Staying Positive During These Challenging Times

I was listening to the radio on the way to work when I heard the hosts talking about quarantining tips from astronauts. I guess they would know what it’s like to endure solitude, I thought. So, I listened.

Go outside, they said. But only if you can, do so and still maintain social distancing of at least six feet. If you are not sure you can do this, then open a window. If your windows don’t open, play nature sounds on your phone. It can help! Oh and a side note FOR the astronauts, make sure you are tethered to the spaceship if YOU go outside! - couldn’t resist. :)

Their next suggestion was journaling. Grab a notebook and pen and start writing. There are no right or wrong in journaling. Write about your interests, your family, your day, your aspirations. Just write! It will help pass the time. It’s good for your emotional health and will be interesting to revisit your journal in the years ahead.

Alas, I made it to work before I could hear anymore suggestions from the astronauts, but I am inclined to share some of my own ideas on how to stay positive during a quarantine.

What if we communicate more with our family, our friends, our neighbors? Now, please be aware, I am not advocating a violation of the quarantine. Instead, I am suggesting we pick up the phone or even write a letter. If you are sharing your quarantine space with someone - talk to them! Figure out ways to stimulate conversation. My family utilizes Bad Part, Good Part every night at the dinner table. Each person takes a turn, starting with the bad part, and tells something that happened during their day. Sometimes we talk about what happened, sometimes we don’t. Then, ending on a good note, they tell something good that happened that day. This way I get to find out at least two things that happened to each family member that day. It may sound a little corny but it can be fun! Give it a try! Play games! The following are games you can play even if you don’t have any games: Tic Tac Toe, Hang Man, or Charades. And then there are the board games, if you are lucky enough to have them. Who doesn’t love a good, 4-hour Monopoly game? Okay, I don’t like four-hour Monopoly but I do like reasonable length Monopoly. Also, tap into your creative side. Have you ever wanted to draw or paint? Have you ever tried? Maybe you’re the next Picasso and possibly this time next year you’ll be sipping iced tea in your new mansion because your paintings are selling for millions of dollars!

Get in touch with your spirituality. If you are a praying person then please pray. Pray for mankind. Pray for health, kindness, love and fortitude. Pray for a vaccine to become available sooner rather than later.

If you are not a praying person, try meditation and/or deep breathing.

According to the Mayo Clinic, the emotional benefits of meditation can include:

• Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations • Building skills to manage your stress • Increasing self-awareness • Focusing on the present • Reducing negative emotions • Increasing patience and tolerance

Mayo Clinic describes the following two types of meditation:

• Guided meditation. Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.

Mantra meditation. In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.

So, these are my thoughts. Anyone care to share some ideas, in the comments, about other ways to stay positive during this challenging time?
Written by: Mary Pyatt