And as you can see, I haven't posted anything … ANYTHING … here for some time as I chose to work on my business and my mental health. But I and Tiffinbox are both back. More on that very soon.
This is a guest post by Madhavan Palanisamy, a visual artist (photography is just one of the things he produces) based in Chennai, India. He shared his thoughts on steps to stay positive in a Facebook post some time ago (May 6, 2021, to be precise) and I asked him if I could reshare them here for you to read.
There are a lot of creative people in my feed and I thought it could be useful to them. Especially the ones who might be staying by themselves. Here are some thoughts on steps to stay positive during these stressful times.
This is a follow-up to the ‘languishing’ article I shared on Facebook before.
There are also some specialists on my timeline who work in the areas of coaching, therapy, spiritual healing, etc and they could perhaps add their steps to stay positive as well. Without doing too much scientific thought I have listed some things that have worked for me. It is a combination of mind and body stuff.
10 Steps To Stay Positive:
Deriving from our past challenges: Ask ourselves: what are the darkest times we have had in the past and how did we overcome it – and let’s be aware: we did overcome it – and see if there is some sense of comfort in that.
Physical exercise, yoga, walking: anything to motivate our happy enzymes and boost our well-being. This has always proven to be a partner. The energy that is built around and not spent will become our burden. Pls, do something for 30-45 mins every day.
When you feel down, get up and open your chest and breathe, and immediately you will feel a difference. Eating healthy and avoiding snacks, and cutting down on smoking and alcohol also helps
Try centering exercises. Short meditation exercises using your breath and consciousness to ground you to your body. To reassure you that you are alright. Check this 2 min video, for example, notice how immediately you feel relaxed.
You could https://www.podomatic.com/podcasts/coaching88867″>check this podcast by Sheeja Shaju for a longer centering body scan (14mins) which I used a couple of years back a lot.
You can also try meditating to healing frequencies of sound (search youtube, Spotify, etc) for example check this:
Form a support group among peers/friends. Have Conversations To ask once in a day how everyone is feeling. To ensure that we are all are in this together. See if we can pull ourselves up.
You could also nominate someone from this group to check on you every day, you could keep their name on your speed-dial – in case you need them in case of any emergency. and you be the same to someone else. This is for people staying by themselves.
Doing something you love: Listening to music, podcasts, watching biopics, reading books that you have kept aside, watching sunsets, talking to your plants, taking a quick ride/drive without putting yourself to risk, or watching analog-photography videos and talent shows on youtube. whatever floats your boat.
Morning Pages: it a great practice to get rid of anxiety, and to help in creativity. After you get up and finish your basic business, sit down and write 2 pages, use a pen and a notebook. Put down everything that comes to your mind. It does not have to make sense. Let it all go. Do it every day and I promise you will feel better. It is also a great place to recruit ourselves to have conversations with.
You could also practice journaling if that works better for you – which is also a similar thing but you can do it at your time where have conversations with yourself and put down some wishes and plans and watch it realize.
We come to the money part. Level up and make a plan: sit down and write where money is coming from and where it is going. How much do you need to sustain for 2-3 more months? How do we manage? Are there any savings? Are there friends who can offer help? Can your house-owner be ok with you not paying the rent for a month or two – and pay later? Can you delay paying your taxes? Will your bank offer moratoriums? Or, top-up your loan? Can you sell something that you are not using? Can you put some of your online memberships on hold? Research says that a lot of people fear this step and live in constant fear. This way you know what you are up against. Ask for help. More often there are chances that we might receive it.
Affirmations: Tell yourself that everything is ok and simple stuff like ‘My problem has a solution; I will work on a plan.’ or ‘I am a survivor’ ‘My spirit is beautiful.’ Read up on affirmations and write down the ones that make sense to you.
Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself some great things. Believe it can work. We don’t take ourselves seriously (as in, we don’t believe we deserve love and happiness and the best the world can offer) and that creates a divide between who we are and what we become. Speak to the image of you. Listen to the image of you. You can close your eyes and do it as well. Your body and your soul are a team.
Be aware of what’s happening but Try to stay off all the negative noise: Choose one source for news – for example, Faye D’Souza does a nice, neutral job when it comes to reporting the news.
Help others if you can, with your time, money, experience. Anything you could do to make things better. If you don’t have any idea – you can find a friend who is helping others always and help them or support them.
We will get through this. It might take a year or more for the virus threat to be fully gone. But this shit-storm that we are currently will pass soon. When it is over and we can finally breathe, we must remember, with humility, that nature is the boss.
Among those outlined above, what steps to stay positive are you following every day? Tell us in the comments below!