I say happy, because today I’m sharing with you some of the “good things” that I have observed over the past few weeks.
I recently wrote about daily positives on Instagram and had a whole bunch of lovely messages from people about it, so I thought it would be good to write some more on this subject. Also, being selfish about it, I want to start my weekend on a cheery note, having ended my Friday with a big cry down the phone to my boyfriend, before accidentally knocking over my TV and smashing the screen!
The world feels like a very serious place at the moment, and so I hope none of this is taken the wrong way – but honestly, if I spent every waking minute dwelling on the bad stuff that’s happening, I wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. I’m not sure how well the world would function if we all spent the next few months hiding under our duvets, and I think the ability we have as humans to find small moments of happiness even in darker times is pretty wonderful. So here goes my list of five positive things I have observed over the past few weeks.
When someone asks how you are, they mean it – and we’re all giving a proper answer. In all the Zoom calls and work meetings I’ve attended in recent weeks, I’ve not heard a single “how are you? I’m fine” exchange. Replies have varied from “Yes, I’m feeling quite positive this week, thanks”. Or, “I’m not sleeping too well so this week is a bit tough”. I really appreciate that this experience is teaching us all to be more open about what’s going on inside our heads, even the not-so-good stuff, and to take more time to genuinely listen to each other.
Life has slowed down. I’m fortunate to still be working and really do feel for those who aren’t. But work aside, I’m not constantly over-committing myself and rushing around to be places. I’m a bit of an introvert anyway – which doesn’t at all mean I dislike spending time with others, but does mean I need time alone to recharge. Since I live alone, I’m filling my time cooking, reading, cross-stitching, writing – all things that I loved before, but found little time to do. While I will be thrilled when I can once again meet friends in the pub or go to a yoga class, I hope I can remember to find a bit more balance and stop saying yes to absolutely everything!
I really appreciate the outdoors – and it’s so much lovelier. When you’re only allowed out once per day, you properly notice your surroundings. I’ve lived walking distance to the Downs for 3 years and barely spent any time walking up there before now, which is ridiculous. But it’s not just amazing open spaces that I’m noticing. It’s bunches of daffodils growing in the park, plants in neighbours’ front gardens and birdsong not being drowned out by traffic noise. Walking just to walk, not always with my earphones in, and not always to get somewhere, is something I really didn’t value enough before.
I’ve found new ways to move. My love of running (while still there deep down) has gone a little off the boil lately. I appreciate a quiet a run on my own after a busy day in the office, but it doesn’t hold quite the same appeal when I’m alone basically all of the time! I saw this as a negative at first, but actually I’ve replaced some of those runs with so many other fun things. Live-streamed HIIT classes, Discoaerobics in my kitchen, lunchtime bodyweight workouts. I’m not suggesting I can do everything every week (see previous point about over-committing!), but I’m having so much fun adding a bit more variety into my workouts, and I’d probably never have bothered had I not been forced to get a bit more creative.
People are, in general, fantastic. I mean, not everyone, clearly. But for every bad example out there, I reckon there are at least a thousand good ones. From a personal point of view, like many people, I’ve spent the last 55-ish days mostly in my own company. Yet I haven’t felt lonely once, which really says a lot about the people I am lucky enough to call friends and family. My personal situation aside, I’ve also loved seeing so many online communities spring up recently, neighbours checking in on each other, people putting pictures in windows and hanging homemade decorations outside to make each other smile. We’re all guilty of allowing life to get busy and taking others for granted at times, so it’s great to have chance to just notice the many ways in which other humans are awesome.
I hope that listing my positives might help prompt a few of you to find some of your own – particularly if you’re having a crying, accidental TV-smashing kind of a day! At the very least, I hope reading this made you smile, and that you have as happy a weekend as is possible xx