In Covid times, it can be difficult to see through the darkness to happier times. It can seem like each day the news generates increasingly depressing, negative updates that make you feel out of control and sad. However, there is always a reason to look on the bright side, and it’s essential to extract yourself from that negativity and know that you aren’t responsible for the world’s problems. Here’s how to be a bit more positive and shift your outlook on life.
- Change how you consume media. While Instagram is usually a cesspit of stressful self-comparison and egomaniacs, there are times when you can feel seen and find a community. You can control what you see on your feed. Yes, you will always get unsolicited ads and weirdly accurate shopping cart suggestions, but hey, you control who you follow and what accounts you keep up with. That’s what they’ll shove your way and that’s how you can curate your content. Don’t think about social media as only black or white, toxic or nothing. You can still get enjoyment from it, on your terms.
- Change your diet. It seems weird to say that what you eat can affect your ability to be more positive but it’s true. I’m not suggesting that you go on a diet, but you can try out different food groups according to what makes you feel good. Don’t just quit cold turkey, but maybe try out going dairy-free or sugar-free for a week and see if it makes any difference. You might feel more refreshed and better rested and that gives every situation clarity.
- Get a new friendship group. Just like the media that you consume, you can control who’s in your life. They can influence how you feel and the ways that you respond to situations. Although they might not bring all the drama necessarily, they can still be toxic or pessimistic. Oftentimes, it is the people who are most socially conscious who are the hardest to be around because they’re always so concerned with being the perfect version of themselves that there’s rarely room for the person behind it.
- Enrich your brain. This is one of the best ways to be more positive. Pick up a hobby. Rest. Tire yourself out in new ways, not just staying on TikTok until 2 am when you haven’t left your bed all day. You will get more sleep, drink more water, and you will find that time passes more slowly and in a less pressured environment when you give yourself space.
- Take up a hobby. This is the perfect time to take up a new skill or learn how to do a new hobby. Extracurriculars are an integral part of our college and high school experience and for good reason. They instill in us the need to socialize but also to have a routine. When you fill routines with things that you enjoy they aren’t chores that you have to do, they’re fun parts of each day. It anchors your time. Makes it easier to be productive in other ways. To think positively about the time available to you.
- Exercise more. Don’t take this too far, but having a jog every week or so will do your wonders. Not necessarily because of the physical benefits, but because so many people don’t think that they’re built for running. Or that it’s something intended for other people who look a certain way. It’s a great reminder that you can always go at your own pace and still feel great about yourself, constantly trying new things. Branching out into new avenues.
- Find a project. Some people found themselves in banana bread. Or sourdough starters that they couldn’t keep up with. Or, failing that, you could take up CrossFit or cross-stitching – whichever suits you. You can distract your brain from the rigors of life while also learning a cool new skill.
- Travel. Maybe this isn’t the best time, but if you can get on a small city break or a low-impact trip, seize the day. Find yourself in the ways you can explore the world. It’s the perfect response to a breakup or feeling negative about the world – that empty space is yours to fill. You’ll become so much more positive, not to mention much more educated.
- Put yourself in other people’s shoes. This is the easiest way to regain perspective when you’re feeling down about your place in the world. It’s better to see how other people have it, and the things they have to contend with in order to feel more grounded in your life.
These are some simple, low pressured ways to change the way you think about the world and your relation to it. There’s no magical fix, but you will feel more relaxed.