In my last blog post about looking after your mental health during Coronavirus, I mentioned that I’ve been finding journaling helpful in maintaining my sanity over the last couple of weeks and staying positive during Coronavirus. In particular, I said that when I’m feeling anxious or stressed I use one page of my journal to list the things that are bothering me, and the opposite page to list two positives for every negative.
This is, of course, easier said than done. We can’t escape the fact that there is a global pandemic in which people are dying, businesses are closing and people are unable to see loved ones due to self-isolation. It’s easy to feel guilty when thinking about the positives – personally I keep thinking that I shouldn’t be letting myself enjoy anything at the moment and worrying that writing down positives means that I’m not considering those who are in a worse situation than me.
But this isn’t true! Look at it this way: if you look after your own mental health and work on remaining positive during Coronavirus, you’ll be able to pass the positivity on to other people and it will spread to those who need it even more than you do.
How to Stay Positive During Corona Virus With a Positivity Journal
There’s no right way to create a positivity journal. You could do what I’ve mentioned above, writing down two positives for everything that’s worrying you. You could journal in the morning or the evening, you could write things down throughout the day as and when a positive thought comes into your head.
You could write in a notebook, on your phone notes, record your voice, make a video, text yourself, set up a positivity Whatsapp group with your friends and share your positive thoughts in there.
Also, you don’t have to ignore the negatives, that’s not the point. I’m not denying the fact that my business that I’ve worked hard has gone out of the window, that my 91 year old nan is incredibly lonely right now and so upset that she can’t go out and about as usual, and of course the huge impact that all of this has on our NHS, our country and the world. But it’s also ok to accept that you can’t change those things, and bring some positivity in to your life right now too.
Examples of What You Might Write in Your Journal to Stay Positive During Coronavirus
Again, there is no right or wrong thing to write in your positivity journal. Everyone’s situation is completely different, probably more so than usual, and your positives will be very different from mine. I’m going to share with you what I’ve been writing down to serve as some inspiration, but I appreciate these might not be relevant to you.
I’m conscious that some of these points might come across as shallow or insignificant, but it’s not necessarily what you write that matters – it’s the exercise of maintaining a positive mindset. I am fully aware of the severity of the Coronavirus pandemic and I’m not taking it lightly.
Anyway, here’s a big old bullet point list of what I’m seeing as positives right now to help you think of your own points and stay positive during Coronavirus.
Positives in the Community During Coronavirus
- There’s an increased community spirit, with individuals and businesses making an extra effort to help others – particularly the elderly, the vulnerable and key workers such as those in the NHS and care roles
- An example of this: my Nan has told me that she’s had countless offers of help from her neighbours to go shopping for her, cook her meals and offer some much-needed company (via the phone or through the window)
- We’re giving the environment a break! Apparently the pollution over China has visibly reduced, and think how much pollution we’re reducing with hardly any cars on the road, minimal flights and a break in international trade. And yes, there are conspiracy theories out there that Coronavirus is all poor Greta’s doing.
- People are making more of an effort to shop local and independent, showing their support to small businesses. People are actively seeking out small, independent business to order takeaways from and get their shopping from. Fingers crossed this continues on the other side!
- The news channels are starting to report on the positive stories that are emerging from the Coronavirus crisis, such as the seven-year-old boy who spent his pocket money on supplies for elderly people in his community; the musicians doing impromptu online concerts; Edward and Annie the penguins freely exploring Shedd aquarium in Chicago; and mass sing-alongs and dance-alongs happening from balconies in Italy.
- It’s easy to make a difference right now – to your friends and family, your community, the NHS and the entire country. Just by staying at home you’re making a difference, just by giving a friend a call you’re making a difference. I’ve just signed up to volunteer as an NHS volunteer responder, and you can do the same here.
Personal Positives During Coronavirus
- I’m spending more time with my family – we can’t see each other in person, but we’re calling, texting and FaceTiming much more than we usually would. Just a few days into lockdown and I actually think we’ve become closer!
- I’m spending more time chatting to my Nan – checking in on her means that we’re having more phone calls than usual, a huge positive in my books
- I’ve realised what a strong support network I have, both physically (my boyfriend helping to pay my share of bills whilst my business isn’t running and until I can find temporary work) and mentally (the friends and family who I know will instantly give me a boost when I text them)
- I have more time to spend working on my blog, and I’m creating content for fun rather than to try to build a business from it right now
- My business will recover when this is all over, and I can come back stronger and more successful than ever
- My flat is super clean! I’ve even steam cleaned my sofa.
- I’m getting all the niggly little jobs done that I’d been putting off, like finishing painting the skirting boards in the spare room
- This won’t be forever, work will come back, events will be rearranged and things will go back to normal
- I have time to develop new skills – I’ve started practising yoga and taking the online photography course I wanted to do. Maybe I’ll even start learning a new language!
- I’m appreciating the smaller things more, like fresh sheets, a hot bath, my favourite tunes
- I can get stuck into the long list of books that I want to read
- I managed to get my old study desk from my parents just before we were advised against non-essential travel, and a pink office chair just before the shops started shutting, meaning that I have a lovely space to write and work from!
- I’m getting more creative in the kitchen
- There’s no such thing as FOMO right now as there is nothing to miss out on!
- I don’t need to feel guilty about not going to the gym, because I can’t!
Finally, I just want to remind you that this won’t be forever. The more that you can do to help yourself and in turn others, the sooner things will be back to normal. This includes physical actions like staying at home, and mindset actions like remaining positive and spreading that positivity to others.
For more lockdown content have a read of the below:
- Self-Isolating? Give Yourself a Break and Have a Holiday at Home
- How to Look After Your Mental Health During Coronavirus
- 10 Things to do at Home During Lockdown
- Staying Positive During Coronavirus – Positivity Journaling
- Getting Itchy Feet? Virtual Travel Experiences to Keep You Entertained During Lockdown
- 7 Ways to Cheer Someone up During Lockdown