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How to Stay Positive

Updated: Jul 29, 2020


I was recently told by a good friend that I'm not the best motivational speaker because of my bluntness and succinct elucidation; however, since she finds my counsel 'for the most part' spot on, I've been challenged to write an article on 'how to stay positive.' I'm only doing this because of the word 'challenge,' by the way, LoL!

All right-y then. Let's get this started.

There's no way to sugarcoat the world's current plight: it's bedlam out there. It was bad enough when all we had to worry about were how to block the noise from politicians' consistent arguing over one topic after another with no resolution in sight; how to acquire better opportunities in life despite one's upbringing; how to stay relevant in today's job market; and how to find time to reconnect with family or friends who decided to maroon to another state (or country) because local taxes are a wallet drainer. In addition to this comically unfortunate cocktail list, we now also have to introduce an invisible deadly virus in pandemic proportions with no known cure while some face the harsh reality of being ordered to quarantine.

See? Bedlam.

So, how do you stay positive when faced with these circumstances?

1. Be Present

What exactly does being present mean? You have to live in the moment. Now, to live in the moment doesn't mean you can't create future plans or goals; it only means that you have to experience life as it is right now by appreciating what you currently have. Make a list of things that make you happy and wonderful events/moments that recently happened to you. For instance, here's my list: I'm happy that I, along with close family and friends, are healthy and well; that my extraordinarily awesome circle of close friends come from all walks of life; that the company I am a part of cares about the personal development of their employees, so the CEO procured a webinar with one of Tony Robbins' National Speaker; that our cats are well trained; that no matter how I complain about my life, it's still better than others; and that electricity and technology were invented.

2. Connect

If you find social distancing/isolation unbearable, make sure to connect with your loved ones via phone, FaceTime/Skype/Facebook Messenger, or e-mail. If you're lonely and miss them, they probably also feel the same. Also, use this opportunity to reconnect with family and/or friends you haven't talked to in a while. You never know how your unexpected affable presence may brighten their day especially if they are suffering from anxiety or depression. As for me, I am keeping in touch with family and friends from all four parts of the world by utilizing technology.

3. Practice Daily Habits

Did you have a routine or schedule before the quarantine? It's best to stick to your normal routine and not divert far from it. During pre-coronavirus days, we typically had control in many aspects of our life. Consistency is key to maintaining control of day to day activities. It also allows your body clock to remain the same in the event that things finally start looking up. For instance, I try to sleep before midnight (unless I become engrossed in a really good book/story), and do these three things every day: 1) read the international news & follow the market every morning; 2) AM & PM skincare routine; and 3) indulge in personal time to pursue topics that interest me.

4. Take Care of Your Mind & Body

Now is the time to pick up a new hobby that you never had time for because work commute ate up much of your free time. Find something that will enrich your mind. Read a book or take up an on-line class about a subject you've always wanted to learn. Make sure that you're keeping hydrated, eating at regular intervals, and taking your vitamins/supplements. Your mind and body are two of your greatest assets. Without them, you have no future. So, don't neglect them. For instance, I take care of my mind by alternating from these activities: 1) watching MasterClass; 2) reading books/stories; 3) learning photo editing skills; 4) writing poetry; and 5) continuing to write my novel. I take care of my body by taking vitamins after breakfast, drinking plenty of water, stretching throughout the day, and when I'm in my office, I use the second floor bathroom. That way, I can run up and down the stairs to keep my body moving.

5. Lessen Anxiety & Worries

When it comes to my professional life, I've learned years ago that it's vital to keep an optimistic mindset no matter how stressful and maddening things got. You need to identify exactly WHAT is holding you back; identify WHY it's holding you back; identify steps you can take to OVERCOME it; and then identify ways you can PREVENT it from happening again. This will not be an easy journey. It will be long and arduous. At first, you may feel incompetent, vulnerable, and powerless. You will fail. As time goes by and you start to have a better sense of self-awareness, it will gradually get easier. You will fail again, but you'll bounce back faster each time. You'll keep learning, and you'll add it to your ever growing list of ammunition. I do not suffer from anxieties; however, that is only because I tackle my worries the same way I tackle obstacles in my professional life. Some people find value in practicing mindful meditation. Some people need guidance from a trusted confidant. Some people seek out mentors. Whatever you think will help you, just do it. Your future self will thank you.

6. Relax

When we're stressed out, ruminating on too many thoughts, or after making an important decision, it's pertinent to find an outlet. Drink tea and get lost in a book. Spend time with your pet(s). Listen to music. Get a massage (for now, settle from a loved one). Take a warm and soothing bath. Paint. Stargaze. Find something to aid in your relaxation. As for me, I listen to music, read a book, watch TV, and shower a little longer than usual.

Take care of yourself and stay safe!

PS

I actually wrote a semi-formal article on LinkedIn about looking for the silver lining in every situation. It was a piece spurred on by exasperation; a few friends were panicking about the current state of affairs. The article, although substandard, was a way to dissuade them from taking certain steps due to fear. If you're interested in reading it, here's the link: Look for the Silver Lining





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