With such a crazy, unexpected year upon us it is difficult to see the positives sometimes, however we can choose to focus on this year in two very different ways. We can all feel sorry for ourselves because we didn’t get to go on holiday, and we can get frustrated with new guidelines in shops or we can be grateful that our family and friends are healthy. Embrace that this year has taught us to appreciate the little things we once took for granted like being able to nip to the shop, seeing our family regularly or having a normal work routine.
However, it is important to acknowledge that this has been a challenging time for everyone, especially those struggling with their mental health. Isolating with no work or normal life to focus on, the mind can wander into a dark place. This year has taught us we are strong enough to face anything and a bad day, week or month is never forever.
There is still time to get the most out of this year.
The first thing I encourage everyone to try is the no complain challenge. You can do this alone, with a partner or family member. Start off small, for example for the next 24 hours you can’t complain about anything whether that is bad service at your coffee shop on the way to work or your computer being slow. Once you begin to stop yourself every time you complain over the small things, you begin to realise just how often you complain and how much negative energy you are constantly creating that you weren’t even aware of. This small change can seriously uplift your daily mood and help you become more grateful.
Another similar step to make is to train your brain to learn to look for the positives in everything. It sounds silly at first; like what would be the positive of me rushing home to just end up stuck in the nightmare motorway traffic? Well at least you have got more time to listen to your music, maybe you needed some time to reflect and not feel so hectic. You might just put on a podcast that changes your life that you wouldn’t have had the time to listen to before. At least you have someone to rush home to; you should feel lucky. What about the fact that you are sat in a warm car and not a cold damp bus? Once you have trained your brain to focus on the positives and not the negatives you will soon see how much happier you become.
A good morning and night routine are so important for a healthy mindset; it is the foundation of your day. Eliminating social media for half an hour when you wake up and before you go to sleep can really help, but the best tip I can give you is journaling. This is great for those with busy minds, just write everything that comes to mind with no pressure. Get it all out of your head, it gives you a huge sense of relief. Here is an excellent guide to journaling!
I also believe it is great to include a small journaling trick of writing down three things your grateful for whether it is what happened in that day or what makes you smile when you wake up. This sets you up to already be feeling grateful and positive.
By 2021 you could have a whole new outlook on life.