First things first, there is nothing wrong with positivity. Indeed a daily dose is a great pick me up and it’s like a shower… it doesn’t last forever so make it a regular habit. However, positivity all the time is draining. Also if you catch someone on a particularly bad day and you try to force them to be positive, you will most likely get a visceral reaction.
It stands to reason especially in the current climate:
“Hey isn’t everything fucking rosey?” **thumbs up**
“…We are in the middle of a pandemic and I can’t leave my house”
But optimism works in a different way. It is embracing the fact that things might not be where we want them to be right now but we are on the right track and there are things that we can control in our future.
Some of the things that have worked for me in the current climate:
Acknowledge the past. Live in the present. Look forward to the future.
The past is done, you can’t change it. If something serious happened to you in the past, seek professional help. The analogy we use, if you cut your leg off, a plaster isn’t going to cut it, right?
Practice mindfulness and breathing exercises. It takes less than a minute a day to start improving.
Look forward to the future with reckless excitement.
Get a visions board and get some lists on the go.
My life is a never-ending series of lists. And I fucking love it. Also, my visions board in my office allows me to visualise progress and things I want for the future. I review and tidy up my board at the start of every month to keep me on track.
It is scientifically proven that building the habit of gratitude rewires your brain to be optimistic. I understand if you are sick of these 30-day challenges and lifehacks but I can personally vouch for this
Avoid negativity and negative people…
….or tell them to shut the fuck up. Something I have been guilty of in the past is having a good old moan to the point where my closest friends have told me to stick a sock in it, and they were fucking right too.
You become like the 5 people you spend the most amount of time around. Choose wisely.
Track your progress
I am a huge advocate for tracking your progress. In anything. Fitness training, feelings, food, finances. Whatever it is, keep a record. Little and often is the best way. Don’t obsess over these, use it more as a guide. If we use finances as a guide, don’t be afraid to spend money, especially in the practice of self-care but getting to the 3rd week of the month and wondering where all your money went isn’t fun. I review my week and my finances every Monday.
Address your sphere of influence
Make a list of the shit you cannot control (don’t spend too long on this as there’s a metric fucktonne of things), then make a list of things you can control, primarily how you feel about the situation. This little habit allows you to address certain situations as well, rather than being overwhelmed by them.
Consider what went well
I am a huge advocate of journaling to sort my head out at the start and the end of the day.
In the morning…What am I looking forward to today? What am I grateful for?
In the evening….What 3 things am I happy with about how today went? What 1 thing would I like to improve upon?
Remember that nothing is permanent. It is easy to feel overwhelmed but this too shall pass.