2020 has certainly proven to be adventurous, and not quite in the way anyone ever anticipated. Kitchens and family rooms have been transformed into school rooms and workspaces. Car picnics have replaced restaurant date nights at Shinobu Japanese BBQ. Bedrooms have transitioned into makeshift home gyms.
Change is everywhere, and even positive change can add stress to our bodies. To avoid being overwhelmed by negative emotions, here are three ways to infuse positivity in our “new normal” lives.
Find gratitude for everyday things.
During times as challenging as these, it’s easy to dwell on the negative. Refocusing, instead, on all the things in your life you can be grateful for is a great step to maintaining a positive attitude. Have you tried a gratitude journal? Research has shown that “people who kept track of their gratitude once a week were more upbeat and had fewer physical complaints than others.” Not much of a journaler? Try a gratitude app to help you reflect on the highlights of every day or week.
Consider your physical health.
It’s commonly understood that mental and physical health are intertwined. If your physical health is somehow suffering, your mental health is likely struggling as well. It makes sense that the endorphins, previously triggered during a great gym workout or beach run, might not be stimulated as much during your altered living room workout.
A healthy night’s sleep, introducing some self-care routines (like long bubble baths), eating nutritious meals, and mixing up your at-home workout are all ways to physically boost your mental health. By making even small changes to your daily routine, the benefits will make it easier to maintain positivity.
It’s hard to stay positive while we still deal with social distancing and city-wide dining and entertainment restrictions. But, if you can focus on the bigger picture, now is a great time to start setting some goals, trying a new hobby, or even planning your dream vacation. Taking a page from Timothy A. Pychyl, PhD, it’s a good time to remember that “progress on our goals leads to more positive emotions and more satisfaction with life.”
There have been many changes in our world and individual lives this year. Seek to remain positive by testing out these three ideas. Once this has finally passed, you’ll be able to look forward to the future with the confidence in knowing you can effectively tackle your obstacles. That sounds like a good move in a positive direction.