Finding the Positives in Negative Times

It has been hard to get back into the habit of posting these past few weeks. My heart is heavy for so many reasons. My 9 year olds are devastated that they will not finish 3rd grade. 7 of us are cooped up in the house full time. I haven’t massaged in 2 weeks and I don’t know when I will again. (o.k. the kids might convince me to set my table up at home!) I realized today that the best way for me to overcome how down this could bring me is to post to all of you. I am so lucky to have such a vibrant massage practice! I will focus on the return to you, not the distance from you during this time. Here are a few ideas for you to consider on how to find the positives in these crazy times!

The news is overwhelmingly negative at the moment, people are
frightened, worried about what’s going to happen to themselves,
their families and jobs. It can seem as if there is no gap in the clouds
at all…but when you’re having one of those days cooped up indoors
and wondering when all this will end, there are a few ways you can
try to re-frame what’s going on to make it, if not entirely positive, a
slightly more positive experience.
This Too Will Pass…
Yes, it’s an old line, but it’s true. While we’re stuck in what seems like
a never-ending quarantine it might seem that it’s never going to get
better, but it will. Remind yourself that although this is horrible,
scary and makes life difficult for us all, it’s temporary. While we don’t
know how long it will last, normal life will resume at some point and
this will all be a memory.
Find the Lesson
There will be something we can learn from the current situation,
even if we’re feeling a bit lost at the moment. Psychologists who deal
with trauma believe that an important way of helping someone work
through it is to help them see that they have some agency, and an
ability to do something to find their meaning. Think about whether
there are any lessons you can learn from this crisis, things you may
have found in yourself, your home, your job that can be changed in
the future? Look at the bigger picture too – has the crisis fired you up
to join a political party, a charity, volunteer for something? Then it
hasn’t been totally in vain.
Move Left and Right
That sounds odd but stay with us…Research has shown that doing
repetitive movements like knitting, coloring and painting – even
jumping rope, are helpful at self-soothing because of the way they
engage your brain in the activity and need you to concentrate. Even
better are activities that engage the left side of your brain: running,
drumming, skating, or hopping. These simple things can be
surprisingly calming…Probably why adult coloring books and running
are so popular?
Express Yourself Artistically
Many people seem to be indulging their creativity at the moment,
and there’s a good reason to encourage this. The part of the brain
that deals with emotions is very receptive to creativity, and this
makes creative pursuits a great way to express your feelings. Stick
with something you know or try a new pastime – but make it
creative: drawing, dancing, music, singing, learning a musical
instrument. It doesn’t matter if you’re technically accomplished, it’s
about releasing emotions and engaging your creative brain.
Start A Long-Term Project
So, you’ve always wanted to learn how to play an instrument, there’s
a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle or expert LEGO set you’ve been meaning
to tackle, and you’ve never completed a Rubik’s cube. What better
time to make a start? Your choice of project doesn’t have to be
anything challenging or highbrow either – perhaps you’ve always
wanted to read the Harry Potter books or watch Game of Thrones
but never got around to it? Start now, give yourself something to
distract you from the things you have no say or control over.
Keep calm and stay safe…

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