You, me, and just about everyone on the planet is feeling the effects of the Covid-19 restrictions. There are many things we can’t do anymore, and this can make us feel isolated and lonely.

For some, it causes lapses into a mild depression. Without something to pull us out of the doldrums, we risk falling prey to negative thoughts of low self-esteem, and the feeling of being valueless, and without purpose. Not a pretty picture at all.

Finding the fun and joy in life has almost become a thing of the past, something we used to do. But it doesn’t have to be. We need to take control, especially of our negative thoughts. Our circumstances planted these negative seeds, and we can reverse them with new circumstances. Ones that give us meaning and purpose.

Here are 5 things you can do to take your mind off the negative thoughts and give yourself a feel-good boost.

Do Something for a Friend or Family Member

There is always something we can do for those we know. Whether it’s running an errand, getting them their favourite sweet or bakery good, or even stopping by for a ‘safe’ short visit. They may be feeling somewhat down because of the Covid-19 restrictions, and your gesture may just make their day. Doesn’t this sound like something worth doing?

You can even do this a few times a week for different people. Not only will it make you both feel good, it’ll give you that reminder that you do belong and have value with your friends/family.

Do Something for a Stranger

Doing something for a stranger during Covid-19 can sound a bit odd and dangerous. But look at it as an opportunity for a small, risk-free gesture. This can be holding the door for the person behind you carrying bags, pushing a stroller, or using a walker.

You can move that bike in the roadway to the grass or toss the newspaper that missed the porch to where it should have landed. Think about slowing down to let that car on your bumper pass you.

You can also simply smile when you are standing in line. Yes, even while wearing a mask, smiles show around the eyes, and people will find your smile relaxing. Go on, give it a try. When you look for these small opportunities, you will find them.

Do Something for the Community

No matter where you live there is always a community you belong to. It may just be the local neighbourhood, a club, or interest group. There is always something you can do to contribute.

It may be raking leaves in the park, as the gardener only comes once a week. It may be sending reminders to the neighbourhood about a delay or change in something. While most communities do have staff to manage them, they are usually overworked and would welcome some help.

Give them a call and find out if you can lend them a hand. Even if they say there is nothing, at least you tried, and that is something to feel good about. An excellent example is writing this article for the Sixty and Me community. Yes, I practice what I preach.

Do Something for a Charity

We all have a cause we believe in, and many of us have a charity we support. Give them a call and ask what you can do. It may not be possible to go there and help out, but maybe you can collect something they need, deliver something, or make phone calls for them.

You can also post about them on social media, directing your friends to their website. Consider baking cookies, or even a lunchtime stew, for the staff. They may ask if you can pin flyers to bulletin boards in the local grocery stores, or collect used linens, as an example, from your friends and family.

There is always something a charity needs and doing it, no matter how small, is an excellent way to give yourself a feel-good lift.

Do Something for Yourself

Yes, do something for yourself. Make yourself feel good. This can be done weekly or even daily. Mix it up. Go for a walk in your favourite park one day, and window shop ‘uptown’ another day.

Try a new recipe on Sundays and watch an old movie while you eat your new creation. And I do mean an old movie – something that was old even when you were a kid.

On Thursday give yourself a manicure and pick a crazy new nail colour. And on Saturday, start a new series on Netflix. Give yourself something to look forward to throughout the week and every week. Anticipation gives value to our days and to our lives.

Focusing our energy on doing things gives us an escape from our thoughts. This break can turn negative reflections into sunshine. Yes, I exaggerate, but when you have a plan of action, you begin to see your value. You become something bigger than your isolation and loneliness.

Pick one, a few, or all of the above and give them a try. See how you feel. I’m betting you’ll start feeling good. You’ll be proud of yourself for taking the initiative to make a positive difference in your life.

It’s all good!

If you love volunteering, one thing you can do is help raise funds for projects dear to your heart. Learn more from Perley-Ann’s book Volunteer Fundraising Simplified.

Have you been living on negative thoughts lately? How does that reflect on your day-to-day live? Do you think you can put a stop to it? Will you try our list of suggestions for positive actions? Please share your opinion and experiences with the community!

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