The start of November marks ‘National Stress Awareness Week’ and unfortunately, yet understandably there has been a rise in levels of stress and anxiety here in the UK this year.
The continued uncertainty of our current situation combined with the natural dip in motivation we often feel in the winter months, adds a whole new level of challenge.
As a society we perceive negative experiences as more valuable than positive, making it easy to spiral into thoughts of negativity and impacting our mood each day. With an awareness of the extremely challenging factors which can influence our stress levels and how difficult it can be to put a positive spin on current situations, promoting positivity in our day to day lives could work towards a more optimistic mindset and may help to relieve some stress.
So how do we work to promote positivity in our daily life?
A huge contributor to our positivity is making the time to do the things that make us feel happy. It’s easy to push these things to the end of the ‘to do’ list when we’re busy or stressed, however this is the time these things are the most beneficial.
I’ll be happy when…
Often we live by the ‘I’ll be happy when…’ approach.
‘I’ll be happy when this is all is over.’ ‘I’ll be happy when I get a promotion.’ ‘I’ll be happy when I’m a certain weight.’
What are we waiting for? Of course we are unable to do some of the things that make us happy at the moment – this is out of our control. Start to take control of the things that you can do!
What makes you happy?
Living in a fast paced life filled with routines and to do lists, we can get lost in the process; making the questions ‘what makes you happy?’ or ‘what do you enjoy?’ really difficult to answer. We lose track of how we like to spend our time.
Get to know yourself again.
Try to do something that makes you feel happy every day. It doesn’t have to take too long or be anything glamorous; whether it’s a walk in the park, a long bath or a chat to a friend - it can often be these basic acts of self care that have the biggest impact. Doing something that makes you feel good everyday will bring a little positivity to each day.
Maintain healthy habits
At these times of high stress and low mood, we find it difficult to prioritise healthy choices, however these are the times maintaining these habits can be the most beneficial.
Continuing in a healthy routine can help to boost our mood and often, leaves us feeling well equipped to deal with what’s next.
Working to prioritise healthy dietary choices, take part in regular movement and do what we can to get to bed on time can make a big difference, as well as contribute to our health both physically and mentally. Simple, yet effective!
With rules and restrictions surrounding who we can and cannot see, this year has been challenging to stay connected with loved ones.
Maintaining healthy relationships is one of the most important contributors to our overall health. It may not be in person; however making time for regular chats with families and communities will be beneficial for all involved. It’s good to talk - a problem shared is a problem halved.
Aim to look after those ‘book ends of the day’ – morning and night. These regular routines will help you to start the day with a positive mindset and end it feeling relaxed and ready to sleep.
Avoiding screens at these times gives us the opportunity to take control of how we feel, rather than allowing our thoughts and feelings to be influenced by what we see online.
Being consistent with routines can also help to feel a sense of security and control if things are becoming overwhelming and hard to manage.
What about those bad days..?
Promoting positivity is easier said than done.
Sometimes, during really challenging times we just do not have the energy or motivation to do some of the things that might improve our mood, and we can find a negative train of thought difficult to move away from. Be gentle with yourself if this is the case. Allowing yourself to acknowledge and feel your feelings can be the first step when working to improve them.
Listen to your body, acknowledge how you feel each day and give yourself permission to go with it.
Happiness is subjective. Focus on what makes you feel good, happy and fulfilled and work to make it a priority every day.
Holistic Health Coach - Anna Whyte
The ‘Wellness with Anna’ philosophy focuses on taking a more balanced and holistic approach to health. Often, the tools needed to make a lasting change are already in your toolbox. I offer client led guidance in order to support the progress of an individual working to meet their personal wellness goals. I will not diagnose, treat or take responsibility for bringing about wellness change, but direct, listen and support development.
We work together on a journey to make health a main priority, both physically and mentally.