“I am sure glad last year is over. It was awful." “I hate this time of year. Nothing good happens this time of year." “It’s going to be a bad day, week, month.” We have all heard these and more. I have even said these a few times. It seems to be our nature to look at the negative in things before we see the positives. Some people are more turned to be positive people sure. Do they know something we don't?
I have noticed where my focus is my emotions follow. If I say my day is going to be bad, it will be bad because that is what I focus on. I then forget the positive of the day such as seeing a squirrel playing in the trees, the mist off the pond playing in the wind, the “I love you” from my kids.
I don't want you to hear me saying we can't have bad times. We certainly can and have. The COVID virus, political upheaval, riots, deaths we don't expect, can all leave us feeling depressed and upset. We need to acknowledge our feelings and allow ourselves to grieve as we need to. What I do want you to hear is that even in the bad times we can find something to enjoy and lift our spirits.
Last year started out okay and then COVID hit and the world stopped. All last year I heard time and time again “I can't wait for this awful year to be over.” Yes it was difficult but there were things that happened during that time that were good. People came together and started families. Babies were born and friendships formed. We all seemed to take a step back and looked at how we are treating each other. Some of us stepped up and took the opportunities to help others during this time. Here are some tips that might help you find the good in the bad times.
Don't label the day, week, month, year, etc. as a bad or good time. There are good and bad thing in each day.
If something bad happens, acknowledge it and your feelings about it. Is there something more here that needs to be healed? If so, seek out someone that can help you.
Look for the good in the day. Start off your day with something positive like your favorite cup of coffee or a hug.
Keep things around you at home, in your car, at work that will help you refocus on positive things such as a picture of a good time, relaxing scents or favorite snack.
Use time at the end of the day to reflect on the good and bad times. Write down the positives and keep a journal you can read when things get tough.
Each day can bring challenges that is for sure. We have to make a lot of decisions that affect our well-being mentally and physically. Decide today you are going to focus on a positive for better mental health.