It truly is possible to thrive in difficult times, and I’ve got some easy ideas and tips to help you.
So far this year (among other things) we’ve had a lot of scary weather events, a continent on fire, and the COVID-19 pandemic is challenging us in ways that many of us never expected. It’s easy to get swept up in negativity and lost in the scary headlines. Day to day life feels unsettled and really challenging.
When it comes to COVID-19, it looks like it may be around for a while. It goes without saying we need to follow medical and government advice to keep ourselves and our families safe. However, I am not content to look at the next two to three months (or longer) as something to be ‘got through’. That is a waste of the precious gift of every day.
I am not negating the severity of the situation or my worries for the days to come. However, I firmly believe get through this challenge. Part of making sure we do is taking care of our mental and physical health so that we can not just survive, but also thrive in difficult times.
Ways To Thrive in Difficult Times
Plan something to look forward to every day
Whether you sit down with a cup of tea and a good book for 20 minutes, call or FaceTime a friend or family member, plan a family games night or watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see on Netflix, plan something that’s fun for you every day. Put it in your diary and make sure you do it to help you thrive in difficult times!
It might be a good idea to make a list of things you could do, choosing a good balance of solitary and family activities, just in case you need to be on your own for a little while.
Try something new
Make a new recipe, buy a new to you bottle of wine, treat yourself to a book you want to read, or something new and delicious from the grocery store. Variety is the spice of life, especially when times are challenging.
Get some exercise
As long as you are feeling well, it’s a great idea to get some exercise. I’m still working out 3 to 4 times per week and I’m making a point to get outside for a 20 minute walk most days in addition to my training. I believe getting outside in the fresh air (provided it’s not seriously bad weather or extremely cold) can really improve your mood, energy levels and fitness.
Having said all that, don’t overtrain. Overtraining can put pressure on your body and this could make you vulnerable to illness. Always follow official medical advice about exercising.
Keep a Gratitude Journal
You don’t need to buy anything or search for a special notebook, unless you want to. You can even just use the notes section on your phone – although I get a disproportionate amount of pleasure from writing in my pink velvet covered Gratitude Journal! Just write down 5 simple things you are grateful for each day. It could be that first cup of coffee in the morning, catching a beautiful sunrise, early signs of spring, or a kind word shared with you.
The theory is the more we look for things to be grateful for, the more things we have to be grateful for. I’ve been doing this for years, and I can honestly say that it helps me to thrive in difficult times as well as in the good times.
Stay informed but don’t get swept away
We definitely can’t ignore the news these days. We need to stay informed but we do need to be careful which sources of news we pay attention to. Official government communications and trusted news sources are fine, but be careful not to get swept up in the alarming (and often downright untrue) headlines and click bait flying around out there. It is difficult to thrive in difficult times if we surround ourselves with the negativity of the media all the time.
Plan some fun activities you can do at home to help you thrive in difficult times
Game nights (whether it’s Solitaire on your own or a family games night), themed menus for different nights of the week (Taco Tuesday or Pizza Friday, anyone?), or a planned movie night (popcorn optional, but recommended!), can lift everyone’s spirits. Here are some more ideas to inspire you.
It’s possible to thrive in difficult times
This is a challenging time, and I don’t mean to make light of it. The fact that people are sick and dying is horrible to contemplate. However I truly believe that looking after our mental and physical health can give us an edge when it comes to staying well. It also makes life a lot more enjoyable when things are frightening and overwhelming.
Stay well, my friends, and please do look for ways to find joy in the everyday. Happiness comes from inside us, not from our circumstances. Looking for joy everyday will change our experience of this time in our world’s history exponentially. This will definitely help us to thrive in difficult times.