How to Stay Positive in Stressful Times

With the daily onslaught of tough news in the midst of the pandemic, is it possible to stay positive in these down times?

Last month our regional library cooperative SEFLIN offered an answer with the help of Positivity expert Shola Richards. I had the good fortune of meeting Shola in person at the Florida Library Director’s meeting in Tallahassee. His energy and enthusiasm for making our workplaces better is refreshing and inspiring. In his webinar, Shola laid out the keys to staying positive in the face of adverse conditions. Below is my understanding of two important keys to achieve peace in this crazy world.

Shola Richards

Focus on What You Can Control

Shola suggested we let go of the things outside of our control and recognize all the things we can control. Whether it is helping others, being kind, cleaning, talking a walk, or starting a new hobby, we can always shift ourselves with the right intention. Specifically, he identified three things we have power over:

  • Our Actions – What can I do to make a difference?
  • Our Effort – Am I doing my best?
  • Our Attitude – Is what I am doing filling me up or draining me?

Practice Self Compassion

Shola encouraged participants to recognize that life is hard right now. So it is okay to lower your expectations and celebrate small wins. We simply cannot do all the things we use to do. Slowing down provides us time to be kind to ourselves and others. We can enjoy small indulgences, like that extra piece of chocolate or another episode of your favorite show, knowing that it is helping us get through another day. Self-compassion not only helps you, but also everyone you are living with as it creates a less stressful environment.

To learn more about Shola and the Positivity Solution, I encourage you to visit his web site and sign up for his weekly newsletter. While there, you can also view his TEDx Talk.

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