The COVID-19 pandemic has been a traumatic experience for us all. There is not a single person on this earth who is not being affected by the current health crisis. It is changing the very way we live our lives.
For the past several weeks, we have been overloaded with an entire new vocabulary system as we try to make sense of this new normal. With large, overbearing words such as “social-distancing”, “self-isolation”, “quarantine” and “lockdown” becoming staples in everyday conversations, it’s not surprising that many of us are feeling the strains of the continuous, indefinite negativity that this virus has created.
But in the wake of such negativity, we have the opportunity to be reminded that with the bad always comes the good. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken away a lot of our normal, happy experiences but that doesn’t mean all the good has disappeared, and if anything, it’s more important that we create some light ourselves. Sometimes the sun shines on the good, other times on the bad and sometimes, we can experience both at once. The key to finding happiness and positivity is learning to live with the flow between both in our lives.
Now more than ever, it is so important to take care of mindsets and attitudes. There are ways to direct any negative energy we’re feeling through helpful actions that lead to positive outcomes. There is always more love to give and even though it’s going to take a little extra effort these days, it is still worthwhile to try and shake off the dark clouds that have been hanging over our heads and get back into something good.
How To Create Some Positive Energy
1. Calm Your Mind
This pandemic is inciting our biological fear response. We are humans and this emotional response is very natural, albeit domineering at times. Each and every one of us will have to find a way to find a calm amongst the chaos, to find quiet peace within ourselves and our own minds in order to create a more positive outlook that we can share with others.
Meditating is a fantastic habit to start at this time of crisis. All it requires is you find a safe, comfortable place to sit in and then, just breathe. There is a misconception that meditation has to be this profound experience to be effective, but I’ve found the whole point of meditating is for it to be imperfect, for your mind to get dragged away in order for you to bring it back. A meditation teacher once told me that the act of bringing your mind back to your breath is when the meditation truly begins.
An easy and calm place to start is with a simple guided meditation such as this quick 5 minute meditation. Five minutes a couple times a week, will go a long way in allowing you to have a calmer mind and a happier mindset.
In this time we can also expect a lot of contradictory, overwhelming emotions. Irrational fears, catastrophic thinking and a sense of loneliness are normal when we are adjusting to these new social distancing rules. Journaling is a great way to direct these emotions. Content creator Nika Erculj put together a list of 35 journaling prompts that include short simple ones to longer form entries.
Another great way to journal is by using the Mourning Pages technique. This style of journaling asks you to journal three pages of stream of consciousness each day. It is designed to be done first thing in the morning with the intention of having a place to put down your emotions and relieve yourself of worries and stress. This will hopefully begin to leave more room during your day for positive actions.
2. Move Your Body
Social distancing and having to stay home, while essential and great acts of love in this current climate, have disrupted the balance of our mental and physical energy. We are spending a lot more time inside and this means we are going to have to get creative and find ways to restore the balance.
Something as simple as going for a walk can make a huge difference in our attitudes. If you’re able to safely exercise outside while abiding to the social distancing laws, this is a great way to move your body, get some fresh air and some vitamin D.
There are a lot of fun ways to do this that don’t necessarily involve doing a dry ab workout in your home. We are blessed to live in a time where we are spoiled for content and there are so many creators and trainers who have taken the time to make comprehensive and fun workouts instantly available to us all online.
Keeping with the theme of cultivating a more positive mindset and bringing a lightness that our world truly needs right now, yoga is a great way to move our bodies, calm our minds and teach us gratitude. Many yoga instructors have moved their training online, but YouTube is a wonderful free resource. Yoga With Adriene is a great example as it has a variety of beautiful yoga flows that caters for all skill levels. Her mantra is find what feels good and in this time of unknowns, it’s a beautiful blessing to be given the opportunity to do so.
As artists and creators we can use this time to explore the outer reaches of our creativity. We can try things we perhaps never had the time for, or maybe have never thought of before. We can still work towards accomplishing our goals and continue exercising our imaginations.
Try a new medium you’ve never used before
With an indefinite amount of time on our hands, it is the perfect moment to try something outside of our creative comfort zone. Whether that’s learning a new instrument, painting in a new medium, reading a book that’s in a genre you never usually read or going outside and drawing with chalk on the sidewalk. There is an endless amount of possibilities when it comes to being explorative and having fun with our creative sides.
Get started on that creative goal
As artists we all have creative goals and projects that in our normal, busy everyday lives would get pushed to the side. Well, our normal, busy everyday lives are no longer, but they are there, waiting for us to make them beautiful.
What if you finally took action on that creative goal that’s been sitting in the back of your mind for five years? This by no means you should expect yourself to complete this goal – this is not about putting pressure on yourself, but about giving yourself something to do that you’ll genuinely enjoy doing. Whether this means planning that novel, editing that manuscript, creating that new website or podcast, signing up for a language class, all of these things are goals we had because they may make us happier, and there is no time like the present to add some extra happiness into our lives.
This pandemic has sucked everyone’s attention and energy and it’s time to reclaim some of it back by reminding ourselves of what it’s like to be positive, to be optimistic and be creative again. The human race has always had the great ability to adapt, and that is what we must do now.
Yes, our routines may be completely different for the time being, but that doesn’t mean we cannot still find comfort and happiness and make the most out of each day.
Stay at home and stay safe and get creative!
Gabrielle Downes is a recent Arts graduate from the University of Melbourne. She is an avid reader and writer and is currently working on starting her own personal lifestyle blog. Gabrielle is passionate about history and travel and hopes to continue seeing different parts of the world.