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The importance of positive thinking in lockdown

With all the tragic things that are happening in the world as a result of the coronavirus, now might seem like an unusual time to talk about being positive. Yet staying positive is a core ingredient in the recipe of successful coping in a crisis.

Now, more than ever, is the time for us to be proactive about creating small moments of happiness in our days, given the findings in psychology research that positive emotions help us to undo the negative effects of stress.

I know I have found the last week quite taxing, with the added news of an extended lockdown. I have found  the days to be long, my motivation to be low and boredom is taking over. I thought for this weeks blog i would put together seven key tips which I have found to be very useful. 

Follow a routine

Follow a routine and keep to it. It can be any routine, a totally new one if you wish, it doesn’t matter. But make sure everyone in your family knows what your routine is. My routine is to set the alarm early pre clients and do a morning mobility flow. I then prepare my work for the day, allocate time for a workout.  Later in the afternoon I take the dogs for their daily walk, and ensure all admin is up to date, this gives me time to completely switch off come the evening.  

Stay active

Stay active both physically and mentally. Now more than ever is a great time to set a goal, and make the most of our hourly outing to get those steps in. But staying mentally active is really important too. If you have a favourite hobby which you can do indoors, make time for it every day.

Do something new

Talking of hobbies, do something new as well. Even if you are working from home, the likelihood is that you probably won’t be quite as busy as usual. Take this rare opportunity to do something that you have never had time to do and always wanted to. Learn a new language or a musical instrument maybe, or read those books that have been gathering dust on your shelf for years. Remove yourself from the everyday negative headlines all around us as much as you can.

Don’t be a news junkie

And talking of headlines brings us to the next point. Right now the headlines are depressing and I’m afraid far too many of us are spending too much time watching the news, which will just make you psychologically anxious. Of course keep in touch with the news but limit yourself to just once or twice a day, maybe just in the morning and evening to watch the main headlines. If you do watch TV, watch something entertaining or educational instead, or a film maybe. 

Take control

Yes, we have lost a lot of freedoms in the past few weeks. But remember, we still have some control over our lives. If you are suffering financial stress because you have either lost your job or are unable to work, don’t just sit back and worry. Collect information, find out as much as you can about what steps you can take. If you run a small business then find out about loans, call the bank or the mortgage company. If you work in a large organisation keep in touch with the HR department. If you just sit back all you will do is worry. Take control.Remember we are all in this together. 

Stay connected

This has been a huge one for me, something I really think I have taken for granted for in the past. I would have turned my nose up at zoom in the past but having to adapt with the times has made me realise the ease of staying connected. Send a text to someone you haven't heard from in a while. Facetime an old colleague or a friend. 

Reflect on working life

I have taken this time to really reflect on my business  and my lifestyle. Are your usual working hours really good for you and your family? Do you really want to carry on doing 12-hour days in a job that you maybe don’t really enjoy? Think about your work and your career. Take this time to reflect, and also to reconnect with why you're doing what you're doing. 

Every dark cloud has a silver lining and this is your chance to thicken that lining and take charge of your mental and physical  health so that you come out of this experience stronger.