One of the most common interview questions is “what three words would people use to describe you?” I’m sure if they were being honest, words like hyper, impatient and definitely a bit crazy would come up for me. However, I’d also be happy if the the word positive came up, just because even when I’m at my most low, I really do try hard to see if I can look at things in a positive way.
So, at a time when it’s easy to look at the negatives, I’m going to write about my tips for staying positive.
It’s good to talk
Anyone that knows me will know that I like to talk…a lot. I talk when I’m happy, I talk when I’m bored, I talk for my job and most importantly I talk when I’m feeling a bit sad. It’s the biggest cliche that a problem shared is a problem halved, but the thing with cliches is most of them have a lot of truth in them. I find even if the person I’m talking to doesn’t have the answer, I automatically feel better for getting the thoughts out of my head. And even if they don’t know what to do, they might know someone who does. They might be going through the same thing, so you know you’re not alone or sometimes just through talking and having a sounding board, you manage to work out the problem in yourself.
Don’t be so hard on yourself
I used to feel bad about feeling bad because there were people in the world who had bigger problems. For example when it first kicked off with Coronavirus, I got really sad when I thought our wedding was going to get postponed. I then heard about friends who were losing jobs, elderly relatives living alone,saw on the news people dying and I felt even worse for being a spoilt brat and getting sad about something as trivial as a wedding.
However, just because my wedding getting postponed in the grand scheme of things isn’t as bad as those other problems, it didn’t make my sadness any less important to me. This makes more sense when you flip it round and think of happiness. Like when I feel happy that I get a bargain on everything5pounds.com, I don’t think I’m not entitled to feel happy because there are people in the world having babies and winning the lottery that are happier. When I realised this and said it’s okay for me to feel sad about my problems and took away the guilt, I instantly started to randomly feel more positive.
As a busy person (hyper some might even describe me as) I get my most negative if I’m bored, so, another secret to positivity is to keep yourself busy. Now, some might see this as distraction from the problem but, if it works, it works. I know this isn’t the easiest to do in a lockdown, but whether it’s doing a painting, baking or even just writing ramblings down like this, if it stops you from watching another confusing corona news update for a couple of hours it will have done its job.
Now, this is a bit of a deep one that comes back to something my dad randomly said to me on a run after I’d had yet another dating disaster. I’d been seeing this guy for a few months and I really liked him. He was so much better looking than any guy I’d ever been out with before ( obviously he was nothing on Stuart now!) he made me laugh and I know it sounds really cheesy but he made me feel really special.
Anyway, I felt things were going well but as the weeks progressed we still hadn’t met each other’s friends or family and when I mentioned I was having a party he got really aloof. I then had to ask him the question that nobody wants to ask in a relationship “where is this going?” to which he replied he really liked me and he wanted to keep seeing me but he wasn’t sure if he wanted me as a girlfriend or not and that’s why he hadn’t introduced me to anyone. This hurt bad. And as much as I desperately wanted to carry on seeing him, I knew I deserved more and told him to leave.
The next day I went for a run with my dad and asked him why my sisters had both met their soulmates at 17 and 18 but I’m still single at 27 and only find horrible guys. He replied with Ali, that’s because you’re strong enough to be single and go through these challenges.
Now every time I have to go through something hard I just remember the reason I’m going through this is because someone up there knows that I’m strong enough to get through it.
Disclaimer, I am definitely not saying I’m an expert on positivity and I’ve DEFINITELY had my highs and lows through this whole crazy crisis…but hopefully if we talk, take away the judgement and keep ourselves busy, we will come through this stronger together.