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Donna Hepburn

4th May 2020

There are many useful tips on the internet about how to stay positive, from writing a gratitude journal to limiting your news intake. But Group Management Performance Coach, Donna Hepburn – who has a background in psychology and one-to-one coaching – shares eight alternative tips and tricks that you perhaps haven’t thought of during this unprecedented time.

FOCUS ON THE POSITIVES

Think about what the positives are for you right now and write them down. For example, it could be that you get to rest, you do not have to commute every day, there is more time to admire nature or that you get to spend more time with your children.

REPHRASE SOCIAL DISTANCING

Reframe the phrase ‘social distancing’ to ‘physical distancing’. We are physically distancing ourselves in this time, but we can still stay socially connected on a virtual level. Keep your social contacts and stay in touch with friends and loved ones.

STAY IN THE PRESENT MOMENT

When you are feeling bad, take a minute to stop, draw a deep breath and ask yourself “Am I okay right now? Am I breathing, warm, well fed and sheltered?” Just noticing what is real in this moment and taking a few deep breaths will instantly make you feel calmer.

SMILE

If you don’t feel like smiling, place a pencil horizontally in your mouth which will mimic a smile. The unconscious mind doesn’t discern the difference and will release feel-good dopamine into your system. Then take a minute to laugh at yourself with a pencil in your mouth – laughter is the best medicine.

TRY LAUGHTER YOGA

Dr. Madari Karia is inspirational and I highly recommend his practice. He has started an international movement and you can view it here.

TRY AFFIRMATIONS

Memorise a few affirmations and use them to calm yourself, such as “I am grateful for all that I have”, “I will not worry about things I cannot control” and “I trust that this too will pass”.

QUESTION WHAT YOUR MIND IS SAYING TO YOU

Is it your ally or enemy? Don’t just believe everything it is saying to you. Brain neuroscience has proven that our minds can learn to be helpful or hurtful. Learn to pay attention to it and remind yourself that it doesn’t speak absolute truth. Call FEAR what it is – False Evidence Appearing Real. Don’t believe what fear is saying to you

BE GENTLE WITH YOURSELF

It’s okay to not be positive all of the time. Perhaps you don’t feel motivated or passionate about anything right now. Maybe you can’t seem to make yourself tackle a project or learn a new skill. We are experiencing an unprecedented collective trauma – be gentle with yourself and trust that you will get through this time with meaningful insights, an altered perspective and valuable skills that may very well transform and reclaim your life in a positive way.

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