How do you fight stress during a crazy time in life? As I write this, I am home from work for at least two weeks, and my kids are out of school for at least three more weeks. Some may find this overwhelming, stressful, exhausting, sad, or confused. I choose to see this is a blessing. I’m going to share with you how I stay positive in a time like this.
First off, it’s a choice. Trust me, I know that it’s not always an easy one to make, but you can. I want that first thought in your head when you wake up, to be of joy.
Think back to the days that you wake up already dreading the day ahead. You go through your list of things that you have to do and people you have to see, and you want to pull the covers back over your head. How did that day go for you? I bet it wasn’t memorable. You were probably in a bad mood, and things weren’t going your way.
Now think to a day that you were excited about what you were doing that day. I’m sure you woke up with a smile, jumped out of bed, were cheerful, and things flowed. Everything seemed to be going your way.
It was because of your choice to see the joy and excitement that you were going to feel that day.
So how do you plan your day to stay positive?
If you’re like me, you like to look ahead to your schedule the night before. You might make a list of the things you need to get done. Check off that to-do list. Most women add everything they need to schedule in for their families first. I understand that somethings are at non-negotiable times.
Look at your calendar and add all the non-negotiable first. Second, add that one thing that you are doing for you that day. I want you to think about what brings you joy? What will make you feel relaxed, special, loved? Is it reading, going for a walk, taking a bath, getting a massage, getting your hair done, or working out? Write that down as a non-negotiable appointment in your calendar. Make sure you have something on your calendar that makes you want to jump out of bed.
Next up on the train of staying positive, finding gratitude.
One thing that helps me stay positive or even get out of a funk is gratitude. Even when I have a hard time falling asleep, and my mind is racing, I choose to change my thoughts to listing the things that I am most grateful for.
I want you to wake up doing the same thing, think of at least three things that you are grateful for, and that bring you joy. You can either list them in your head or take it to paper.
I have used a similar way to get out of a funk of meh. When you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed in life and lost on your direction, I want you to take a pen and paper and list out what brings you joy. I divided this out into categories: What brings me joy in work, in life, in my family, etc. This method can help you to change the way you look at your day to see the positive things that you experience every day.
Another important way to stay positive is to connect with yourself.
Connecting with yourself can be done in numerous ways. You want to think of yourself in the form of mind, body, and soul. With that, you want to eat healthy foods, exercise, and meditate or pray.
I choose to eat a vegan diet. I make sure that I am fueling my body with a lot of fruit and vegetables. It’s important to me that I don’t consume any animal products. When I have days that I don’t eat the best, and I eat way too much junk food, I feel bad. I feel lazy, mad, and unmotivated to do anything.
As for exercise, I aim to work out six days a week. When I go for my runs, I get a lot of mental clarity. That is my time to myself. That is when I can make a bad a good day. Or I reflect on my day and change the way I may have felt about a situation. Besides, my runs, I like to lift weights. I have just started taking up barre. That’s fun and hard. Somedays, my exercise is as simple as taking my dog for a walk. Exercise creates endorphins.
As quoted by Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy. Happy people don’t shoot their husbands. They just don’t.”
You don’t want to neglect your mind. I choose to meditate daily, and others may choose to pray. If you are new to meditation, sit somewhere quiet, and you can begin by focusing on your breathing. You can also connect to your heart and feel the love and joy. I have recorded a simple meditation that you can access here.
After I meditate, I instantly feel calm and centered. The stress is gone, I have gained clarity, and I feel more connected to myself. It’s like getting a restart on your day, or just the way you’ve been feeling.
Another way that I choose to stay positive is through reading.
I am going to say it loud and proud; I LOVE SELF HELP BOOKS! Some of my favorite that I recommend are:
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero (https://amzn.to/2WFkoLW)
Girl Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis (https://amzn.to/39fn2uj)
Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis (https://amzn.to/39hKOWw)
The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein (https://amzn.to/39eyvdQ)
*These recommendations contain affiliate links, however, you will not be charged any more for them.*
One thing that I like to do is to highlight quotes or passages in books that make me feel good. I would also recommend that you put them on post-it notes where you will see them daily. You can also set a timer on your phone with a label attached to it with the quote.
I want to mention to you that as of now, we have the Coronavirus pandemic going on. Not to be seen as insensitive, but for my current situation, I choose to look at this as a blessing for me. I have been craving time. I have been feeling like a hamster running on a wheel and not getting off. I needed a break. I needed time to slow down.
My kids are home from school with me, but I get to do some really cool things with them and connect more and make memories. Every evening we get to sit down at the table and eat dinner together. I am not working evenings; my kids aren’t going to baseball or softball. We are getting more family time, and I cherish this.
There will be hard times to follow as I am out of work unpaid for a couple of weeks. However, I think when we all get to the other side of this chaos, there will be beauty, connection, and a whole new world. We will learn that it’s ok to slow down, it’s ok to enjoy the simple things that are given to us daily. It’s ok to find happiness in the quiet.
I’d love to hear what you do to stay positive. Leave a comment below.