I’ll be the first to vehemently admit that nearly everything is dictated by my mood. What I wear, what I eat or drink, what I decide to do with any free time, how I approach the tasks of every day — each of these are decided by the mood I am in.
And with all the current craziness in the world, I have found it more and more necessary to hone in on what it is that brings me joy.
It has been essential to find what I can do to improve my more melancholy moods. Because while I try to be as upbeat and positive as I can on social media, it has been a journey of ‘fake it till you make it’ for a long while.
Brief disclaimer: I am not suggesting that any of these are a surefire way to improve your mood. I’m not saying any of these things will ultimately have any impact on you, nor are many of them totally original concepts.
But if anything written or suggested here causes you to have a bit of hope and reminds you that there is a bit of positivity still out there, then I think it will have been worth it.
1. WEARING CLOTHES THAT MAKE ME HAPPY
I’ve heard a lot of people claim that getting out of our pyjamas really improved their day, especially concerning their productivity. And I’m sure that it does work for some people.
But honestly, I think it’s more important to wear clothes that make you smile.
Whether that’s staying in your pyjamas, wearing athleisure, throwing on an Instagram-worthy outfit, or just whatever your hands first grab out of your wardrobe, I think it’s best to allow yourself to be positively impacted by your wardrobe.
And while it might not be the most practical thing to do, I fully intend on having a solo dance party in my bedroom in this dress from JessaKae.
2. LISTENING TO MUSIC
As I already mentioned, my mood has a huge influence on my entire day. This means that sometimes I will be having a dance party in front of my mirror to a throwback playlist.
While other times, I will watch videos of Six or Heathers on repeat and pretend like I’ll ever be able to sing the songs and do the dances.
Or I often feel suddenly inspired and try on new variations of outfits or clothes that I haven’t worn recently and throw my own fashion show! These often end up on my Instagram stories because, during a time like this, I have to celebrate any creativity and recognise what making an effort can do for my mood.
I’ve made a few playlists that I turn to for these very specific moods. And I would highly suggest either finding a few or curating your own playlists to complement any of your possible moods.
3. CHECKING IN WITH FAMILY AND FRIENDS
So I’m an extrovert, which means this whole voluntary self-quarantining thing has me desperate for some social contact. But the city I live in has enacted a stay-at-home order, and I’m obviously totally supportive of everything we can do to flatten to the curve.
This has led to many, many, many FaceTime dates.
I have found that nothing improves my mood more than chatting with a friend or family member on the phone, either through FaceTime or just texting. It’s allowed me to satiate a bit of my need to be around people. And thankfully, there’s always someone around my family home to chat with as well.
4. TREASURING WHAT FEELS NORMAL
A lot of things have changed due to COVID-19, and I’m sure that many things will be different once we’ve overcome this global pandemic.
But another sacrifice has been my daily routines, which I had begun to create and really start sticking to in the weeks prior to the stay-at-home order. My only solution has been to really look forward to the things that are normal. However mundane.
While I don’t get coffee or go to the gym with friends, they’re only a phone call away. There are numerous workouts available online that are easy to do.
I’m not going to pretend like I’ve been successful in creating a productive pandemic life routine, but I have been able to incorporate and adapt some of my former routines in this new existence.
I can only imagine how good ‘normal’ life will feel and hope that I genuinely will have a greater appreciation for every day, mundane life.
5. GETTING OUT OF BED TO SEE THE SUN
This one is actually a lot harder than I expected. Especially because I am not currently working or sticking to a time sensitive routine. Which means my sleep schedule is awful.
But I have the encouragement of friends and family to get out of bed each day. Even on ones where it kind of seems pointless.
This means throwing back the covers and opening up the curtains to jumpstart my day. Letting in natural light helps me thoroughly wake up and start going through any version of my morning routine. It’s been nice to stroll in the sunshine and fresh air.
6. PRACTICING SOME SELF CARE
It is massively important to be taking care of yourself. Which is surprisingly difficult during a global pandemic. Despite having often copious amounts of time, it has often felt selfish for me to make sure to do what’s best for me.
And everyone has different ways of caring for themselves. What has helped me immensely has been attempting to keep up with my skincare routine, putting on a full face of makeup, or remembering to continue to do things that I enjoy.
It’s these little acts of self care that remind us that we need to continue to prioritise our health and happiness!
7. BEING GENTLE WITH MYSELF
The most important part of positivity is understanding that it’s a constant choice and an ever-changing journey with yourself. Some days are easier than others and I believe positivity is best summarised as fostering a healthy relationship with yourself.
If you feel good about yourself, it is often easier to be more positive about the world around you.
It’s certainly easier said than done to focus on allowing yourself to see the good and work to block out the negativity and the constant need to compare ourselves, which often comes with social media.
I used to think that comparing myself energised me; I allowed it to push me to constantly feel like I need to be improving. The want to change and grow wasn’t genuine. Instead, it came from a desire to be like someone else or to have what someone else has.
I realised that if I want to have genuine and lasting personal and professional growth, then it has to be brought on from inside me first. And I remember that I cannot hold myself to the standard that I held myself when everything was ‘normal.’
Life is different now, and it is important to adapt to the new normal following COVID-19. Push yourself if you feel like it, but don’t force yourself to be like everyone else. Be gentle with your progress and the image you have of yourself because you’re doing your best.
8. OFFERING SUPPORT WHERE I CAN
I like helping people in any way I can. It makes me feel like I’m making a difference in some way, however insignificant it may be. It feels stifling sometimes when you’re forced to stay inside. Especially in a house with my entire family. But it is important to help where I can.
This often includes providing support caring for my youngest sister. Having a five-year-old try to understand what she can and can’t do during lockdown is difficult at best and incredibly frustrating at worst.
Other ways that I can help are around the house, doing chores more regularly and without being asked to. This varies from grocery shopping to washing up to playing with the dogs.
But my favourite group to offer support to during this time has been to local businesses. If I have the money, I order takeaway or an item here or there from my favourites. Other ways of helping include sharing posts and engaging with social media posts.
9. TAKING TIME AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
Social media has provided a much needed form of communication. As an extrovert, I am in constant need of communication with friends and family. It could be a quick ‘thinking of you’ text or posting some random thought on Twitter, but I want to keep up with those closest to me and allow them to do the same with me.
But there’s a lot of negativity on social media right now as well.
My favourite part of social media is how you often get what you put into it. I try and follow and engage with accounts that make me smile or encourage me to be creative or force myself to reconsider a situation.
And when someone ceases to do this, makes me feel negative toward myself, or causes anxiety, I know that I either need to unfollow or take a break. The content will still be there whenever I come back.
The most important thing is to make sure your feeds are filled with people and content that make you happy, and to understand when it’s time to take a step back.
10. WORKING WITHIN CONTROLLABLE FACTORS
There is so much out of our control right now, which makes me easily feel overwhelmed. But whenever I start to feel this way, I attempt to focus on what I can control.
It may be minor things, such as what I wear that day or what kind of tea I’ll make myself or what I’m going to fill my day doing, but it is often these simple factors that make all the difference.
Sure, I can’t control when I’ll be able to sit in my favourite cafe with my best friends, but look back and treasure the time spent there with them or make plans for the future.
I find it important to acknowledge what is and isn’t within my control. I take note of it and see how to best approach each situation.
Each day offers different challenges, but it has been my goal to take each day at a time and to focus on what I need most. Being positive can take a lot of emotional energy sometimes, which is why it is important to be taking care of yourself and finding joy in your own life.
What have you learned about yourself during lockdown? What routines have you created for yourself or what has changed about it?
Let me know what you are doing to stay positive!
Until next time, my lovelies ♡