague’s small business page. Spend time every day to ask how others are doing and update them, also, on how you have been. Share inspiring articles and spread love, however, you can. Because we, all, need it now.
Keep on praying
Last but definitely not the least, we need to bend our knees and pray. We can only do so much at our present situation in this pandemic but our Faith will definitely be the one to see us through. And however we express our faith outwards, it is how we hold onto it inward that will count. Some people read the Bible and seek inspiration in the Word of God. Others pray the Rosary and feel one with Jesus’ sacrifices in His life here on earth. Reciting prayers bring a sense of God’s powerful protection for our families and ourselves. Attending services and the Holy Mass keep us in touch with our Creator. I know that we have been yearning and praying for the very same thing: for the pandemic to end. So, have Faith. Let go and let God. He has been carrying us, way before this pandemic even started. In Psalm 34:17, it is said: When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears, and rescues them from all their troubles.
Y. Joel Wong, Jesse Owen, Nicole T. Gabana, Joshua W. Brown, Sydney McInnis, Paul Toth & Lynn Gilman (2018). Does Gratitude Writing Improve the Mental Health of Psychotherapy Clients? Evidence from a randomized controlled trial, Psychotherapy Research, 28:2, 192-202, DOI: 10.1080/10503307.201601169332