5 Tips for Positivity During Covid-19

Haven’t left home in 108 hours. Sick of watching infomercials. Have only communicated with the outside world via email. The news is doom and gloom. Grateful for the person who dialed the wrong apartment number.  

If working from home is new to you, or the COVID19 period is negatively impacting your usual routine I can relate! Rather than let it get me down I have made a list of ways to stay positive. Having a positive mindset might help you make the most of this time and get through easier. Hopefully these ideas help you but remember there is further support out there- we’ve included a link to Beyond Blue at the bottom.

1. STAY BUSY

It is said going to work is good for our mental health, the reason is because it keeps us occupied. I’m sure we all don’t mind a few days at home on the couch watching Dr Phil, Judge Judy and reruns of Friends from time to time, but after a while it’s all the same. Stuck at home, and there’s a sense of monotony with the commute… from the desk, to the dining table, to the lounge, to the bed (or the fridge!). Maybe you’ve removed a few steps already…

For those of you who thrive on routine, it’s important to set one up (and hopefully more than the 10am: MAFs replay). If To-Do lists motivate you, write one. Do all the same things which you would do in the office to get into your flow.

Keep busy. Get up, do that morning run you’ve always dreamed about. Sign in (at your desk, not the bed), get a few bits of work out the way. Do online training or watch a new TED talk. Join the millions who’ve taken up making banana bread from scratch. Watch a yoga recording and try it out on your own. Challenge yourself, learn something new. The body needs a balance of food and exercise, likewise, the brain needs a balance of stimulation and rest.

2. STAY SOCIAL

This one is the silent killer- you haven’t talked to anyone for 3 days except via email or instant messenger. A lack of communication leads to feelings of isolation, which even in its early stages can leave us feeling irrational and a little cranky… or worse. It’s vital we maintain contact with friends, family and colleagues during this time.

Here’s a few suggestions

  • Set up a Microsoft Teams/ Zoom/ Skype/ BlueJeans call with friends; have lunch together and talk about the day, or even have the call running so you have light conversation between work tasks.
  • Host virtual beers (or beverage of choice) on a Friday. Host a team meeting where your team can blow off some steam, throw some banter, and chat about the week's challenges and successes
  • Stay connected through social media too- post recipes on Yammer, message on Teams about weekend projects, get involved with your team and company chat groups.
  • Host family Trivia night, board games online or even a virtual watch party.

You’re not just helping yourself; you’re making sure your friends, family and colleagues aren’t feeling isolated too

3. STAY HEALTHY

Let's skip over the obvious- wash your hands, social distance, don’t go out unless you must. But don’t fall into the snacking trap- bury the chocolate. Resist the urge to pick up some corn chips. Eat what you normally take to the office, including your prepacked healthy snacks. Or you could even take this opportunity to improve your dietary habits!

Remember exercise levels are likely to drop- those 3000 steps walking to the station, or from the car, aren’t there anymore. Your gym is closed too. But, not only are there literally thousands of free fitness videos on YouTube, but there’s some great services which are tailormade for working out at home in the style which suits you.

4. PRIORITISE YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Everything I’ve mentioned so far contributes to your mental health, but there are some extra steps too. Firstly, remember it’s okay to NOT be okay, especially during these uncertain times. Take time to listen to yourself. If you find you are excessively checking the news headlines and online updates, unable to focus on work, or focusing more on fears rather than facts around the COVID19 situation and the economic impact then it’s really important to take a “stock take” of how you are feeling, talk to someone about those feelings and ask for help. Be kind to yourself and remember to do the things which you need to do to look after yourself- set a routine, look after yourself, and enjoy the little moments. The COVID19 situation will come to an end; and at the very least, we can find some positivity in this.

5. PAY IT FORWARD

We have all helped someone - retrieving the Nutella jar off the top shelf, giving directions, or even further- there’s some great stories going around about people who’ve helped grocery shop for others who couldn’t make it recently or telephoned an old friend they haven’t heard from in a while to reconnect. Not only do these actions help people around you, but those warm and fuzzy feelings make us feel good instantly. And, of course, a community which helps each other are likely to form stronger bonds, a more positive outlook, and a determination to get through- just like many regional communities demonstrated during the bushfire crisis of 2019/2020. While we implore you to look after your own safety first, you could do things like:

  • Share a positive video
  • Tell someone you miss them, and why
  • Post a joke, meme, or something funny in your group chat

Those are my 5 tips for staying positive during the COVID19 situation, and I hope you’re able to apply some of them. If you have any other ideas on how we could stay positive, I would love to hear from you.

Beyond Blue has a number of national helplines and websites you can use if you need assistance.

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