During the last few months our lives have become dramatically more restricted. We can’t socialise with friends, go on holiday, shop for clothes, or go to the gym, restaurants, bars or the cinema. The situation is clearly not ideal. But rather than dwelling on the downside, what if we were to tap into the potential benefits?
‘One of the positive aspects of the current situation is that it’s given many people the space to slow down and simplify their lives,’ says occupational psychologist Kate Keenan. ‘It’s a chance to make some valuable changes and to evaluate what’s really important. So when we do emerge from this crisis you can continue with this shift into your normal life. Research shows that leading a simple life is beneficial for mental wellbeing and we all need that now.’
In one study at Knox College, Illinois (2005), it was shown that when people simplified their lives they reported much higher levels of positive emotions, better physical health and feelings of satisfaction. ‘In every challenge, there is also an opportunity,’ says intuitive therapist Amanda Ellis. ‘This isn’t forever and there’s always a flip side to everything. Even in that feeling of isolation you can create positive changes that can lift and balance you.’
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