When do you know that advice is bad

10 tips for positive thoughts in times of corona

Oh man, this 2020 is really annoying: permanent corona horror reports, contact restrictions, fear of infection or job loss. No trips or excursions, no visits to restaurants or bars, no concerts, sporting events - the corona measures have made our world pretty small and boring. And then there is this uncomfortable time of year, with little light and bad weather - that can all be very upsetting.

I am neither a psychologist, health coach nor motivational speaker, but after surviving the corona infection, I would like to share a few tips with you on how you might get better again.

1. Live the moment!

It doesn't help, the situation is just the way it is. So it doesn't do much to be annoyed about it or to be constantly afraid of infection, job loss or loneliness.

Far too often we chase a distant goal, the next job, the next great offer, the next opportunity, the next kick, the next partnership, whatever. And in doing so, we overlook what we already have. It is well known that the journey is often the actual goal. Maybe we're already happier than we think. But we can only find that out once we are aware of it.

Pause and experience the moment. Maybe you are happier than you realize.

When we use the current social screeching halt as an opportunity to pause and keep reminding ourselves to consciously experience the moment. We all have the time right now, let's use it!

2. Think positive!

One hears and reads again and again how important positive thinking is for health and that an optimistic worldview should even extend life expectancy by up to 15%.

Positive thinking is not that easy, especially in these times. Too often worries and problems cloud our minds. But it already helps to be aware of three things during the day or maybe in the evening that were good that day. Small moments of happiness that too often get lost in everyday life.

Maybe a good conversation, positive news, something that finally worked out. Make yourself aware of these little joys by concentrating on these positive moments. Maybe even write it down for yourself. Positive thoughts clearly make life easier.

3. Treat yourself to a breather!

No matter where you look, what you read or who you speak to: everything revolves around Corona. That is understandable, but not very helpful. Treat yourself to long breaks from all the horror reports in the media or the excited chatter on social media.

A digital breather is good for the psyche

Keep your distance from people who are dragging you down with their pessimism or cynicism. Rather, stick to those who build you up, who can change your mind. With which you can laugh and be happy.

4. Stick to structures!

The corona pandemic has turned our whole life upside down. Nothing is as we know it anymore. How often have we been annoyed about the given daily structures and wished for more free time. But many people cannot get along well without these structures. Without fixed times of when to get up, when to eat something, when to go shopping, etc., life can quickly run off course.

Many people suddenly spend a lot of time at home, which can be nice because you have more time with your family or for yourself. But the unfamiliar coexistence can also be a stress test. This is precisely why it is important to stick to familiar structures that give your day an outline.

5. Move!

Sedentary lifestyle is bad for the psyche. This does not only apply to very sporty people who suffer physically and mentally when they cannot move enough.

We all moved a lot more in everyday life than in these unreal times. We ran more, climbed more stairs, sprinted briefly to the bus, stood in the shopping queue, heaved the purchases home, etc. All normal movements that many do not have in lockdown.

Overcome your weaker self and move!

What kind of sport or exercise is good for you, everyone knows best for themselves, the main thing is to overcome your weaker self and give your body the necessary amount of exercise.

But above all: get out of bed! Too much sleep or too much time in bed can affect your mind. Long bed times can even make you depressed.

6. Feel the nature!

Experience the autumn colors, the migratory birds, the wind. Every walk is good for you. Half an hour is great, an hour and a half is better.

Take advantage of the hours of sunshine. What if it rains or storms? Then there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Even if it's uncomfortable: let's go outside!

No matter what the weather is - every walk is good!

Exercise in the fresh air lifts the mood, perks you up, relieves stress and worries, because exercise outdoors lowers the level of the body's own hormone cortisol in the blood. The head becomes clear and you can concentrate better again.

7. Pamper your body and mind!

Not with chocolate and chips! Nice thought! But I thought more of a healthy diet with more fruits, vegetables and salads than usual. Fresh juices. And I thought of relaxation, wellness moments for body and soul. Especially when things are not going so well, you need such pampering moments.

It doesn't take much to turn your own bathroom into a wellness temple

Candlelight instead of a ceiling lamp, music instead of a running washing machine, a stimulating eucalyptus bath or soothing lavender. A massage with a gentle shower brush, just take time to relax. Rub yourself dry and apply lotion. It doesn't take much to turn your own bathroom into a wellness temple.

8. Surprise yourself!

Our mind needs input and variety, so surprise yourself: For example, find previously unknown recipes or combine the ingredients differently than usual. Even if it doesn't taste that good, it was at least something different.

I have no idea how it tastes. But there is something new.

Don't always listen to the same playlist, but rather browse through new worlds of sound. Don't watch the same series or programs all the time (especially doctor series or crime novels, there are so many more than diseases and crimes). There are real treasures slumbering in many media libraries that give you new ideas.

9. Make yourself nice!

In the spring, many people feel a strong urge to tidy up, clear out, redesign and paint their homes. This spring cleaning is not only practical, it is also a kind of cleansing ritual.

You feel more comfortable in a tidy, clean or perhaps newly painted environment. And a tidy apartment also improves coexistence. Cleaning has been shown to reduce stress and some even perceive the major cleaning as a kind of meditation.

Sorting out in particular has a liberating effect. In Europe, for example, a person owns an average of 10,000 things and we don't need many of them. But we find it difficult to clean out these things. We only keep a lot out of decency or sentimentality, which of course applies above all to mementos.

You can give away what you don't need or like. Mucking out is not easy, but it is liberating.

But if you want to muck out, there is a trick: You don't proceed according to rooms, but according to categories, i.e. according to items of clothing, books, odds and ends and mementos. If you first put all the items from the category in a pile, you will see how much you actually own.

Once you have piled everything up, you take every object in your hand and consider whether it is fun or useful. If so, it can stay and if not, it will be sorted out.

10. Start something new!

"If I had time, I would ...!" The world's best excuse. Well, now is the time. For example, to revive an old hobby. Or to look for a new job.

You can finally start doing something you've always wanted to do: maybe learn a new language. You could paint or make music, try out yoga or get involved in social activities, go shopping for older neighbors or help children learn. We have the time for something new.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    Take a walk - if allowed

    If outdoor exercise is an option, as is currently the case in Germany, take a daily walk in a nearby park or nature area. Avoid busy areas, keep a safe distance from other people, and wash your hands when you get home.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    Soundtrack for outside

    You can enjoy nature at home even without a walk in the forest. Studies show that looking out of the window into the green or listening to nature sounds can increase our wellbeing. Researchers in the UK have found that sounds like the chirping of birds, wind or a babbling brook help us relax. Such sounds can also be heard online.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    Virtual visit

    Many national parks are closed and traveling is not an option? The internet makes it possible to observe wildlife without leaving your home. Many nature and animal protection areas have webcams that you can follow via live stream. For example, you can virtually visit a gorilla reserve in the Congo, an elephant park in South Africa or the nest of bald eagles in the USA.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    Under the sea

    Zoos and aquariums also offer live streams of their enclosures, such as this jellyfish camera in the Monterey Bay Aquarium on the west coast of the USA. Studies show that looking at aquariums - even for a short period of time - can have a calming effect and help reduce stress and anxiety.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    Bird safari at home

    Watch out for the wildlife in your area. Maybe a bumblebee is buzzing between the flowers on the balcony or a robin is sitting outside by the fence. An initiative in the UK is encouraging people to take photos of nearby birds and post them on social media using the hashtag #BreakfastBirdwatch. A similar campaign, #BirdingatHome, is also running in Australia.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    Build a feeding station

    By building a feeding station at home, you can keep your children busy for a while - and attract new feathered friends to your property. All you need is bird seed, edible fat, and a pine cone or coconut shell. And if you don't have a garden, you can also hang the bird feeder with a piece of string in front of the window or on the balcony.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    A home for insects

    You can also strengthen the local biological diversity by providing shelter for insects. You don't necessarily need a garden for that either. You can make an insect hotel as big or small as you like: for the yard, a terrace or a tiny balcony. Old wooden pallets, bricks, dry leaves, straw, and other natural materials will help with the construction.

  • Coronavirus: eight ways to get in touch with nature despite curfews

    Gardening puts you in a good mood

    Working in the garden can reduce anxiety and lift the mood. So why not use the time at home to plant some vegetables or bright flowers? Lavender, thyme, sage, and other insect-friendly plants could also attract pollinators like butterflies and bees. You can of course also grow plants indoors. Many garden centers deliver to your home.

    Author: Natalie Muller