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Staying Positive?

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Yes, I'm naturally a cheerful and optimistic person . . . annoyingly so, I've been told more than once!!

So, what about "staying positive" during COVID-19?

Truth is, I've decided to stop efforting and achieving and leash yanking about staying positive.

it's an attitude I've borrowed both from intuitive eating and from Three Principles.

In the food context: you know that resistance-to-temptation fatigue you experience when you're on a strict diet -- regardless of what that diet is? So at the end of a long day of calorie counting and tracking and saying no no no and you must you must you must: you just don't have any resistance left? Or maybe even if NOT calorie counting, after a period of "other stress" -- lots of other stress right now? -- you just don't have any resistance left to assign to the task of not eating hyperpalatable junk food?

What's worked for me with eating is intuitive eating: eating what I want when I want, knowing that what I really want to eat is the healthy stuff. And stopping eating when I'm almost full: no discipline required.

This morning I made myself a gorgeous egg white omelette with cherry tomatoes and goat cheese and mushrooms on a bed of mixed spring greens and baby spinach. I was full when I finished it.

And then DH started preparing HIS breakfast: eggs and bacon and toast. It smelled SOOOOOOO good. But no: although I didn't tell myself I couldn't have any: I really did not want any. I really was full. So: I didn't take the desire to eat more to heart. I left the room.

What about moods? We can absolutely expect to have periods of low mood in the present circumstances. Or really in any circumstances. But: I'm not taking low mood too much to heart. It's just "weather". Internal weather.

When it's grey and drizzly outside, I don't expect to control that. Really, how crazy would it be to think that I could control the weather? So I don't take it too much to heart. I wait until it's sunny again . . . and perhaps I can even appreciate the rain while it's happening, noticing that the robins are singing ecstatically.

And when it's "internal weather": I'm in a low mood? Nope, I don't have to control that either. It's OK not to be Miss Pollyanna all the time. It's OK to be rather quiet and subdued. It's OK to be a little anxious. A little fearful.

But when I'm in a low mood of anxiety or fearfulness, I can remind myself: what I'm worrying about is NOT happening right now. Actually it is not.

What is happening right now is that I have everything I need. Right here right now in the present moment.

We made a quick grocery run during "seniors' hour" shortly after 7 am: The store entrance was controlled, the carts were sanitized, there was a hand wash station, the shelves were reasonably well stocked, the other customers were self-spacing appropriately. The heroic staff, protected behind plexi shields newly installed, was incredibly kind: and we got outta there in short order.

Can you believe: I was even able to purchase a bouquet of fragrant white freesia which I have divided: some on the kitchen table, some in my second floor reading nook next to my comfortable rose rocker beside my Gothic window . . . and I have time to read!!

At the moment, my mood is up.

Effortlessly.

And when my mood is down? I'll notice how I'm feeling now. And now. And now.

And wait.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • MSMOSTIMPROVED
    Well said. Flowers brighten any room.
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    47 days ago
  • BEESHELL8
    love this.
    61 days ago
  • FITMOMMA_OF6
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    63 days ago
  • no profile photo RACHNACH
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    63 days ago
  • JPPERSELL
    Great blog! I have been feeling down lately but today my mood has been up. I am hoping and praying this virus is over soon.
    64 days ago
  • PATSGIRLY
    I love your perspective! Thank you!
    64 days ago
  • NOLAHORSERIDER
    I try to stay positive about things. Especially this virus that is going around. I am doing my best to stay busy and not even worry about it. I am staying home, getting some things done that need fixing or cleaned. If anything my house should be so clean you could eat off the floor! LOL

    SparkCheers, Stay Safe,

    Nola
    64 days ago
  • CAMELLIA12
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    64 days ago
  • VALLEYGIRLSPAGE
    Have a beautiful Spark filled day! emoticon
    64 days ago
  • ANNKETCH
    Very helpful, thanks!
    64 days ago
  • UPTOIT59
    Being grateful for the small things, appreciating the now - these are all positive. We don't always need to be a cheerleader. I am learning to respect my fear and the few days I feel down but not to dwell in them - a visit now and again in normal and ok.
    64 days ago
  • PLCHAPPELL
    Nice
    64 days ago
  • KITTYHAWK1949
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    64 days ago
  • BJAEGER307
    emoticon I am staying positive as I can. I count my blessings everyday. Hubby and I have to grocery shopping tomorrow and I really don't want to, but I have prescriptions I need to pick up.

    We actually had a beautiful morning today and hubby and I took advantage of it. Hoping Mr. Sunshine shows his face tomorrow and if he does that will be something positive for me.

    Take care.
    65 days ago
  • POLSKARENIA
    One day at a time, we’ll get through this...
    65 days ago
  • FLYER99
    Wonderful blog. Thank you. I know I have my ups and downs. But I try and stay positive. I went to my pharmacy Saturday morning during "senior" hour but there were lineup there of all ages. I asked the store owner why it wasn't controlled. He said "I don't have the staff." Well, what is the point of a special hour for seniors and those with disabilities if you aren't going to control it? What a let down. But we move on. Have a serene and safe Sunday!
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    65 days ago
  • BESSHAILE
    Ahhhh Freesia. I wish! They're never for sale here - though we do get some lovely branches of stocks now and then. Cloves in the kitchen.

    I think you probably understand, then, my "but not for me" attitude. And what IS for me? all the fun in the studio, dogs to pet, spring to watch as it slides softly over the landscape. and TIME. that glorious gift of time.

    If I feel an occasional twinge of anxiety about the future I tell myself - yes. But not for me. And yes. At least it's not Attila the Hun, leaving a mountain of skills outside my village. Every era has its plagues. This one is ours.

    And no - we are not going to put candles on the pizza. LOL - thanks for the bloglove.


    65 days ago
  • JURASSICSUE
    Thank you for the weather analogy. I work up feeling sad this morning but after reading your blog I am telling myself it's ok to be sad, just not to let it ruin the day.

    I'm not going to watch or listen to any news today. I'll focus instead on what is actually in front of me now, like the garden that needs tidying up, rather than what might be in front of me at some point in the future, but there again might pass us all by. Either way, I'm not going to be able to deal better with it by having worried about it in advance am I?!

    I hope you are keeping well.
    65 days ago
  • JHADZHIA
    Wonderful! I must admit I had my sister's pumpkin waffles, they were amazing! Good on you for such great control!
    There are so many free offerings by the alternative medicine community it is really hard to keep up with them. All designed to relax and calm people. To find the inner joy and peace during tumultuous times. How peaceful the big city has become. Far less traffic, fewer planes. Fewer sirens blaring. Wonder how the carbon footprint will look like after a while -no pollution like Italy?
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    65 days ago
  • DOVESEYES
    Yesterday was my mood down day :( today I'm back :) to the happy me :)
    66 days ago
  • BUTTONPOPPER1
    Ellen, your weather analogy helps me a lot. It seems I can never remember, when I'm feeling down or bored or worried, that the feeling won't last forever. Just like the weather. With your naturally positive attitude, though, I think there's a a whole bunch of sunshine in your life. I mean with a reading nook like yours--rose rocker, Gothic window, freesia bouquet--rainy days, too, must be full of light. It sounds so cozy.
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    66 days ago
  • GABY1948
    emoticon emoticon emoticon I think I would really like to try the intuitive eating!

    66 days ago
  • DESIREE672
    I catch myself beating myself up for feeling anxious and then tell myself it’s natural and we’re all feeling anxious some of the time. Yesterday I checked the news only once in the morning and then cleaned house watching lighthearted programs on YouTube.
    66 days ago
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    Loving the analogy of moods to internal weather. OF COURSE, we cannot control the weather. And those blue moods will hit, especially right now. But we will, forgive the pun, weather the storm.

    Glad you got your fresia . . . fresh, fragrant, beautiful. That is a mood lifter!

    Hugs and stay safe, stay well.
    66 days ago
  • NANCY-
    The little pleasures in lifer make a big difference. Enjoy the freesia!
    66 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    Yes, it is hard to stay positive right now. I took the day off yesterday and hubby and I went to a new area to walk on a beautiful train next to a river. On the way, we would start talking about what is happening, what might happen in the future etc.... finally I said I didn't want to talk about that at all right now. I wanted this to be a good day.. the sun was out, we were out for a walk together, we didn't need to be gloomy.
    It is hard, I am allowing myself to worry but to keep it in check, if not, I fear what could happen and I don't want to sink into a depressed state.
    One moment at a time. This too shall pass. We have faced hard times in the past, not our generation necessarily, but counties have overcome and endured and I know we will too.
    Stay safe, be well. Sending extra hugs and love during this turbulent time!
    66 days ago
  • MEADSBAY
    Another wonderful blog, my friend....such wise words!
    Our small local grocery store is doing all the right things for us all right now and I am grateful for that...and told the managers that yesterday...they seemed to appreciate the kudos.
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    66 days ago
  • _RAMONA
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    66 days ago
  • no profile photo INCH_BY_INCH
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    66 days ago
  • MARTHA324
    Your blogs are priceless! this one especially so. Today is a good day; the sun is out and the weather is perfect for walks or sitting out back and watching Fletcher chase lizards and squirrels. I have to remember that what I'm worried about isn't happening now and I AM doing everything I can to prevent getting sick.

    Sure I'll have moments where my anxiety breaks through and I know what to do. Walk! Yesterday I was out by myself and was singing "let there be peace" and that was wonderful.

    Just like the food I choose to eat (very healthy right now) I can choose to manage my moods. I know what to do and can do it.
    Thank you.
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    66 days ago
  • OVERWORKEDJANET
    I broke down and made 2 loaves of bread on this rainy day.
    Now my house smells comforting and I do have enough control to not eat it all.
    Win-win.
    66 days ago
  • ALICIA363
    And now.
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    66 days ago
  • JEANKNEE
    Yes.

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    Got a huge lift earlier this week with the first spring organic strawberries! emoticon
    66 days ago
  • MTN_KITTEN
    Really, how crazy would it be to think that I could control the weather?

    You made me laugh out loud and then … shed a tear or two. Yep, I feel sooo responsible for sooo many things that are not mine to carry.

    After taking care of the things I shouldn't carry … I have no ummmph to take truly good care of myself.

    So it comes out in spirts.
    It comes out in anger.
    I comes out … all undone.

    It's like focusing alllll the negative on our President. I might not like him … but he is one of many that govern our country. One of many … not the only one.

    Focusing on what is wrong in my life that I can NOT control … like the weather. Instead of focusing on what I can control … my reaction to … life.
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    66 days ago
  • PHOENIX1949
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    66 days ago
  • 36BEATRICE
    You know what to do, and it works.

    You found your own winning recipe, out of your own personal experience. No have to's. You know what works for you, even during a storm: it is so reassuring to have a framework that we can use when we need it.

    I certainly have also benefited from Intuitive Eating and the 3 Principles. Not fluent yet but makes my life much easier.

    Enjoy the freesias . Love them. Can't live without flowers , really.

    66 days ago
  • NANASUEH
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    66 days ago
  • DSHONEYC
    I think fear is our biggest downer...and ignorance is a close second. I try to build my trust muscle by getting outside in the sunshine.
    66 days ago
  • KALIGIRL
    I'd say emoticon for that up mood! emoticon
    66 days ago
  • TSHAWGER
    Try to always find something to life your mood.
    66 days ago
  • PATRICIA-CR
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    66 days ago
  • PHEBESS
    It sounds like a lovely morning, and you sound very content. And reading a good book is such a treat, isn't it?
    66 days ago
  • SLIMMERJESSE
    Have a wonderful day.
    66 days ago
  • SERENASEA
    I never thought I'd use the word "satisfying" to describe a blog, but that's how I felt when I finished reading your words. I could feel you savoring your omelette, could identify with the "senior shopping," and can imagine the scent of those freesias. Thank you.

    (DH just told me that now there's an egg shortage -- and I do love my eggs! Maybe that's why the egg shelves were almost bare during my own shopping run the other day. I snagged a dozen of the high-end ones, which I'm sure will taste just the same as the regulars, but at least I have them!)
    66 days ago
  • FIT4LIFEANNE
    Blessings, stay strong
    66 days ago
  • ONEKIDSMOM
    Love that last paragraph... and now... and now... and now... emoticon We'll get through this, moment by moment!
    66 days ago
  • PENOWOK
    I'll pick up a friend from the hospital in a little while. I have her keys because I fed her starving cat a couple of days ago. She's been in since Sunday. She will need some food, too, so I'll do a grocery stop and go in on her behalf. Then I'll come home and strip and shower. I don't have a good way to be protected from her germs taking her home in my car. Maybe she'll think of that and have another way home and I can just meet her. I don't know. I have everything I need, but she doesn't. The Bible says a friend will lay down one's life for another's. Does she have the virus? I did ask why she was in hospital, but she told me a different reason. God knows and He is in control!
    66 days ago
  • HAPPYSOUL91
    Being down, just doesn't solve anything at any time emoticon
    66 days ago
  • NEW-CAZ
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    66 days ago
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