Good morning everyone. Those of us who got a good sleep are in a whole different category than those who didn’t. So if we did, let’s be grateful. And if we didn’t, then let’s remember it’s even more important to create a good day on days when we’re struggling.
Even on good days, after a year of this pandemic, even healthy people are now facing an epidemic of mental health issues. These include confusion, a lack of focus, a lack of will or enthusiasm, a shaky memory and, subsequently, a short fuse. If you’re feeling these things, forgive yourself.
Even the strongest people are getting down. We all need some semblance of movement or achievement –of life. And it is on the way. But it’s also clear that even formerly healthy people are temporarily having trouble feeling good about themselves or the world.
All this being the case, I am looking for ways to adjust this blog to try to help with this strong post-holiday malaise. In the meantime, let’s focus on things that specifically spark our sense of positivity.
Let’s each build a positivity playlist. Find time before the end of the day to make the equivalent of a work-out playlist, but these are songs that strengthen our resolve or spirit. Use it to combat malaise.
Then do likewise for a film watch-list for the next week. Go with all humour or stories about triumph. One solid seven day period of positivity.
It’s okay to download someone’s prepared happy-list. The point is only partially in the collecting. It’s mostly in the listening or watching.
Don’t play happy things if they make you angry, because that can happen. But for the most part, happy songs and movies will help keep us in a happier state of mind.
Contact some friends. Tell them that you’re doing a series of exercises to ensure you stay positive during this second wave. Then tell them that your assignment today is to collect at least two true stories about acts of kindness from people you know.
Keep going until you find one friend with two stories, or two heartfelt friends with a story each. And as they tell them to you, remember to enjoy the fact that you have prompted them to feel good by recollecting the story.
You can send them this to thank them. And by thanking them, you will prompt them to possibly think of sharing that positivity with someone else too.
Everyone around us is walking around in a soup of their own brain chemistry. So let’s turn our emotional radar on. The next time we encounter someone appearing or sounding like their mood is low, let’s use that as a trigger.
For each person we talk to, let’s quickly work out something complimentary to say. It can be about how helpful they are, their outfit, the timbre of their voice.
We can even just tell them that their presence alone has value during a pandemic. Or it can be for something they did in the past. We’re looking for anything that would genuinely help them sense their own value and help them feel pride in who they already are.
In doing this, it’s important for us to note the immediate shift we should detect. If we’ve helped them change their brain chemistry successfully, we should hear the tone-shift in their voice or we will see it in their posture. We should enjoy that. We did that. Consciously. Intentionally.
For the majority of humans life is very hard right now. Even people who are financially okay are deeply missing loved ones, and new experiences. No one is getting out unscathed. So let’s use this as an impetus to treat ourselves and each other better.
Frankly, even without a pandemic, the world was already in a position of needing more positivity. So in a weird way, maybe the pandemic is just pushing us to take action we could have taken long ago.
You all enjoy your days. And know that I am working on finding ways to try to address the sorts of struggles so many of you/us seem to be having. In the meantime, be kind to yourselves and each other.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.