Although we know that the COVID-19 lockdown is essential to flatten-the-curve, it does not make things easier. It is an enormous challenge to stay positive during these troubling times. Doubt and negativity ramble through our minds, causing fear, stress and anxiety.

Will things be the same? Will we survive financially and emotionally? How do we move forward? 

It is in times like these we need to find ways to stay positive. If we don’t, the negativity will destroy us much faster than the Coronavirus.

Looking back into history, we see that the human race is much stronger than we feel at this moment. We find resilience within the depths of our souls. And then use it to rebuild our lives after the greatest tragedies. One example is the second-world-war-rebuilding, passed. 

But what do we do in the middle of the crisis, when all seems lost? Especially during COVID-19 lockdown. How do we stay positive when everything around us is falling apart?

I don’t have all the answers. 

However, I can share tips that helped me to survive my darkest nights.  

KEEPING A GRATITUDE JOURNAL 

I remember the worst time of my life when I struggled to find-hope because everything seemed lost. 

During that time, my son suggested that I start keeping a gratitude journal. I thought to myself; how can you expect me to find anything to be grateful for after I lost everything?

However, being at the end of my rope, I decided to give it a try. I had a spare journal my friend gave to me and more than enough time on my hands.

The first couple of days was hard. I battled to find even one thing to write into my gratitude journal. My first entries were one or two inscriptions a day. In the end, I wrote more than two pages a day. I kept my gratitude journal for more than two years.

My focus shifted from the negative towards the positive. It changed my life. 

Today, friends and family admire my ability to see the positive in every situation. Keeping a gratitude journal did not only change me, it changed my destiny. 

All of us need to become more positive in our outlook on life. Especially now, during the COVID-19 lockdown. Within this cultivated attitude, we discover a deeply rooted resilience which helps us to overcome and even prosper.

If you do not like to journal, you can start a gratitude board. See it as a vision-board with a twist. 

Be creative, but express your gratitude.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT 

Live in the moment? What if the moment does not suit my way of thinking or doing?

Honestly, I think that is the problem with us as human beings. We have outgrown the ability to appreciate the moment. We always wish that things could be different, more favourable.

In short, we do not have the privilege to change our circumstances. Sometimes we are stuck, as is the case with the COVID-19 lockdown.

In such events, we have a choice. Do we keep on dwelling on everything that is not going our way? Or do we choose to change our focus and attitude?

I know this might sound harsh, but it is the reality.  

What if we turn our focus from what we do not have or cannot do to what we do have and can do? What if we use this time optimally?. Bond with our family, reflect on our lives and start new habits and even traditions? What if we start seeing this time as a gift? 

No amount of negativity (whether in our thoughts or with our words) will change our current circumstances. Rather see this as an opportunity for growth. 

In what area do you want to grow?

We are in this COVID-19 lockdown, whether we like it or not. But how we choose to spend our time and focus on will determine how we will walk away from this period in our lives. We can take control of what we focus on and in the process, we will find that our emotions and attitude change.

My heart for this period is that we take this much needed time to reflect, reposition and restore. 

Reflect – what is working in our lives and what is not.

Reposition – what must we change to ensure that growth will be the result. 

Restore – what must we put in place to make the growth happen.

Let us not waste this time given to us. Let us use this time optimally and make sure that we grow as individuals and as a Nation.

STAY CONNECTED 

Humans are social beings. Isolation and loneliness are our biggest enemies, especially when we face difficult times. During the COVID-19 Lockdown, we feel disconnected from the world, family, friends and even from ourselves.

Hence, a few tips on how to stay connected.

Stay connected with yourself: 

  • Keep to your routine as best you can
  • Take time to explore your emotions and habits
  • Do self-care which will help you deal-with-fear-stress-and-anxiety-during-COVID-19.

Also remember to:

Reflect – what is working in our lives and what is not.

Reposition – what must we change to ensure that growth will be the result. 

Restore – what must we put in place to make the growth happen.

Stay connected with the people you are spending lockdown with: 

  • Do fun activities.
  • Learn to enjoy life and laugh despite the chaos in the world around you.
  • Make time to talk and invest in each other’s lives.

Connect with family and friends not sharing the lockdown space with you:

The internet has powerful resources we can use to stay connected:

Connect with God:

  • Do bible study. The Psalms is a good book for a time like this.
  • Play worship music or join a live worship event on Facebook. 
  • Start with a Listening Room journal. Take 5 minutes every day and ask God what He is saying to you; write it down.
  • Pray with friends and family.

All of us need to know that we are not alone, that we are part of a greater world and community. 

SUMMARY:

KEEPING A GRATITUDE JOURNAL

LIVE IN THE MOMENT – focus on what we have and can do and not on what we do not have and cannot do.

STAY CONNECTED – with yourself, people you are spending COVID-19 lockdown with, family and friends and NB – stay connected to God

Do not allow your current situation to define you. Take control of your thoughts, focus on what you can control. Above all, build a resilient heart founded on a positive attitude.

You can do this. I believe that with all my heart.