7 Ways to Maintain a Positive Outlook in the COVID-19 Age
As COVID-19 continues, “Stay calm and carry on” is an oft-cited mantra. But staying positive is not easy. No matter how resilient you are, these are unprecedented times. That is why you must strengthen your mindset for the challenges ahead. Eating and sleeping right, exercise and staying positive all help.
Experts says that taking a positive approach can provide much-needed psychological breaks from COVID 19-related traumas. While it is natural to what’s happening, dwelling on it is not healthy. Negative thinking can be contagious. Those traps include:
Jumping to conclusions — Assumptions are not the same as facts. For example, a mild cough does not mean you have contracted COVID-19. Follow doctor’s advice about when testing is warranted and seek medical help rather than jump to conclusions.
Magnifying — Don’t dwell on your fears. Balance your catastrophic thoughts with an equal focus on stories of human generosity and resiliency.
Learned Helplessness — This “deer-stuck-in-the-headlights” phenomenon can emotionally shut you down. Rather than assume everything is hopeless, seek emotional support and practical help. Develop a proactive, positive coping perspective. Anxiety causes worry, not motivation, so take proactive steps to protect ourselves practically and emotionally.
Adopt a proactive stance — By taking stock of your strengths and vulnerabilities, you can help inspire yourself and your loved ones. Identify practical safety steps by educating yourself about COVID-19 by talking to your physician and visiting the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/guidance-list.html?…, for guidance.
Find your limits — Ask yourself what are you doing well to manage everything. What do you need to improve? Evaluate your overall health to determine if you are at high risk with things like diabetes, being a cancer survivor or exhibiting chronic health conditions. Identify those who may be in need of extraordinary precautions (grandparents, for example). Stay updated on personal safety protocols?
Maintain a positive coping perspective — Make sure you are taking every possible precaution to protect against COVID-19. Monitor your emotional health and watch for symptoms, and signs of anxiety and depression. For more information, visit the BAC Member Assistance Program (MAP) COVID-19 resources page at https://bacbenefits.org/map/coronavirus-covid-19.
Stay on track — For those in substance use recovery, strengthen your abstinence/sobriety plan by attending online support group meetings such as Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) (https://www.aa.org) and Narcotics Anonymous (NA) (https://www.na.org).
If you need help, call the BAC Member Assistance Program (MAP) toll-free at 1-888-880-8222 or directly at 301-741-5188. You can receive free professional guidance from a licensed mental health and addictions therapist. All calls are strictly confidential.