So much fear and sadness in the media. So how do we keep our spirits up?

Firstly, the power of laughter is something that can help us greatly during such a time. Thankfully most of us have internet access, where we can find entertainment, but is it still ok to laugh in the midst of something so serious? You might worry that it’s not right to laugh, but it’s really necessary, so try to embrace the memes and hilarious videos making comedic jokes surrounding the virus. I’ve seen almost everything, from Bohemian Rhapsody rewritten about the virus, to exercise involving toilet paper, and even poker games with TP as the cash. The people who put these things together are helping our mental health through this time, and as we become less interactive we can suffer from isolation related mental illness.

If you try to focus on positive things, you may miss important news, but it doesn’t mean that this is all you should access. Give yourself the balance of good news. Instagram has a “dogsworkingfromhome” account with some hilarious pictures. Social media has started lots of positive groups, full of people discussing ways to support the homeless and good deeds, to help remind us of the good in the world. Keep in touch with friends and share your thoughts and feelings. We are all in this together, so be sure you don’t stay alone in a world where electronic connectivity is so strong.

Take advantage of the connectivity we have, and use it all. Our brains are primed to look for faces, so video calls will give us more than a typical audio call. Group calls can be even better for our social enjoyment. Actually seeing someone smile, having a conversation with one or more people, and sending fun pictures can really lift our spirits. Yesterday we connected with good friends on audio, and played MarioKart together. Can’t thank the genius who found a way for Wii connection over the web to be operable again. Perhaps we can appeal to game designers to do more of this sort of thing, particularly now. We all made emojis of ourselves today. I saw my mum (on video conferencing) for the first time since this all began, and we chatted and laughed. This is the sort of thing that feeds your soul, and ultimately your mental health.

One of the things that can really enrich our lives is caring for others. Whether you’re stuck at home unable to work, or reaching for things to do in the hours you’re not working, you can use this time. Create a fun meme to share, write emails to friends, participate in forums and social media to support others, or reach out to the people in your local neighbourhood. There are so many ways to contribute to your local area without social contact. Taz has been stopping by a self-isolating neighbour to knock on her window and smile whenever he passes, and this has lifted her spirits. Soap is apparently something which breaks down the virus, so if you practice good hygiene, you can drop off a care package or letter for neighbours who are on their own. It only takes something small to make a difference. It can really lift your spirits to make such a difference to someone too.

Another thing we can all do to keep our spirits up, as schools close and social activities have ground to an indefinite halt is learning and home maintenance. Achievement is part of our every-day confidence building, so as tempting as it may be to just hang out at home, bring learning and achievement into every day. Do those home projects that you haven’t gotten to. Learn a language. Teach your child how to play an instrument, and entertain each other. I’m hoping Dale will practice his ability as a comedian, as we really need that sort of comedic energy in our lives right now, so maybe I will get him to perform a little stand-up, or show him some, and teach him how it works.

So reach out in the safest way possible, laugh when you can, and take advantage of any extra time to achieve.

What is the funniest meme you have seen?

What do you plan to do while stuck at home?

Which sites or groups do you recommend for a positive environment?

If you would like to discuss the ideas in this post further, tell your story, or share your experiences, please join us on our Facebook page.
Please be respectful of others at all times. We are all on different journeys.

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