As we move into our eighth week of quarantine some of us may be feeling sad, lonely or depressed. If you are feeling low or anxious about the future, sometimes it helps think about some strategies to regain a sense of optimism and hope.  It’s easier said than done, we know, but here are a few ideas to try to lift spirits.

First, be kind to ourselves and others. As we focus on our current situation we can repeat negative talk to ourselves or with others so often it becomes a habit.  Breaking the negative thought habit by stopping ourselves from repeating the same messaging over and over is an important step to changing our attitudes. If possible, it helps to engage in some physical activity regularly to enjoy the improving weather and to see the world renewing itself in spring. Most importantly, connecting with others by phone or email often helps find a fresh perspective and can be a lift to someone else who is feeling low.

Then, it’s important to remember that we are all in this together and we are all muddling through the best way we can, whatever that may be. However you feel is fine.  It’s by being supportive and kind to each other and ourselves that we will find our way through this crisis to the other side. We’ve certainly seen many instances of goodwill and kindness over the past few weeks, all around the world, and it gives us hope that a better future is ahead and that there are many good people out there.

Another strategy is to try to take pleasure in the small things in life.  Spring flowers, a phone call with a friend, a delicious new recipe you’ve created, a project completed are all things to be grateful for and to enjoy in the moment.  There are so many things to be grateful for in our world, it helps sometimes to remind ourselves of the many good things in life.

Avoiding or limiting news coverage is another good tactic for taking our minds off the day-to-day ups and downs of the pandemic and helps us refocus on more immediate and positive things.

If you feel that no matter what tactics or strategies you try you are still feeling overwhelmed or sad, there is help available.  We’ve listed a few resources  on our website, contributed by Dr Flavia Ceschin that provide some  options for other kinds of help for you to consider.

Remember, every day is a new beginning, we will all make it to the other side of this crisis, stay strong.