How is your hope these days?
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged us physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally and relationally. Our capacity to cope is being stretched to the limit. Some days are better than others. I try not to allow myself to get blasted by the news channels that spew bad news like an open hydrant. Our hearts break when we see people hurting and suffering. Our sadness motivates us to do something which begins by building a positive outlook.
Here are 5 specific practices that are helping me stay hopeful during this trying time:
- Write it out
Some people use Julia Cameron’s morning pages tool, others use The Five Minute Journal, while others take a freestyle approach. Still others find value in writing out their prayers longhand. I have found that just a few lines a day helps me focus my runaway thoughts on gratitude and wins throughout the day.
- Read positive books
Reading shapes our actions. Books by Jon Gordon, Shawn Achor, and Ryan Holiday help me see things from a realistic yet positive perspective. You probably have your favorite authors that are helping you keep the faith during this unique time.
- Post positive verses and quotes
One side benefit of reading positive books is that you can take quotes that inspire you from your reading and display them on Post-it notes, where you see them regularly. Positive Bible verses that remind us of God’s presence and care remind us that we are not alone and serve as good reminders to stay positive in the moment.
- Listen to uplifting music
The options are endless here with styles that run the gamut from classical to instrumental jazz, to ambient to piano to praise and worship. I have a few favorites in each category and I lean into them daily to hear the beauty in the world.
Our minds are fed through our eyes. Seeing positive things lifts our spirits. Encouraging stories can be found at SomeGoodNews and Inspire More. In addition, there are favorite old television comedies that can be streamed from the major providers that help lighten our mood and put us in touch with joy again.
The wonderful thing about being human is that we get to choose what we focus on. Hope is not a strategy, but it sure helps make our days more enjoyable.
I’d love to hear what you are doing to stay positive during these trying times. What are some of your favorite practices?