Re-frame and stay positive!

Before I start writing this blog…I want to give a big shout out to and acknowledge all the ‘essential workers’ – our Drs, nurses, other health care workers, care home staff, front line responders, prison officers, supermarket staff and anyone else who is continuing to work so that we can access those life saving services and our society continues to operate on a basic level. 

WOW – unprecedented times folks!

It sounds like many countries around the world are now in, or moving towards, a state of social isolation in an attempt to beat the spread of this latest virus. The weather here has definitely matched the lock-down status over the last few days with heavy rain and cold winds encouraging us to stay indoors! The current state of affairs is certainly a serious one and is likely to have far reaching consequences in virtually all sectors of our lives, at present we can only guess at what changes we may observe in our society once this is all over.  We are indeed living through a historic event, the like of which we will (hopefully) never see again. Talking to my father, who lived through the second World War in the UK, he noted the similarities between Jacinda Ardern’s speech last week and those of Winston Churchill  – both urging the country to unite and pull together against a common enemy. Let us just hope the fight does not last as long this time!

The weather aside, I’ve observed a lot of negativity  over the last few days and how awful it is going to be as NZ goes into a four week period of being “locked down” in our homes.  It’s easy to allow the negativity on the TV and media platforms to influence your mood so this little post is about re-framing some of that thinking and STAYING POSITIVE whatever your current situation. 

It’s really easy to let negative thoughts repeat themselves over an over in your mind until you lose sight of anything positive at all. ‘Re-framing’ is about recognising those negatives patterns and consciously thinking about them in a different, more positive manner. I recently found the examples below specific to the current situation…..

A big personal challenge for me over the last few weeks has been working on theses particular thoughts and achieving a shift or re-frame:

We are going to lose our home/business ………………….I’ve done everything possible at this time to get us through financially

I can’t work …………………………….I can catch up on all the things I don’t usually have time to do.

One of the ironic things that has occurred to me is that in this fast paced, techno focused world, one of the things many people suffer is TIME POVERTY!

We are so busy working long hours, trying to be the best, rushing from one thing to the next, attending every social gathering and experiencing severe FOMO (fear of missing out)  that the one thing we don’t have is time. How often have you said/heard ” yes I’d love to do that but I just don’t have the time”?

Now that we have it (hey – we’ve just been given 4 weeks!) we are complaining and wondering what we are going to do with ourselves!   Ok, I acknowledge that there are some restrictions……however with a little creativity (and re-framing) this time can be seen as a gift, a luxury, one that we may never get again. 

I wonder if we are so used to having every moment of our lives accounted for and filled with activities, we don’t know what to do when those things are no longer available. Certainly we spend a lot of time at the Flying Fox making lists of things to do ‘in the winter when we are not busy’ but the winter seems to go by quickly each year and the list continues to grow.  We might not have the materials to get on with those DIY jobs we’ve been planing and it can seem overwhelming to know where to start at times like this so…I’ve pulled together a few suggestions if you are really still scratching your heads – I recon once you get going that four weeks is just going to fly by…..

  1. De-clutter. Systematically go through each room in the house and sort out anything you don’t use/wear/need/want any more. Box it up ready to sell or donate to charity.

  2. Learn something new. There are lots of sites which offer free learning programmes, learn something for fun or expand on skills you already have. A favourite of mine is Futurelearn   

  3. Spend some quality time with people in your ‘bubble’……dig out those board games, share a candlelit meal, give a foot massage, plan an update to the house or garden…..

  4. Read Tackle that pile of books you’ve been meaning to get to.

  5. Library resources. Check out your local library site…I’ve discovered our local ones have films, e-books and audio books all available on line. Radio NZ has lots of free podcasts and series to listen to.  Alternatively sites like Audible are low cost and have heaps of free material for members.

  6. Hobbies. If you have tried any kind of hobby in the past whether it is knitting, scrapbooking, woodworking or gardening – the chances are you have a stash of  materials  hoarded away. Sort them out and make all those projects you’ve never got around to.

  7. Try some up-cycling Here’s a great site for ideas

  8. Explore new recipes. Go through that stash of cook books or check out one of the many great sites on the net  – cook up a storm! Here’s some ideas for using everyday things from the pantry

  9. Self-Care. Physical and mental health are important, take some time to look after yourself. This can take many forms from catching up on some sleep, a warm bath,  yoga, meditation, a face pack or taking your daily local walk. TVNZ has a variety of exercise programmes screening from 30th March and here are a couple of online resources for inspiration  Eckhart Tolle  …… Meditation with Deepak Chopra……. DIY cosmetics ………Homemade skin care 

  10. Keep in touch. Use the time to write e-letters or phone family and friends, keep the conversation positive and look after each other. My daughter and I are exchanging a positive photo each day, either something that has happened or something that has made us laugh.

  11. DIY. Did you buy that tin of paint for the spare room but never got around to re-decorating? Or the wood for that new garden bed? is the time for that home make-over!

  12. Keep the kids involved. If you are cooped up with children, spend some quality time with them.  There are lots of free resources for kids online like printable colouring sheets or activities and you can also get them involved in whatever you are doing. Why not try this simple bread recipe with them

So what is your re-frame going to be ?

I’m stuck at home for four weeks…………………I now have time to ———