Staying positive during shitty times

Let’s just call it as it is – this year has been a flaming pile of dog shit so far, and we’re not even yet in the worst of it. 

My favourite bars, cafes & restaurants: closed. My Easter family getaway: cancelled. My raging Friday night plans: non-existent (that’s actually always been the case, but still, it’s depressing). 

Amidst all of this general bullshit and continuous bad news, it can be hard to want to leap out of bed in the morning. It’s during times like these that our mental health and self-care get quickly shoved to the side, when in fact, they should be a top priority. 

We like to move it, move it

Turns out, gym junkies and marathon runners were on to something. Exercise causes the body to release endorphins which, put simply, give you a kick-ass, take-on-the-world kind of feeling. 

You can put training for the 2020 Olympics on hold since they are postponed anyway, but at least find time for a morning walk. Any kind of movement that will get the blood flowing (yes, any kind) is going to help you find the energy to kick COVID-19 up the a-hole.

Eat as though your mother is watching

My first year out of home, my diet consisted solely of party pies, two-minute noodles and the prawn crackers you get when you order Chinese takeaway. Needless to say, I didn’t function well that year…

A crappy diet of fast-food, packet diners and on-the-go breakfast smoothies are the perfect recipe for no energy and poor mental health.

For God sake, eat something fresh! A good mix of fruits and vegetables and a bit of protien will see you through the day far better than another shot of coffee. And don’t say ‘I don’t have time to cook fresh meals’. Your increased energy level will allow you to earn back that time, and then some.

Gold star for you

I don’t care what my mother says, I’m never too old to have a sticker chart. Got out of bed? Gold star. Exercised? Two gold stars. Didn’t cry today? Believe it or not, gold star.

Well-set goals give you something achievable and positive to focus on. Stuff writing the next best-selling novel or learning a language. I’m talking about things you can achieve every day. 

And yes, genuinely give yourself a gold star. Whether it’s a tick on a page, a piece of chocolate or permission to watch an extra episode, reward yourself, dammit!

1.5m makes the heart grow fonder

Walk away from the cafe for a day. Put down your phone. Trust in your team to keep the ship on course while you veg out on the couch. 

These are unprecedented times, and it’s scary AF. We get it. But working yourself into the ground isn’t necessarily the answer.

You and your physical and mental health come first, always. So give yourself a damn break. Go on, you’ve earnt it. 

People who actually know what they are talking about

Need help? Reach out. 

Lifeline – 13 11 14

Crisis support and suicide prevention, with 24/7 call and text lines and valuable online resources. Visit the website.

Beyond Blue – 1300 22 46 36

Providing information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live. Visit the website


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