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3 Tips for Staying Positive Despite the Restrictions

By Patrick O'Malley December 13, 2021 Lifestyle

Lockdown, rising cases, restrictions are words we have learned to dread. As new variants appear, there is uncertainty about what lies ahead. I want to share three quick tips with you to help you stay positive over the coming months. Whether you are having to isolate, concerned about the possibility of future restrictions, or just missing family or friends that you can’t see in person – there’s no doubt that 2021 has posed challenges for all of us.

Staying positive is vitally important. The most common challenges during Covid restrictions are:

  • Feeling lonely or isolated because you can’t see the people you would normally see.
  • Missing being able to go outside.
  • Getting depressed or down.
  • Becoming bored.

So how can we combat those?

Tip #1 – Find 2 Things That Can’t Be True at the Same Time

If you think about how many thoughts you have during the day, the number is in the thousands. Our subconscious mind is a bit of a fretter – it tends to worry about things both real and imaginary.

One excellent way of controlling our thoughts is to think about two things that just cannot be true at once. For example, do you have a list of things that you never get to? Perhaps there are some activities that you always wanted to explore but you never had the time?

If this is the case, then you can’t really say “I am bored.” The two sentences – “I have nothing to do” and “I have lots of tasks that I never get around to” – simply cannot exist together.

So if you’re feeling bored, struggling to fill the day with interesting activities, or feeling low energy, get out the pen and paper and make a list of the things that you never get around to, always wanted to do, or must be done someday.

Tip #2 – Treat Restrictions Like Choices

We tend to think of restrictions as something bad because they take stuff away from us – our freedom, our choices, and our options. What would happen if we just flipped the perception of this upside-down?

Let me share an example. Imagine you were a writer, and I told you that you had to write a story but with the following restrictions – the characters had to be children, the weather was raining, and the story was based under the sea.

You may well write a good story or a bad one, but the point is that these ‘restrictions’ would have led you to be creative (yes!) in a new way. One person’s restrictions are another person’s creativity.

A talented chef, if restricted to use only three ingredients, might prepare a meal they never made before. A person knitting a jumper with the two colors of wool they never use might create a garment with quite an intricate design.

If you are restricted to being inside, couldn’t this encourage you to do something you wouldn’t normally do (and couldn’t that in itself be a tremendous gift)?

If you did make that list of stuff you always wanted to do (above), spending additional time indoors could be just the restriction/creativity bump you need!

Tip #3 – Get Uncomfortable

Speaking from personal experience, I know the times when I most come to life is when I begin a project, and I literally do not know if I will fail or succeed. These are also the most rewarding.

When we are faced with a challenge that is out of our comfort zone, something comes alive in us. It’s very hard to explain it succinctly, but you’ll know what I’m talking about.

As a guitar teacher, I have had students with muscular injuries after car crashes, students in their 80s, and students with learning difficulties. I can tell you that often those with the biggest challenges not only went further but also were most eager to go there.

Think about something that would require a massive learning, application, or courage on your part. Is now not the perfect time?

With these tips above, I’m sure you’ll be able to turn any restrictions into a time of rewarding personal development and inner satisfaction.

If learning guitar is something that is of interest to you, I have created a free 85-page ebook for teaching complete beginners the fingerpicking style on guitar that you can download!

What’s on your list of things you’ve always wanted to do? Are there any hobbies or musical instruments that might be the perfect activity to pick up at this time? Please share in the comments below.

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The Author

Patrick O'Malley is a guitar teacher, author, and instructor. He is passionate about the impact of learning an instrument (particularly guitar), and over 12k students have taken his online courses. Patrick can be contacted at

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