How to Stay Positive During the COVID-19 Pandemic

How to Stay Positive During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Written By: Julia Pryor

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the daily lives of millions of people around the world have transformed. Workers have been laid off from their jobs, students have been released from traditional schooling, and citizens everywhere have been forced into quarantine, isolated from family, friends, and the outside world. As the virus continues to spread and uncertainty about life moving forward grows, many people have noticed the toll it's taken on their mental health. Feelings of anxiety, fear, and depression have become normalized, and many have faced difficulty in overcoming these negative feelings and staying positive.

So how do you maintain a positive mindset during these difficult times? That too can be difficult to answer, as everyone has a different perception of positivity, and reacts differently to certain methods. The following are methods that I have personally used in order to stay positive while in self-quarantine over the past few months.

1. Only trust information from reliable, fact-based sources such as The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and The World Health Organization (WHO). If you only follow credible news sources, you still stay involved, but also help to ease your anxiety and manage your fear or panic. I also recommend avoiding sources where rumors and false information gain attention, such as social media sites like Twitter, or the news if the constant media coverage overwhelms you.

2. Have a support system. In these times, it’s more important now than ever to depend on those around you. Eat meals with your family, watch television or movies together, and anything else indoors. Having interactions with supportive people can give you strength, and also provide a sense of normalcy. It can also remind you that although you are social distancing, you are not alone. However, if you’re not able to interact with your family or friends in real life, video chat and social media are also great ways to stay connected.

3. Practice self-care activities. “Self-care” can be defined as any action taken to preserve one’s own health or happiness. Popular activities include reading, writing, drawing, singing, dancing, cooking, watching movies, and more. You can even practice self-care outside by going on a walk or run, biking, gardening, or exercising.

4. Remind yourself of what is good in your life. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the negative, or what is especially difficult right now. Acknowledging those struggles and feelings is completely valid, but it’s important to remember that those feelings will pass and life will return to a version of normal. In the meantime, express gratitude by creating a list of all of the good things in your life, no matter how small. Doing so can shift your mindset into something more positive, and help you to survive quarantine in a happier way.

The struggle to control COVID-19 is far from over. It will continue to be a presence in our lives, and will continue to shape the world in which we live. But the move forward begins with us. In doing our part in keeping ourselves healthy and safe, not only in terms of the virus, but in terms of our mental health as well. In maintaining a positive mindset, we will overcome the struggles posed by self-isolation, and we will be that much more grateful when life slowly but surely returns to normal.

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