Life today is unrecognizable for many. Local businesses are temporarily closed, jobs are on hold, and social distancing guidelines have been set. The change in routine and the fear generated around the Coronavirus pandemic can be hard for many to keep a positive outlook. Follow the 5 simple tips below to stay positive during this time.

1. Write in a Gratitude Journal

It’s easy to focus on the negatives, we all do it. But keeping a gratitude journal and writing a reflection of all of the small or big moments that you have in your day can shift your outlook and boost your mood. The items on your list can be as big as having extra time with your family or a video call with a friend or as small as the cup of coffee you were able to enjoy in quiet or the stroll you took down the block. Re-read the items on your list that you are grateful for when you’re having a difficult time. It can change your perspective and allow you to seek out the positives in your day.

2. Be Kind to Yourself

With extra time at home during these months, you may feel pressured to be productive with your time, but understand that it’s ok to also use this slow time as a break. Don’t feel guilty for not cleaning your home, learning a new hobby, or getting fit — do what is best for you. If that means binge watching a show that makes you happy, catching up on sleep, or spending time in nature, do it and don’t think twice about it. You’ll have plenty of time to get your checklist done at a later date. Sometimes taking a break and clearing your mind can be the biggest motivation booster.

3. Unplug from Social Media

If it’s difficult to not compare yourself to others who you follow on social media, temporarily unplug and put a pause on your scrolling to see if that improves your mood. We mentioned in our last tip to not put pressure on yourself to be productive, but you may get that pressure subconsciously from viewing what others are doing at their homes. Social media is only a highlight reel and many people do not choose to share the lows that happen during their days, which is important to recognize.

4. Focus on Positive Stories

While there is a lot of negative news circulating around us right now, there is also a lot of positive stories. Community members are going out of their ways to thank essential workers, friends are organizing “birthday parades” to safely wish a happy birthday from a distance, and families are supporting local and ordering curbside services. While life may seem out of control, you can control what stories you are reading. You may continue to monitor the news for COVID-19 updates, but make sure to limit it and fill your daily news intake with more positive stories.

5. Practice Self-Care

Quarantine may have changed your daily routine but don’t neglect your self-care ritual because of that. Continue to get plenty of sleep, eat a well-balanced diet, prioritize personal hygiene, and stay active. The way you feel physically can have a drastic impact on your mood. Even if you have nowhere to go, getting on a schedule, waking up at the same time every morning, and dressing for the day can put you in a positive mood and energize you for the day ahead.

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