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It's going to be a long, miserable winter, but pointing finger and whingeing will only make situation worse

Amanda Brunker


Amanda Brunker

Amanda Brunker

Amanda Brunker

I hate to spread negativity, but I think we can all agree it’s going to be a long, miserable winter. The past few months have already felt like one, and soon older and immune-compromised people will be restricting their movements again and further lockdowns could be implemented.

We could waste our days pointing fingers and laying the blame on others for this torment, or we could change our mindset and try to see the sunnier side of life.

Everyone should try be a little less bitter and judgemental.

In fairness, it’s a big ask. We’ve all got a lot to be frustrated about, but living with anger isn’t healthy.

Stress has been making me sick, and I’m sure other people have suffered the same.

The reality is that unless we all manage our emotions better, it could be the stress that kills us instead of Covid-19.

We need to protect our heads and hearts – as well as the rest of our bits – and look out for one another, even those people who seem to be coping well.

I told you last year about a book, You Are What You Read. It really opened my eyes to how constantly consuming negativity can have a hugely damaging impact on your mental health.

Now, more than ever, the news is depressing: 2020 has been the most horrific year of my lifetime, and as the giant jellyfish creep on to our shores I wish I could just throw up the Christmas tree, click my heels and fast forward to 2022.

No, I didn’t mean 2021. We’ll only be lucky enough to have the right vaccine for the flu at that stage, so let’s keep some sort of grasp on reality.

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As escape artist Harry Houdini once said: “What the eyes see and the ears hear, the mind believes.”

When everything you’re reading, listening to and watching on TV is doom and gloom, your mood will inevitably become glum.

I’m not saying you should stop informing yourself – far from it.

This isn’t a time for anyone to stick their heads in the sand, but as historian C John Sommerville once said: “The news is not, in fact, a reflection of everything that goes on in the world, it is a reflection of everything that goes wrong in the world.”

With that in mind, listen to the news and be aware of the changing situations, but don’t lose hope.

I know the weather has been less than perfect, but we all need to have some happy reserves in the memory bank.

Get into the fresh air when the weather allows.

Walk on the beaches and in the mountains while you can.

Visit those relatives and friends you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

Practise social distancing, even if you don’t think you have the virus. Just don’t take chances.

Most importantly, do what makes you happy.

Take up a manageable hobby that will carry you through the dark nights.

Sign up for an online course – you’re never too old to learn.

Self-care will get us through this pandemic.

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