10 Ways to Be a Positive Light in these Troubled Times
2020 has felt like one big game of Jumanji that just keeps going. The fires that raged in Australia, the Coronavirus sweeping across the world, floods, riots, it is a lot to handle.
“2020 will be my year” was the mantra for lots of people on January 1st, and although it seems like a lost cause now, maybe this year can still be your year. The best way to feel happiness is to spread happiness to others - check out these 10 ways to be a positive light during 2020.
“But no one can see me smile behind my mask.” Yes. Yes we can.
Have you noticed people scurrying past each other, keeping their "phsyical distance" to the point of avoiding eye contact in public places?
The Covid Culture and words like, "asymptomatic carrier" has created a culture of fear of other people which we need to stop!
Be the change, lead the revolution - and just smile at a stranger!
Why not be that person who makes someone’s day just by exercising those beautiful face muscles. This could be done when walking past someone, it could be when you are going through a till at the grocery store, or it could even be to the car who stopped beside you at a red light.
If you are worried that smiling is pointless behind a mask, remember that the muscles required to help you smile also move your skin around your nose and eyes, so you can totally see a smile, even with your mouth safely hidden behind your mask.
2. Avoid online disputes
The wise Ice Cube once said, “check yourself before you wreck yourself.” Continuously remember that the words you are spreading online don’t just sit there in cyberspace. There is someone else, somewhere else, on the other side of the screen reading what you are writing and, depending on what you are posting, it can be extremely harmful. We have also seen a large increase in the amount of people taking part in cancel culture, which can tear another person’s life apart.
Everyone is allowed and encouraged to have their own opinion, but just remember when you are writing something online, you aren’t writing in a diary. You are writing to billions of people worldwide, and they can be affected by what you are writing.
3. Social interaction is important
Humans are social beings, so we need our ‘people time’. This could be through a Skype or Facetime call, going out with friends if your area allows, and even striking up conversations with people when you are out and about. Gaining social interaction is important to your mental health, but it is also important for other’s mental health.
For example, why not strike up a conversation with the person at the cash register when you get groceries? A lot of people whose jobs are deemed essential get interaction from their coworkers, but it’s always nice to have a pleasant interaction with a customer.
Make pleasant small talk. Or, take a moment to thank them for working during the pandemic. You will make their day 100% percent of the time.
4. Support your favorite local businesses
During the pandemic a lot of local businesses have been fighting to stay afloat. If they survived the beginning, when everything was closed down, they need your help more than ever.
If you are a fan of a Food delivery service and your favorite local restaurants are on there, check to see if they have a contribution button. You can also help them get more money by seeing if they offer delivery or takeout without a delivery servcie, that way all the proceeds help them to stay open.
If you have a membership at a gym, consider keeping your membership active and subscribing to their online offerings, if that's all they can offer, just to be supportive. Got a favorite local store? See what you can do to help them out. Even buying something small could help them reach their daily quota to stay afloat.
5. Practice random acts of kindness
Random acts of kindness is such a broad idea, but that’s a good thing. There are millions of things that you can do every day to help others and spread kindness. Here are just a few things you can try implementing into your day to cheer others up:
- Open a door for someone
- Pay for the person behind you in line when you get coffee
- Send a cute picture or motivational text to a friend, family member, or coworker
- If you live with your family, do something for someone else you don’t normally do
- Donate to charity
- Your pets deserve some love and kindness too so spend some extra time with them
- Donate food to food banks or supplies to homeless and women’s shelters
6. Tune out of the News
Have you ever heard the phrase, "if it bleeds, it leads?"
Journalism insiders know this to be a cynical outlook on the way the news media often chooses to highlight tragedies and disasters in the news because it tends to be attention-grabbing.
Covid-19, protests, Antifa, a tense political climate - these are all being broadcast on the news everywhere you turn - the radio, your Facebook feed, television. And for many people, hearing these negative themes over and over again is affecting mental health.
So change your own vibration and tune out - turn off the news and listen to a favourite podcast instead.
Read a book instead of your phone's newsfeed.
Take a social media detox break.
And feel better. Then spread your new, more positive feelings out to the rest of the world!
7. Change the Subject
Building on the above point - just because the media is talking about pandemics and divisive movements all day long, doesn't mean you need to.
Bring a positive and welcome change to your social and family circles and change the subject.
Talk about something else! What are you working on in your personal life right now? What stories from your own life experiences can you share or relive? What are you cooking at home these days?
Your friends and family will have less to debate and more to relate if you introduce some pleasant, positive topics into your conversations, give it a try and enjoy an escape from all the negative energy pushed on us these days!
8. Practice empathy
Just like practicing random acts of kindness, try practicing empathy once a day to help those around you. Here are some examples:
- If you are stable financially, try supporting others who may not be
- Don’t overbuy things
- Take only what you need and allow others to have a share
- Just like number four says, support your local businesses and encourage others to as well
- Engaging in helpful acts can increase your empathy and help you to feel socially connected when you are lonely
9. Be a source of encouragement
This goes hand in hand with practicing empathy. Reach out to friends and family and if any of them are lonely, anxious, or depressed, encourage them however possible. Perhaps someone lost their job or they are frustrated with something happening in their life, being there to listen and encourage them can go a long way.
10. Help where you can
Helping can mean a lot of different things. You can help out at home by cleaning, organizing, making meals, or helping others with work. Maybe your friends need your help, or your coworker. Asking others how you can help can increase your relationship with them and can let them know you care. Maybe your coworker is having a rough day or someone you know received some bad news. See if there is something that you can do to make their day better.