This is not written to scare you or worry you in any way. There is so much negativity at the moment, I think we have all had enough of that! So much is out of our control and shouting online about it all won’t help. Instead let’s think of some positive things we CAN do. We must focus our energy in the right places if we are going to get through this.
Currently we are amid a global pandemic with Covid-19 having spread worldwide, yes, I KNOW you know this, but it doesn’t hurt to give some context to anyone reading this in 3 years’ time (will this forum still be going then? Knowing Steve as I do I think it will). Yes, it is THAT year. No, I won’t be saying unprecedented or pivot, for the love of Pete will people stop saying those words!
What I want to do is empower you with some positive things you can do this winter to keep smiling, keep surviving and help each other. Because it IS global, and whilst we are not all in the same boat we are all on the same ocean and are definitely all affected. And most of us are decent, kind people who only want the best for ourselves and others. Despite what the media may lead you to believe about joe public.
So, here are a few common sense ideas of how to get through the months ahead, as I think it will be a winter unlike those that have gone before.
Plan and budget – obvious perhaps and basic to many who do it, but not everyone does. We don’t know if there will be another lockdown or frankly what might happen so let’s think about what we needed last time at home. NO I am not advocating toilet roll and pasta hoarding, please do not do that. It screws over the people that only have enough to buy a week’s worth of food at a time! I am talking about getting some crafts in for the kids, maybe keeping some of your recycling for junk modelling, get some cake mixes, think about upcoming birthdays and buy cards and gifts now. All these things will make it easier. Also, budget as much as possible so you aren’t left screwed if work slows down or you don’t get paid for a bit. This may or may not be possible for you, but if it is, do it!
Detach from plans - Don’t stop making plans, but detach emotionally from the ones you have made. This may sound harsh, but as we don’t know what might happen it is possible things will get cancelled and plans will change. I have 2 nights away planned and one is on my birthday, I already accept this may well not happen! Prepare yourself mentally by removing the emotional attachment to the outcome. Chatting to kids to make them aware events may not happen is important too. Trick or treating, visiting Santa, things like that. The sooner they know it might get cancelled the easier it will be to get used to. Make some plans that WILL go ahead as well, film days, autumnal walks, bug hunting with the kids – plenty of things that won’t be stopped by any rule changes.
Health and immunity – look after yourself!! I take supplements every day (when I remember), and it makes all the difference. Exercise - remember when we were only allowed out once a day, and everyone walked every day! Do that again, it is so good for you! Even in winter, we need sunlight and fresh air. Take care of your diet and get those fresh fruit and veg in. I am not here to tell you what to eat, we all know I am an ice cream fan, but I don’t have it every day (breaking news!) everything in moderation. You know full well what is good for you (if you don’t, ask for help!) Which brings me on to my next point!
Ask for help – we all have different needs and from time to time need help. I have reached out this week to get help with my anxiety (which is another whole article in itself) but don’t be proud. We can’t do it all by ourselves. Whether it is a mental, physical or practical issue there are people who can help. Even if you can’t afford it there’s free help out there for most things to at least get you on your way. I do free CV reviews, MIND gives great mental health support, there are loads of great content creators online giving away free tips and ideas – just ask the question and people will signpost you. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
Mindset – this is really the key component that ties the rest together. Without the right mindset you are going to struggle. Whilst this isn’t easy, it is also within your control. I have been at the bottom of that well and I know how it feels as you are falling and all around it is dark. This year has certainly felt like that at times, but guess what? Once you are at the bottom the only way to look is up, towards the light. Address your mindset now. Do daily gratitudes, meditation, early nights, brain dumps, take time out, whatever it is you need to get positive, start doing it. For me I just have to remember to put myself first and decide that I am going to have a great day. As it is all about intention and focus. I could look at all the bad things and declare it all terrible, or see the good points and focus on those, I am critical naturally so it can be hard work sometimes, but if I can do it then YOU definitely can!
Perspective - Let us also get a little perspective, whilst in our lifetime this seems epic and world changing, compared to many parts of history this is small fry. We have the best medicines and doctors we have ever had, technology is amazing and the average person has access to a level of comfort our ancestors couldn’t have dreamed of. I think we have lost any perspective on this as naturally you can only compare the current situation with your own experiences (unless you have past lives to think about…haha). But it doesn’t hurt to remember we still have a lot going for us as a species, if only we could all pull together and look after the planet and each other a bit better!
If you are already positive and smiling and doing well, SPEAK UP! We need positive people to be the leaders now. I don’t mean of the government (that’ll never happen, the least suited people to power are always the ones that want it), I mean in society. So, whether that is helping others around you or being a positive content creator and face online – keep doing it! Do it more! Be the light, we need those people to stand up now more than ever. It isn’t about fighting and judging others and overthrowing conspiracies, for me it is about humanity (I am not convinced anyone really knows quite what is going on, so don't waste energy trying to figure it out!). We can only get through this by focusing on our own little worlds and those we influence, and by being the best possible person you can be.
So, when you see people around who need lifting up, do it. If you see crap online you don’t like scroll by or leave a positive comment. There’s so much vitriol, all it does is bring us down.
And last but not least, laugh and smile! The best thing to come out of all this is the quality of the memes, they are exceptional now. And if you can’t laugh, you’ll cry. So, let’s keep smiling and supporting each other.