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7 Ways to Stay Positive When Things Feel Beyond Your Control

Anxious about COVID-19, physical distancing and lack of TP? Here are seven ways to stay positive and keep your spirits up as we ride the wave of uncertainty and supply hoarding.

January and February flew by with purging, packing and moving—and now, March Madness (basketball or otherwise) has taken on a new meaning in 2020: social distancing and self-isolation. And has people madly buying toilet paper.

Pre-COVID-19 scariness, we had done a post-move restock of house supplies and pantry staples, but—not gonna lie—I’ve been buying a pack of TP every time I’m out at a shop. We’ve also stocked up on wine, produce, cold/flu meds (just in case), hand soap, anything needed for the next week’s meals and firewood. And I ordered masks—even though we probably don’t need them. But it’s time to hunker down, folks.

I’d recently been prepping some California and travel content for you, but no one’s ‘California Dreaming’ right now. So let’s talk about how we can stay positive while we self-isolate and ride the COVID-19 wave.

1. Do good, feel good.

If you’re house-bound, this can all be done online!

Support local

Small businesses and the hospitality industry are feeling the financial impact of COVID-19. If you’re stocking up, buy extra coffee beans at your local coffee shop or your wine at the shop around the corner. A great way to also support your favourite cafe, shop, wellness studio or restaurant is to buy a gift card (online or in person) to use when the craziness has died down.


Not only are small businesses feeling the impact of COVID-19, charities have been affected by closure of institutions or cancellation of events that would usually support them. A prime example is your local food bank. Consider donating an amount you feel comfortable with to a charity of your choice—or if you want to support the food bank, giving some non-perishable foods at the grocery store. The food bank also accepts online donations

If you’d like to contribute, I’m hosting a virtual food drive for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Every little but helps!

2. Virtually connect

Get on FaceTime or WhatsApp to virtually check in with your your family and friends. Self-isolation (whether self-imposed or because you’re ill), social distancing And the overall climate are bound to make people feel disconnected and anxious. We are always on our phones and computers anyway, so let’s put our mad text skills to good use.

3. Get cozy and tidy

Get hygge! If you’re having or choose to self-isolate, make your space as cozy, clean and wonderful for yourself as you can. Just in case and just because. We have a fireplace in our new home, so the Brit has made sure to stock us up on firewood, and we are finally almost done unpacking.

March Madness 2020

4. Family/date night in or me time

Make the most of being home and all those supplies you’ve stockpiled. Pizza movie night is a favourite in our home—even more so with a fireplace. Binge-watch Netflix (we are currently—and surprisingly for me—loving Formula 1: Drive to Survive). Play Scrabble or Charades. Enjoy being with your people.

And if you’re solo, this is your ultimate excuse to binge-watch Netflix, catch up on your reading list, cook, do some yoga or just get stuff done. Like your taxes. (Not fun, but very satisfying.)

5. Get some fresh air and vitamin D

I say this for the non-contagious. (If you’re sick, stay inside!) And not for going in public areas. I’ve been trying to get outside every day to walk around the block. Because cabin fever is thing and getting a little sun (or rain) is good for a healthy state of mind.

6. Express gratitude

There is always something to be grateful for—no matter what is happening. My current gratitude list:

  • My health – Knock on wood, I’m won’t get sick.
  • Working from home – My work is remote, which is a godsend even without pandemic fear. I do not take it for granted. If anyone needs some tips on navigating working from home (WFH) when you’re not used to it, check out this post from Alex at To Vogue or Bust. Workspace-wise, I have a WFH essentials post coming at you in the next couple of days.
  • The Brit’s health – Again, knock on wood. He has been driving instead of taking the skytrain to work, and he’s strong and healthy.
  • Supplies & Resources – I’m especially grateful that we have the resources to make sure we have what we need. Also very glad I’ve found all my travel-size bottles of hand sanitizer.

7. Movement and meditation

Endorphins make you happy and meditation can shift perspective. So if you’re feeling anxious, get moving or take an opportunity to sit still. My favourite site and app for both is Gaia. They offer a #GetThrifty first-week free deal and their monthly fee is what you would pay for a few of the fancy coffees that you can’t go buy right now. 😉

And in case you need some movement inspo, check out how this trainer is Seville, Spain is keeping spirits high!


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Another way to stay positive is to stay informed through the right channels. Here are some resources:

And when in doubt, dance it out. Stay safe and healthy everyone! (And wash, wash, wash your hands!)

“I’m a very positive thinker, and I think that is what helps me the most in difficult moments.”

— Roger Federer

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