We live in a day and age when “bad news” seems to be all the news. After COVID-19 put the entire world on lockdown, people have been walking around in fear, misinformation, and anger. Everyone is upset and everyone wants this to be over. As we wait for the news of what will happen next, it's time to make sure there is some good news for a change!
Why Hearing Good News Is So Important
It's important to find the good in difficult times. You cannot control what is going to happen with this virus. You can voice your opinion or concerns, but most likely there are going to be laws, rules, or changes that you’ll have to make that rub you the wrong way.
Those changes can be difficult but they are not the end of the world. As long as they are not harmful, you can persevere through most of them. To do that, you need to make good choices with the only thing you do control: your reaction to this crisis.
It's time to look at the sad and scary events of the day in a more positive light. That will help you to stay hopeful, which is especially important when it comes to your health - physical and mental.
One way you can do that is to look for the good around you. While this virus has certainly brought a lot of difficulties, there are bright spots that we can find if we look hard enough. Here is a list of 5 good things that have happened as a result of the lockdown measures for the COVID-19.
1. The Earth Is Getting a Break
If you care about the environment, the good news is that Mother Nature is getting a break from man’s destructive habits. Here are just a few of the positive effects that have been reported:
There’s been a “huge” drop in air pollution. The Guardian states that NO2, a gas produced by car engines, power plants, and industrial processes, has been greatly reduced over China, one of the world’s leading polluters.
The same holds true for South Korea, Italy, and the U.K.
In the U.S., air pollution has dropped as much as 30% on the East Coast according to NASA.
Water is getting clearer like the centuries old polluted waterways of Venice!
And in big cities like New York and San Francisco, air particles that are toxic to breath have reduced by 28% and 40% respectively!
The amazing thing is that all this is happening very quickly. We now have a concrete example of what can happen when humans clean up their act by reducing the harmful activities of power plants, driving gas-guzzling cars, and other polluting activities. This is exciting, good news!
2. Technology Used In Healthier Ways
While we know that exposure to too much technology is not a good thing and it can be easily exploited, it has suddenly become an indispensable tool. We should still limit our daily exposure to Wifi but we can be smart and strategically use it to accomplish what we need. This includes:
Keeping in touch with family members more regularly now that we can’t visit them in person.
People who are now working from home reduce the need for driving and nasty CO2 emissions! Eliminating time spent commuting also reduces stress and gives people more time for the things that truly matter in life.
Some gyms are converting to live classes online, so there’s no excuse to avoid your workout!
All in all, people are reaching out more frequently to one another and using technology as a creative way to interact, have fun, and connect with the people they love.
3. Homeschooling Is Now A Choice For Everyone, Young and Old
Many parents have wondered about the pros and cons of homeschooling. Well, now, temporarily at least, every parent in America is forced to homeschool. While this is greatly challenging for many families, for some it is less difficult than they thought.
It’s also given parents a firsthand opportunity to gauge their child’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as the curriculum. Love it or hate it, you now have the opportunity to understand what the teachers are working with, and request changes or adaptations if you think it’s needed. Or, you might even become convinced to teach your child yourself permanently!
For grown ups, more colleges are increasing their online course offerings for the foreseeable future. Some have even dropped their tuition rates temporarily providing more opportunities for adults who want to return to school to change or improve their careers.
4. Victory Gardens Are Back!
During World Wars I and II, many families planted victory gardens to supplement the lack of food available in their communities. Thanks to the challenges of getting to the store and the difficulties of grocery shopping, more and more people today are looking to start their own “victory” gardens.
This is a great time to grow an affordable organic garden in your yard or home. Check out this article from Wellness Mama on how to start one. For apartment dwellers, a hydroponic garden just might be the ticket. Mother Nature Network can show you how.
Even if you typically struggle with gardening and growing, you can start small by growing herbs in your kitchen or grow sprouts in a jar.
5. Growing Worldwide Interest In Healthy Habits and Foods
Have you noticed that people are suddenly asking about healthy habits? Everyone has a renewed interest in supplements, immune-boosting foods, and fitness. Questions about the toxicity of food and drugs are also popping up everywhere.
A quick hop over to Google Trends shows that there has been 4-5x more interest in the search term “immunity” for March 2020 than the month before. Wow! I’ve even seen unlikely people asking about how to start raising their own chickens. And since packaged foods run out more quickly, people are spending much more time in the produce aisles!
Taking an interest in healthy habits, like eating whole foods and using cleaner products is a great idea for everyone, especially since the Coronavirus is more challenging for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes. This goes hand in hand-in-hand with those victory gardens too!
Change Your News To “Good” By Caring For Yourself
Many of us are indeed overwhelmed in this period. But no matter our situation, this virus has provided a reminder that it’s important to take care of our own health and well-being. If we really want to hear more good news for a change, we have to make that choice for ourselves first.
Look, if work is more frustrating than usual, if it’s difficult to get your children to do their schoolwork, if the solitude – or your family – is getting to you, this is exactly the right time to revisit your priorities and take care of your physical and mental health needs as much as possible.
Here are 5 ways to care for yourself during a difficult time:
1. “Me” Time:
Each day, schedule time to engage in activities that help you unwind and reduce stress. If your agenda is too full, temporarily find ways to multitask, like playing soothing music and diffusing relaxing oils while working or doing chores. Meanwhile, you’ll need to arrange for some help or assistance so you can get the much-needed self-care time.
2. Downtime With Others:
It’s also important – in, fact, imperative – to spend some time with your loved ones catching up, relaxing, and seeing one another, if only over Zoom or Portal. Remember, this is a time to enjoy each other, not host a serious meeting about finances, work, or other problems. Remind your family and friends to have fun!
3. Daily Gratitude:
If you’re struggling to see anything positive right now, try writing a list of 3-5 things you are grateful for every night. What is going well right now? What did you accomplish today, no matter how small? Who is making you smile? It’s critical to add up all the little things that happen.
4. Change Over To Good News:
Stop watching the news or engaging with doom and gloom on social media. It’s ok to check in from time to time for important information but many people on these channels spend a lot of energy on negativity. Instead, look for the bright spots, like John Krasinski’s “SomeGoodNews” YouTube channel.
5. Get The Care You Need:
For those struggling with depression, anxiety, addiction, and other serious mental health problems, reach out for the help you need. Many therapists, counselors, and organizations are offering virtual help in this time of crisis and are only a phone call away. Take advantage of the resources out there now.
This crisis cannot last forever. We need to shore up positive thoughts and energy for when the world starts up again. I wish you the best at this time and hope some good news comes your way for a change!