As you all may already know, at Paycare, we LOVE celebrating community spirit!


And, amongst all the coronavirus noise, we’ve been reminded by various sources including MIND just how important it is right now to maintain a positive mindset. But how can we ‘switch off’ from news that isn’t serving us well?


Kerry B. Mitchell, Mental Health First Aid Trainer and Wellbeing Manager here at Paycare offers her suggestions for how we can focus on the positives, and shares some of the uplifting stories from the last week…


It’s easy to focus on the negatives especially right now, when just about every news source is talking about coronavirus.


Adding to all the negative news being broadcasted into our homes every day is the fact that many are juggling childcare, work commitments, trying to work from home for the very first time, and taking care of loved ones from afar.  All things which are certainly not easy to manage and which can naturally take their toll on our mental wellbeing.


  1. Switch Off | Without our usual freedom to leave the home, we may find ourselves spending a lot more time on social media and scanning the news for the latest updates. While it’s good to keep in touch with loved ones and stay updated with world affairs, spending too much time reading negative stories will no doubt have an impact on our moods and mental outlook. If you are keen to reduce the time you spend looking at your screen, try setting yourself a reminder to switch off at certain times of the day, such as two hours before bedtime which may also help you to have a better night’s sleep.


  1. Try New Initiatives | Many people find that focusing on self-development or staying connected with loved ones boosts their spirits. Some alternative examples while we’re in isolation could include setting up a book club, hosting virtual movie marathons, taking part in online pub quizzes, or learning a new language.


  1. Plan | I’ve spoken about how for many individuals, having a plan can help to manage overwhelm, stress and anxiety levels. If you’re working from home, it can be easy to work longer hours to overcompensate for not being in the traditional work environment, so it’s especially important that your plan incorporates plenty of breaks and a start and finish time – to prevent you from overdoing it.


  1. Be Grateful | One of the easiest ways to shift our focus away from negativity, judgment and disappointment is to look out for things in your life that make you grateful. Whether it’s the sun shining, having a healthy family around you, a roof over your head or a warm bed to get into each night. Rather than focus on what’s not going to plan because of the coronavirus, let’s change our way of thinking to show gratitude for what we can control.


While the coronavirus has placed additional pressures on so many people, it’s also brought out the very best of people within our communities.


Last week, millions of Britons cheered on the NHS, caregivers and other keyworkers to show their mutual respect and admiration for their work on the frontline.


The world’s oldest man, Bob Weighton of Hull, also celebrated his 112th birthday, while residents in Hebden Bridge in Yorkshire set up a WhatsApp group for their street which they used to organise an outdoor cup of tea and chat for everyone, keeping within safe social distances!


So whilst it may be hard to shift our focus away from the negativity around us right now, it can be done — it may just take us some figuring out of what is and isn’t serving us well, and what we can do to focus on the right things for us.


Great advice Kerry! 😊


Do you have any ideas and suggestions for how to keep a positive mindset during isolation? We’d love to hear from you — do follow us on Facebook and Twitter tagging @MyPaycare! You can also check out our CEO, Kevin Rogers’ latest response to COVID-19 over on our website: