Despite some movement forward, the world still remains firmly in a state of uncertainty. As we move into a new season it is important to take on board what is going on around us and invest time in understanding ourselves and the way in which we work so that we can make preparations to remain positive for the rest of this year. There will be further tough times ahead, and positivity will be key in seeing us through.
The covid-19 pandemic has already taught us a lot about ourselves, our communities and the world around us, but there is still much to do if we want to continue moving forward. Amidst lockdowns, social distancing, working from home and the events or commitments that once filled our social calendars potentially being cancelled for the foreseeable future, we still need to find sources of positivity around us, and many still do exist. Throughout the pandemic, lots of aspects to our lives have served to provide additional fulfillment or maybe something completely new has come along and brightened the dark days. Remaining positive in the build up to the festive season, is achievable.
Social anxiety is a fear of social situations and this a term we are all beginning to understand in one way or another. So as the restrictions tighten once again. It may reinforce these feelings for many, despite the wide consensus that the rules are required to keep the virus under control.
Our whole way of socially interacting has changed as the virus has taken hold. It has created a tough time for many; those who were social butterflies will be suffering with the lack of meeting up, but for those who already struggled with social anxiety, they will not have been able to see those they did feel comfortable with.
But social media has provided a lifeline; it has given us the access to still see loved ones, to stay in contact and provide help and support. Many might have also indulged in organising social events over zoom and playing online games and quizzes. Knowing social distancing doesn’t have to stop all forms of communication can provide a source of positivity. Social media can be as little or as often as you please, providing comfort to many.
The way we work has also been highly impacted. If you are still able to work, you might be feeling the pressure of a busier schedule due to less staff and higher demands or perhaps the introduction of compulsory face masks and cleaning. The UK guidelines suggest if you are able to work from home, to do so. This might come as a welcomed or unwelcomed request. Dedicate time to setting up your own working space, somewhere that you can associate with work. This way, the remainder of your living space is home so you have a place to relax for downtime. Remember that you are not alone, so if you struggle working from home do share your experiences with your friends and colleagues. You will soon see the benefits in sharing your thoughts and concerns, leading to the positive outcome that you are helping yourself as well as others.
Looking back to the initial spread of the virus and introductions of lockdown, socially distanced daily exercise became a highlight for those accustomed to regular exercise, just the same as those who weren’t. The benefits of exercise, even just a walk around the block in the fresh air, are plentiful and many might have created a new lifestyle building this into their daily routines. Make time for some exercise, particularly if you know it helps to relieve you of any stress and maintain positive. This is also something you can take time to do on your own or, restrictions dependent, take part in a socially distanced activity with friends and family with the aim to keep a healthy balance and positive mindset. You never know, you might enjoy this new you.
This leads us on to hobbies which doesn’t automatically have to be an activity. Use this extra time in a positive way; sit and do the things we might not have once had time for such as reading, watching a film, or arts and crafts. Even some quiet time or pampering is a good way to spend quality time at ease and to take your mind off the outside world.
As we continue to navigate life with the virus, it is clear we all need to find our own balance of what makes us stay positive so that we can continue as best as possible. This will be different for everyone and once we understand this, we can all work together and support each other. Positivity and hope will win out.