It’s been a strange year hasn’t it? Doom, gloom, lots of restrictions and so much negativity in the world. We could be forgiven for thinking that the rest of the year will be just as bleak…and indeed it could – IF we let it!
We at SCCCC want to persuade you to LOOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE as we enter the last quarter of 2020. Remember at the beginning of the year when many of us were saying “2020 will be my best year ever?” Let’s try and capture the hope and optimism we felt back then and carry it forward to the end of the year.
Does that sound too hard, impossible even? Well we’re here to help and we’ll start by directing you to Action for Happiness – a website that encourages us all to look for ‘the happy’ in everything we do. They even have printable calendars with tips and motivational messages for each day of each month. This month is “Optimistic October” and is full of little nuggets of wisdom like: “Look out for positive news and reasons to be cheerful today” and “Let go of the expectations of others and focus on what matters”.
Whatever the weather
Yes, October can be dreek and wet (it certainly was as this article was being written) but there can also be glorious days, where the sun lights up the Autumnal golds and russets of the trees, and the skies are clear and blue. It’s up to you to decide which of those two scenarios you choose to focus on – focusing on the great days will definitely make you feel happier.
Take walks in the country or your local park. Crunch through the fallen leaves, kicking them up in the air as you go. If you have a garden (with a tree or two) rake up the leaves into a big pile and dive into them – yes it may be childish but it’s fun and sure to bring a big smile to your face…do remember to move the rake well out of the way though!
On the wet chilly days, make a hot chocolate and lose yourself in a good book, movie or TV series. Seek out old TV shows and films that you haven’t seen for ages and settle down for a spot of reminiscing. Alternatively put on some music and have a dance around the living room (or kitchen)…sing at the top of your voice too. You may feel silly at first, but we bet you’ll end up smiling!
When life gives you lemons…
Always keep in mind that old adage – “when life gives you lemons” and look for ways to make the best of a given situation. Remember that you don’t always have to make lemonade with those lemons…lemon curd, lemon drizzle cake, lemon cheesecake are all delicious too! If it comes to it, just slice the lemons and pop them in your G&T! The point is there’s usually more than one way to maximise your enjoyment and it’s not necessarily the most obvious one.
If you’re forced to stay in (heaven forbid we have another lockdown – but it IS possible) look on the indoor time as an opportunity to do things. Sort through the old photo’s (cue more reminiscing!) tidy out drawers and rationalise your wardrobes and cupboards – do you really NEED all those clothes? Pick up the knitting/sewing/painting/drawing that you put down and forgot about; WRITE that book, LEARN that skill. Keeping yourself busy and your mind occupied is THE best way to keep negativity at bay.
Exercise is good for us and exercising indoors has become very popular since lockdown, there are loads of online classes to follow, from aerobics to yoga and everything in between. Exercising causes the body to produce endorphins – the so called happy hormone. Endorphins also interact with the receptors in the brain which reduce the perception of pain…so a win, win – you’ll feel happier and any pain will decrease (well once you’ve recovered anyway!).
We’ll end this month with another quote from the Action for Happiness Optimistic October calendar…”Thank yourself for achieving the things you often take for granted”.