Dr. Anne N. Billington, McMillan Early Learning Center, Mexico

At times, especially recently, much of the news has been all gloom and doom. Unfortunately, it can be hard for even the most optimistic people to stay positive. Yes, it’s very true that we all need to take this virus seriously. It’s capable of causing severe illness, death, and devastating long-term changes to how we live and work. It’s easy to stay focused on the negative news throughout the world. As an educator, I want to reassure our students that life will eventually be “normal” again.

Yes, there are many things we all must know about the COVID-19 outbreak to protect ourselves and those around us, but we don’t have to become experts or dwell on the outbreak day in and day out. Therefore, I challenge you to focus on the positives in your life so that you have the energy and determination needed to weather this storm. Here are a few things I feel you can do to focus more on the positive. I hope one of them works for you.

Practice random acts of kindness. Send a note or randomly call a loved one. Order flowers or a pizza and have it delivered to someone who has been down in the dumps. At times, the unexpected treats can be a huge pick-me-up in times of stress. This is especially valuable to the elderly who are living in nursing homes, our US Veterans, and others who might be forgotten at times. My husband and daughter both work in healthcare facilities and have closed their doors to all visitors for the safety of their residents, but that can be devastating for many. You can always leave a kind note for your mailman, buy a coffee or soda for the person behind you in the drive-thru at Sonic. Your kindness doesn’t always require money. You can go on Facebook and create a positive message for all of your friends to read. You can go through and make positive and meaningful comments about your friends to brighten their day. Or send a positive or funny email.

Take some time away for yourself. Get away from the TV, the Internet, the radio, etc. Go for a walk, do yoga, call a friend, paint your fingernails, organize your closet, etc.

Look to and focus on your success and examples of perseverance in the past. Get hope from your past experiences. Most everyone has encountered unexpected major life events in their lives and made it through them. They are stronger because of it. I believe we will get through this. We have to remind one another of our strengths frequently.

Watch a funny movie or Tik Tok. YouTube always has something funny to watch or listen to. Some videos or posts may last 2 minutes and others might last hours. Share the humor with a friend.

Adopt a student, a 2020 graduate, a friend, or a neighbor. You can still check on others while maintaining the social distancing guidelines. There are many people who feel like they are all alone. It will make your friend or neighbor feel good that they are being thought of. Again, this is especially true with our students and the elderly.

Get out and support your favorite local business if they have curbside service, are an essential business, or have a website where you can purchase their products.  Gift cards make awesome gifts for upcoming graduations, birthdays, Mother’s Day, etc.

Take advantage of the extra time you might have acquired. Read a few books, write a poem, deep clean your house, etc. Try to focus on some things you never make time for. Most importantly, enjoy the gift of time to refocus, to heal, to grow professionally, or build a relationship that has suffered in the past.

Journal about all of the blessings in your life because not everything that is happening is negative. Close each day with a positive acknowledgment of something you accomplished, learned or are very grateful for.

In times of constant negativity, I need a plan so that I can keep a positive attitude and march forward with determination and hope. I am trying to focus on activities that are positive, heartwarming, stress-reducing and laughter-inducing! Therefore, I wanted to share them with you.

Together, we’ll get through this. We will get through this much easier if we spread more positivity throughout the community and the world.

Blessings to all from Mrs. B!

Visit Bunker Hill in 2019