Finding positivity during these times of social isolation and confinement to the same four walls may sometimes seem impossible. It’s easy to see why, as much of both mainstream and social media remain dominated by news of coronavirus, with a consistent mix of dizzying facts and unknown quantities.
It’s important for us all to take a break from the endless torrent of coronavirus-related comms in order to focus on some positives and give us the space needed to maintain our mental health. We’ve pulled together a few alternate news sources and resources that can give you the break you deserve.
The Happy News
This printed, quarterly newspaper does what it says on the tin – provides 32 pages packed with only positive, happy news collected from around the world over the previous 3 months. Articles can be on anything – from positive developments in the world of science to encouraging nature news. It also includes an Everyday Heroes section for groups, individuals or companies, nominated by readers, who may be doing great things in their communities or bringing some sunshine into people’s lives.
The Happy News began as a kickstarter backed campaign by designer, writer and photographer Emily Coxhead and has grown to have a subscriber base of over 12,000 across 33 countries. If you need a fix of Happy News between the quarterly hard-copy publication you can also follow @TheHappyNewspaper on Instagram for updates, happy facts and bite-sized positive stories.
The Good News Movement
Similar to the Happy News, this journalist-run Instagram account focusses purely on positive news from across the globe. Set up and administered by Colombian journalist Michelle Figueroa, it promises zero politics and welcomes contributions from anyone around the world.
Typical posts range from celebrities and philanthropists doing good, people helping their local communities and short clips to make you smile or laugh. The channel has over a 1 million subscribers and has seen an upsurge in followers and contributions of acts of kindness since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. You can join in by following @goodnews_movement on Instagram.
Some Good News
Actor and director John Krasinski, best known for roles in The Office (US), Amazon Prime’s Jack Ryan and from starring in and directing Netflix’s A Quiet Place, has launched the Some Good News YouTube channel in direct response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Considering the first episode was only published on March 29, the channel’s 1.35 million subscribers (at the time of writing) is particularly impressive. Add to that the fact that the first episode alone has had a staggering 13.7 million views and it’s clear that there’s plenty of desire for positive news right now. Krasinski uses his comedic talents to give the news an extra positive spin and bring some much-needed smiles.
Staying physically fit
It’s well-publicised that maintaining better physical fitness can support mental wellbeing. We’ve covered the topic in our previous post around maintaining your wellbeing as a traveller.
In the current climate of self-isolation and with more people than ever staying within the same four walls for the vast majority of their time, many people will be getting less physical exercise than usual. Whether that’s from missing out on structured group outdoor exercise regimes, or simply no longer walking to work or taking a stroll to the shops on lunch breaks at the office. Additionally, those staying at home and with much easier access to the fridge and cupboards may find themselves more easily tempted by treats, so keeping as active as possible becomes even more important!
The UK government is currently still allowing those that are not displaying signs of coronavirus single session of solitary outside exercise per day, for example a walk, run or bike ride. It’s important to note that these must be carried out alone or with those that you share a household with, and not be used as an opportunity to socialise with similarly exercise-minded friends. In addition to making the most of this daily exercise opportunity, you could also take part in additional exercise either in your garden (if you have one ) or indoors following the plethora of online video exercise courses available.
When schools in the UK closed, Joe Wicks pledged to run half-hour daily PE classes on weekdays at 9am on his YouTube channel, the Body Coach. In addition to the millions of children worldwide now taking part, plenty of adults are too. Its free and gives a sense of community and belonging knowing that hundreds of thousands of other households are taking part at the very same time.
You don’t have to look far online to find a range of other keep fit video options across dance, yoga, boxercise, marital arts like tai chi and much more. This could be an opportunity to try something new at home that you can continue once we get beyond the social distancing measures currently in place.
Keeping fit releases endorphins in the body that lift the mood and reduce stress. Plus the getting into a routine of exercise can provide some much needed structure and a positive feeling of accomplishment as you start to see results from your efforts.
These are just a few examples of things that we can all do to keep some positivity in our lives during these extremely strange times. You could also think about reigniting an old hobby, learning something new with the help of the internet or focussing on reflection and meditation.
Keeping your mind active and engaged can help make time pass quicker and ensure you have positive areas to focus on and accomplishments to strive toward.
Keep an eye on our Working From Home blog for more updates coming soon including suggestions on how technology and apps can support a positive outlook and work-life balance.