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Staying positive in challenging times

Last reviewed on 02 July 2020

All of us are having good and bad days at the moment. Some days you can almost forget about what’s happening and then the next coronavirus can seem to take over all of your thoughts.

It can be hard to stay positive, this is completely normal, but it’s important to have more good days than bad, if you can.

Whether you are on your own or lucky enough to be surrounded by family and friends, we all need to look after our mental health. When we feel mentally strong, we sleep better and we tend to try new healthy habits, all of which will help our immune system thrive.

Starting the day with positivity can really help you to improve your self-esteem and self-confidence. We’ve put a few simple exercises for you to try, give them a go and see how you feel!

Start the day with some happy thoughts

Now this may sound a bit strange but a good way to start the day is by looking into a mirror and saying something positive to yourself, perhaps simply “today will be a good day”. Even if you feel a little bit silly, do it every day and you’ll start to see the impact it has on the way you feel.

Focus on the small, good things that happen

It’s all about the little wins at the minute and remembering to look for the good things that happen to you. When you look for positivity your brain remembers and the more you do it, the more good things you will notice which will hopefully make you feel happier. The NHS has a Free App that is designed to help you build confidence, energy and a positive mindset

Look for laughter everyday

Whether it’s a colleague who makes you giggle, a comedy sketch on television or a funny pet video on YouTube, actively look for fun. When you laugh your body and brain is flooded with happy hormones which will help you to stay mentally strong. If you find something that made you laugh, now is the time to share it with others.

Stay social and reach out to others

Whether you live on your own or with others, being connected to other people is really important, sometimes just having a chat can make the world seem a brighter place.

Communities are really coming together in this crisis which is amazing to see and there are lots of ways you can help out in your local area, in a socially distanced way.

Our Co-operate platform allows you to offer your support to people in your local community and you can also ask for support if you need it. If you have lots of friends and family to connect with, can you reach out to other colleagues who may be lonely?

Spotting negativity in others

Listen out for colleagues excessively blaming themselves, overly focusing on bad news or events, predicting doom and gloom, or demonstrating exaggerated negativity in their language.

How to help colleagues turn fear and negative thoughts into positive actions:

  • Recognise and catch the thought – make a list of the thoughts
  • Challenge the negativity and explore the evidence to support the negative thought
  • Release the judgement around the thought
  • Flip it to something positive
  • Practice and practice some more

Other things you can encourage

Avoid excessive exposure to media coverage and ensure information is only gained from credible sources. Encourage connection with support mechanisms of colleagues, friends and family whilst social distancing.

Reach out for professional support

It’s OK to ask for help. It’s OK to ask for help. Find out more in the useful link and support sections.