What started out as an email exchange about how we are feeling and coping these days, Lippincott NursingCenter’s clinical editor, Lisa Bonsall and managing editor, Kim Fryling-Resare, started our personal lists of 10 ways we try to stay positive. The COVID-19 pandemic, current events, and natural disasters have permeated our lives in the past eight months more than any other time in recent history. Many of us are feeling overwhelmed and even helpless but shifting to a more positive outlook can help get us through these tough times. This, of course, is not always so easy to do; it takes a conscious effort, and sometimes amazing co-workers to bring positivity about.
See our lists below. We think you’ll see some common themes between our lists and be sure to let us know some of the ways you’re staying positive in these times of high strain. Creating your list may be very therapeutic for yourself or may help others see the positives during this time.
Lisa Bonsall, MSN, RN, CRNP, Senior Clinical Editor:
- Find inspiration. I recently watched the documentary, In Case of Emergency, from filmmaker Carolyn Jones, and read The Wisdom of Frontline Nurses Report: 14 Solutions. Both remind me why I became a nurse and reinforced my pride in our profession.
- Consider the source. It’s easy to get pulled into discussions on social media or spend a lot of time tuned into the news. Stay updated from reputable sources; go right to the source. Read the studies and interpret the data and consult with trusted colleagues.
- Practice gratitude. Consider starting each day, recognizing/writing 3 things you are thankful for.
- Use your voice. As nurses, we are educators, and we are trusted. Share the facts, focusing on the evidence, and be honest about how much remains unknown about COVID-19. And of course, get out and vote!
- Avoid engaging. While we can’t control the actions of others, we can control our own reactions.
- Surround yourself with positive people. When you are presented with negativity, take a deep breath and listen. Often, that is enough. If not, see #4!
- Escape. Make time for the things that bring you joy, whether it’s getting outside, reading a novel, or cooking something new. Self-care is more important than ever.
- Look for the silver lining. For me, my college-aged kids returning home last spring gave us time together as a family that we would not have otherwise had. I will treasure the memories that we made during that time.
- Smile. Even behind your mask 😊
- Say hello. Reach out to others, whether greeting them during your walk, making a call or text, or sending a note in the mail. Stay connected.
Kim Fryling-Resare, Managing Editor:
- Take breaks from social media. Sometimes the social platforms can easily turn contentious. For me, it can be too much, and I must take breaks from time to time.
- Exercise. Take a walk, hike, or bike ride. Perform some sort of movement that you enjoy, especially outside. Be sure to pay attention to nature and life all around you.
- Write/journal. Writing things down can be a great outlet for emotions and a great way to reveal to you all the things to be grateful for in this life.
- Have a cup of tea – meaning slow down and take a moment. Make time for yourself each day, even if it is only 10 minutes. Check in with yourself and do something for you.
- Set limits on how much news you’re consuming. The modern-day news programs are designed to hook viewers and keep them coming back for more. Get what you need to stay informed and then shut it down. Also, consider the sources and make sure they are reputable.
- Focus on your 4 walls. Things can sometimes seem so out of control; focus on what you can control. Take care of yourself and your immediate family first, and then everything outside your four walls will become so much easier to handle.
- Seek out “your squad” or those people who lift you up and who will listen if you need to vent and get out any negativity. Then leave it there. Get it out and then let it go.
- Cook and eat food that is healthy and nutritious. It will make you feel good that you’re taking steps to take care of yourself and your family.
- Get proper sleep. This one is a no-brainer for me. It just makes day-to-day life easier to handle with a proper night’s sleep.
- Try to take it moment by moment. Something I learned a long time ago is to focus on your current situation. You can’t do anything about the past and you can only do your best in the moment for whatever may come.
We hope you find these ideas helpful. How do you keep a positive outlook? What would you add to these lists?