Bad news seems to be all across the headlines and in our social feeds, it can be really hard to stay positive. But we have to try. So, we thought we’d share some of the ways we’re trying to remain positive and block out some of the negativity.
Avoiding the news
Although the government have said they’d try and share more balanced news, it seems that with every new report there just seems to be more bad news. It becomes more frightening and is affecting many of us and our mental health more and more. If you feel this way, we’d suggest you limit your exposure to the news reports. For example, we’re only looking at news reports first thing in the morning and before dinner in the evening. After that, we’re not looking to any news channels or stories. This will help you to stay in touch with the latest information without obsessing and therefore exacerbating any anxiety induced symptoms. Importantly, most stats are not updated more than once or twice a day, so you are not missing vital information.
Now is also the time to filter where you get your news from. Limit it to one or two trusted sources (local and national for example) or avoid it an only go on the government website to see the latest.
Social distancing from social media
Not only is it on every news story but it’s all over social media. And it’s mostly not reassuring or comforting. So why not try a little distancing from social media. Avoid the newsfeed and turn to specific pages instead of scrolling through. Artists such as John Legend are giving free live concerts on Instagram, people are sharing uplifting stories of solidarity and tips and tricks to entertain the kids – that is what you need to fill your social media time with.
You don’t need your newsfeeds to stay connected, get in touch with friends and family personally. Whether over Messenger, WhatsApp, a text or call. There will be an initial discussion over it, but once you’re past that, talk movies or series you’re catching up on, new skills you’re learning, a recipe you tried, a book your reading etc. You can share things you’re finding of interest to help inspire and occupy them too. Keep the conversation light and happy and it’ll do you the wealth of good.
You could also try and set up group chats to have little games for a little light relief. We suggest the following:
- Who’s worth more- you pick two celebrities and determine who is wealthier (it can be quite surprising).
- Blood on the tracks, chat edition– pick a category/question and get your friends/family to share their pick of songs and why. E.g. Best entrance music, best guitar solo, best end of night song etc. This is a great way to share music you love and perhaps introduce your friends to something new.
- Kiss, Marry, Kill– pick 3 people and let your friends decide what they’d do.
- Name the song– pick a lyric from a song and get your friends to guess what it is.
- Would you rather…. – send to your friends with a question, could be silly or serious! E.g. would you rather have powers of invisibility or flight? See what they come back with.
Focus on the good things at home
With a lot of events, shows and travel being cancelled or postponed and our movements outside the house being limited, it can be difficult to fall back on the usual tactic of ‘something to look forward to’. So, instead try and focus on the positive things at home. It could be cuddles with your kittie or dog, playing a game you loved as a kid with your children, discovering a new book, learning a new skill, enjoying your creature comforts etc.
Why not do a bit of reminiscing? Most of us keep all of our pictures and videos on our computers. Hook it up to the TV or set them to on your computer to slideshow. Shared experience and memories of trips you’ve had, parties you went to, the friends you were with are all sure to help brighten your mood. As and when you’re thinking of people you’ve shared these experiences with, be sure to drop them a message to let them know you’re thinking of them. It’s sure to brighten their day too.
Do things you enjoy
Doing things you enjoy and allowing yourself treats is a great way to boost your mood. Take a bath, allow a little rest time on the bed with an aromatherapy candle, read a book, have some chocolate, bake some cookies, do a bit of online shopping if you can’t get out. Be sure to do the things you enjoy to help yourself feel better and more comfortable.
Be sure to do things away from the TV. Play a boardgame or cards, play hide and seek with little ones, build forts, play computer games. Let your inner child out and have a little fun. Create memories and lasting moments with those you love and it’ll surely bring you joy.
Learn a new skill
There is nothing better to take your mind off things than to focus all your brain power on learning something new. Especially if you can’t work from home, you will miss the mental challenge soon, so choose something and get started.
It is fun, usually productive, but will also help you have a new focus and come out of this with a new trick up your sleeve.
Try and remain upbeat, it’s scary times at the moment but if you can stay indoors as much as possible and relish the opportunity to get a little rest and relaxation, avoid bombardment of bad news and keep in touch with our loved ones it will be all seem a little better.