Who would have thought that we will all find ourselves smack in the middle of a deadly, and very contagious virus in the day and age of advanced technology and modern science? No one. And not a single soul is invincible to it.

It is a very challenging world we live in now. Every little thing has become a stretch, from just living day to day, staying healthy and safe, holding on dearly to our loved ones, finding money to put food on the table, and sustaining our finances to go an extra mile. Difficult. That is what it is. 

I have seen many friends made redundant last year, and are still looking for jobs this 2021. Even business owners suffered from the endless negativity bought about by the pandemic because it all came in ripple effects. One virus, endless negative effects. And it is not yet over.

Many are struggling to live day by day but there are also a lot of people who are struggling within. I feel for them to be battling the daily challenges of life in Covid-19 when you also have something internal to deal with. It can be though but I always believe in silver linings. You should too.

So, how can we stay optimistic (with even the slightest glimmer of hope) in these dire times? Read on.

Reduce time on social media

Social media can amplify your worries and restlessness when you see posts of negative photos and stories about the pandemic. Exposing yourself to that negativity can only hurt your chances of staying optimistic as they cloud your judgment and feed your mind with unverified articles. There is nothing wrong with keeping yourself informed but only rely on authoritative websites like cdc.gov or who.int or get facts from your country’s official government site. While other feeds are note-worthy like the funny memes that can bring about a few guffaws, or checking on your family and friends’ happy activities, these will add positivity to your day. Stick to the ones that are light, funny, and loving posts. Avoid the ones that can feed you more worry.

Take up online classes

If you have been quarantined or were sent home to work remotely, think of that as an opportunity to take some time to learn new skills or even take up online classes. I was working from home for 3 months last year on the height of the pandemic crisis. After clocking each day in, I would religiously do my work as if I was at work and log off on time. Since there is more time to do extra stuff because I didn’t have to spend time in the commute from work to home and vice versa, I took that extra time to do online classes and even refresh my Japanese. I was simply enjoying that I didn’t have time to think of the worries and what-ifs that would never end in my head.

Conduct video conference calls with family and friends

Distance makes the heart grow colder. Oh, not when we have video call apps available for everyone! Distance should not deter you from enjoying good banter and even catch up on family stories and jokes with friends even during Covid-19. Thankfully, there are free video/chat apps available to use like Skype, Google Duo, Facetime, FB Video Calls, Whatsapp, Zoom, Viber that we all can try to patch a video call to our family and friends. 

Join an online support group

If you are one of those who are affected emotionally and mentally by the ongoing erratic changes in your day-to-day life, then it is best to join a support group in your community or even from your group of friends and family members. Air what’s making you restless, you need to let that go in order to welcome a fresh and brighter perspective in life. And asking for help or support is a step to keep you emotionally, and mentally safe, and secure. This is the time where we need to be more in tune with ourselves. Don’t keep it all bottled in. Ask for support.

Be grateful

The fact that you woke up to another day is a blessing in itself. Be thankful. Practice having a grateful heart and you will find yourself being more appreciative and happier especially when you start being more thankful even for the slightest things like that freshly brewed coffee you will get to drink before your work-from-home duty, that nice warm bath you can enjoy longer because there is no rush to go to work, the perky messages from family and friends, the list goes on. Focus on what you have and say “thanks.”

Meditate

This is one of the most effective methods I have tried during the lockdown when even our jobs’ security was at risk. I learned how to quiet down my worries by simply meditating. Take a moment to slow down, relax your body and mind, take deep and slow breaths and release your anxiety. Play soft and calming music. There are plenty of apps these days that you can use to play nature sounds, and some apps even guide you during your meditation. Give it a try!

Exercise 

Working out is one of nature’s best ways to make you happy. Why? Endorphins, that is why.  When we exercise, our body releases a chemical peptide that eases pain, relieves anxiety, gives you more focus, and improves your moods too. That is why it is called the feel-good chemical in our body. We should make use of that! 

Remember to give yourself a moment each day to slow down and relax to release the anxiety. Believe in the wonders of Science and Technology. Uphold the efforts of our frontliners by following safety and security protocols during this pandemic. If the government says stay home, we stay home and be safe. We are all in this together. We can overcome this pandemic. “This too shall pass.”

Photo credit: All photos are from Unplash.com/Credit to all their owners.

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