A pandemic unlike any we’ve seen in our lifetime came to America. No one is certain how bad it will affect our economy; no one knows if we will get a resurgence and how long much longer we will have to stay home. People have been laid off, ordered to stay home, are unable to work, schools are closed and everyone’s wallet seems to be a little bit thinner.

The whole world is being affected and no one is really sure yet how or when this will all end and lives will return to normal.

So how can we maintain the positive thinking we’ve worked so hard to cultivate back when there wasn’t a crisis? Making positive changes is hard enough when things are normal! Well, thankfully you have more time to read now. Here are 5 tips to maintain positive thoughts during a crisis.

Don’t Shun The Negative

Denying your feelings is never good. When you do, they run amok trying to get your attention. When children are starved for our attention, ignoring them only makes them try harder. You need a different approach.

Instead of shunning your negative feelings, accept them. Sit down with them and figure them out. Sometimes all you need to do is accept that you are feeling bad.

Make a New Routine, Especially If You Work From Home

Humans run on routine. If you take it away from us, we end up being stinky, drunk balls of anxiety. If your routine was going to the gym, go to work, come home and make dinner then you need to keep it going as best you can.

Start your day with an at-home workout. Then shower and get ready for work as you usually would, even if you work at home. This will tell your brain that you are transitioning into work time. After work, you can still make dinner.

Don’t Stop Practicing Self Care

The gym is closed, but that doesn’t mean you need to stop working out. Meditation and yoga are very possible from home, and you’d better keep eating right. Self-care keeps your body and mind in shape, and you’ll need them strong.

So, take care of yourself the way you did before all this. You may need to find new creative ways to meditate now that your kids are home, but it is important that you take the time. If nothing else, it’s something to do.

Make Time to Think

If you have nothing but time to think, then you need to fill more of your time. Look for a new job, learn a new skill, or start a new project. If you are the type of person who never makes time to think, however, then you will need to make it yourself.

Time to think is like meditation, but it’s more like being your own therapist. Consider your routine. Is it working? Are you happy? If not, why? Are you just stressed because we all have to stay home, and a disease is spreading? That’s reasonable, give yourself a break.

Keep Your Eyes On the Prize

They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. This cliché may seem cheesy, but there is actually scientific proof! (Posttraumatic Growth: Conceptual Foundations and Empirical Evidence, Tedeschi, Richard G.)

When times get hard, sometimes people come out stronger on the other side with a better appreciation for life in general. They build bridges that fix and strengthen relationships and learn skills that support a healthier life.

You will come out on the other side of this. When you do, going back to your favorite restaurant will be a spiritual experience.