The ways that we can maintain a healthy outlook can be broken down into four main areas:
POSITIVE EMOTIONS | ENGAGEMENT | RELATIONSHIPS | MEANING
Focusing on positive emotions is more than smiling: it is the ability to remain optimistic and view your past, present, and future from a constructive perspective.
A positive view can help in relationships and inspire others to be more creative and take more chances. In everyone’s life, there are highs and lows; focusing on “the lows” can bring about negative emotions such as sadness, worry or anger.
There are many health benefits to optimism and positivity.
Positive emotions can help people enjoy the daily tasks in their lives and persevere with challenges they will face by remaining optimistic.
Positive Emotions ideas:
- Limit exposure to the news. Select one reliable news source and only check it once or twice (or less) each day.
- Follow good news movements eg. goodnewsnetwork.org
- Maintain a structured routine, good sleeping habits, regular exercise and a healthy diet.
- Laugh often, find the humour in things, watch funny movies and clips.
- Engage in mindfulness and meditation activities eg. Smiling Mind, Headspace, Calm, Stop Breathe and Think
- Exercise, at some point, every day. It releases endorphins which will bring your mood up in the most natural way, reduce the inevitable stress levels, and also reduce your perception of pain. Don’t stagnate. Then when everyone re-enters the world, shock them with how happy and relaxed you look.
- Use the garden or veranda as a workspace. Hello nature!
- Speaking of nature – get into it as much as you can.
- Celebrate not commuting.
Activities that meet our need for engagement flood the body with positive neurotransmitters and hormones that help us to feel happy. This engagement helps us remain present, as well as synthesize the activities where we find calm, focus, and joy.
People find enjoyment in different things, whether it’s playing an instrument, playing a sport, dancing, working on an interesting project at work or even just a hobby.
When time truly “flies by” during an activity, it is likely because the people involved were experiencing this sense of engagement.
We all need something in our lives that absorbs us into the current moment, creating a ‘flow’ of blissful immersion into the task or activity. This type of ‘flow’ of engagement stretches our intelligence, skills, and emotional capabilities.
- Do some online yoga
- Make a new playlist (happy tunes) and share it with your friends • Gardening – you can buy seeds online. How about a veggie patch?
- Art and craft
- Find a new hobby
- Redecorate your room
- Learn a new song on an instrument
- Learn a new language
- Do a jigsaw
- Listen to a podcast
Relationships and social connections are crucial to meaningful lives. As social animals who are hard-wired to bond and depend on other humans. Hence, the basic need for healthy relationships.
We thrive on connections that promote love, intimacy, and a strong emotional and physical interaction with other humans. Positive relationships with one’s parents, siblings, peers, and friends is a key ingredient to overall joy. Strong relationships also provide support in difficult times that require resilience.
- Keep contact with loved ones, even if online
- Connect with friends – virtual hugs, virtual parties, paying it forward, bookclubs/bingeclubs
- Be patient and gentle – everyone is feeling on edge at the moment.
- If you experience nastiness online – please block the person and report it to your parents and your Year Co-Ordinator.
Having an answer as to “why are we on this earth?” is a key ingredient that can drive us towards fulfilment.
Religion and spirituality provide many people with meaning, as can working for a good company, raising children, volunteering for a greater cause, and expressing ourselves creatively.
Unfortunately, the media worships glamour and the pursuit of material wealth, impacting many people to feel like money is the gateway to happiness. While we do need money to pay for basic needs, once those basic needs are met and financial stress is not an issue, money is not what provides people with happiness.
Practice acts of kindness towards others – physical distancing doesn’t mean social distancing.
- Connect with others e.g. with elderly neighbours, aged care residents. The government has said that they can’t have visitors but there may be ways that you can brighten the day of an elderly person. You could write a letter (NB: don’t disclose any personal information), create a care package, do some art.
- Connect with your community – use social media to stay in touch with others living nearby. This is also a great way of finding out if there are some vulnerable people in your community that might need help with getting their groceries or pharmacy items.
- Each night with your family, reflect on 3 things you are grateful for.
Remember if you need more support, we are only an email away:
Don’t forget there is the Kids Help Line: 1800 55 1800 and Lifeline 13 11 14. Kids Help Line also has email and webchat counselling: https://kidshelpline.com.au/
eheadspace provides online and telephone counselling: Headspace
You’ve got this!
Denise, Ellen, Mary