By Dr. Melanie Ross Mills | Contributor
How are we to stay positive during these trying times?
Each day offers a new set of challenges whether it’s circumstantial, physical, emotional. We hear of people becoming deathly ill due to the Coronavirus. Our hearts hurt for those who’ve been laid off without time to prepare. We watch our economy flip onto its side in a matter of days. It’s easy to feel as if there’s no light at the end of the tunnel, but hearing all of this news is when we must dig deep and cling to hope more than any other time. It’s paramount because we must stay healthy physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually for ourselves and for the lives around us.
What can we do as we’re wrestling with fear, anxiety, and worry because of the current state of the world? We do what we can control… fight for our peace and cling to our hope.
Here is a day in the life of being hopeful during this time:
Pay attention to your first five minutes in the morning. What’s your first thought in the morning?
I need to watch the news?
Must… check… texts?
I wonder how my children slept last night?
Where’s the remote?
FIGHT for setting your mental compass for the day with a hopeful perspective. Replace all other thoughts in the morning with this one sentence … I am hopeful today will be a life-giving day.
You set the tone for the rest of the day after these first five minutes. Choose to remain hopeful at this time, no matter what the circumstances.
A positive mindset produces hope.
If you can work out early in the day, it’s a great way to relieve stress, process through your thoughts, and get your endorphins excited about the day. You’ll also be more likely to watch your diet throughout the day this way. It’s easier to remain hopeful when you’ve relieved stress physically.
Taking care of yourself produces hope.
- Gratitude, Gifts, Grace
Make it a challenge to pinpoint everything you’re grateful for, receive the gifts you’ve been given, and embrace all grace offers.
Throughout the day, identify what you’re grateful for… everything from having your washer and dryer working to being able to pour into your children while at home.
Receive the strengths and gifts you’ve been born with—from leadership, to servanthood, from creativity to administration. Focus on using them during this time. (16personalities.com is a great resource.)
Embrace all grace offers in your life—from the ability to forgive to the capacity to love well.
Embracing gratitude, your gifts, and a grace-filled life produces hope.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in taking on the perspective of the media, leaders, and others around us. Check your perspective, and if you find you are overcome with worry or angst, regain your perspective and make an effort to ground your “eyesight” in hope. Look through a lens that reminds you that this too shall pass. Tomorrow is a new day. You are going to be okay. It will be okay. This is a time to learn and grow, not a time to be overcome with worry and angst.
A healthy perspective produces hope for the future.
- Play… yes, play!
During stressful times, we can get lost and forget to enjoy life. Find times in your day to be silly, dance, laugh. Tap into your inner child who used to run without caring about whether or not people were watching. The fun side that would play a practical joke on their sibling. The joyful youth who would do crafts, puzzles, and cook.
A childlike spirit not only allows for play, but also produces hope.
Read more articles by Dr. Mills at www.goodlifefamilymag.com