Sink or Float?
Facing a crisis can be challenging, even for those with happy-go-lucky attitudes, but it’s critical to your mental well-being and immune system to strive for a sunny disposition when possible. Many Sandites have experienced struggles big and small this year, and it’s not always easy to put on a happy face.
Being hopeful or having confidence about an outcome can help you navigate difficult circumstances, though this level of positivity doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you struggle to feel optimistic in the face of uncertainty, take heart 𑁋 there are steps you can take to help boost your mood and, ultimately, alter your mindset. It’s especially important to be vigilant about your current mood, since scientific studies show a correlation between overall health and optimism, and trying out the ideas below to help you stay afloat after the tumultuous spring our community experienced.
Practice gratitude Take a moment each day to recognize both small and significant things you are thankful for. (If it’s helpful, make a list in a journal and reference it when you are having a difficult day.) Anything goes, whether it’s something that provides temporary pleasure, like a hot cup of coffee or the morning song of birds, or big-picture things like having food and shelter or a loving family.
Reframe your focus Rather than fixating on an outcome out of your control, take charge of things you can control. Concentrating on small, concrete things can help decrease feelings of anxiety and worry, too.
Try random acts of kindness Whether you and your children send cards to nursing home residents or drop a fresh-baked loaf of pumpkin bread on the neighbor’s stoop, you’ll get immediate feel-good endorphins and will feel a sense of purpose long after the deed is done.
Relax your body When you feel tense, the muscles in your back, shoulders and jaw stiffen and can even cause soreness. So, throughout the day, take a moment to notice your posture and how your body feels. Spend a few minutes being aware of your breathing, allowing yourself to slowly breathe in and breathe out.
Have faith Lean into your spirituality, which can provide comfort, support, and stability in times of trouble. But know, too, that kindness and perseverance are worth believing in and practicing.
Humans are wildly resilient, and this year many Sandites have overcome obstacles that seemed impossible at the onset. Equipped with practical suggestions to increase mindfulness and buoyed by our commitment to confront calamity with boundless optimism, our community can conquer anything. In Sand Springs, we’ll all float on.