By: Kelsie McGlynn

In these crazy times, it can be really hard to stay positive. Instead of sitting around in our houses and reminiscing on what we would be doing if things were “normal”, we can start to make positive change within ourselves. By following these six simple steps, we can create something good out of the coronavirus! The programs mentioned can be found using the online schedule on GiGi’s At Home.

 

  1. Start every morning by making your bed. Maybe you’ve heard this a million times or maybe you haven’t because it seems so small and minute that it does not even need to be said. The truth is that this piece of advice may be simple, but it is life changing. Why? We as humans operate on the basis of needing to get things done. Productivity is what drives us and often times, we base our worth and success on how much we have accomplished. Because we know this about ourselves, it is important to start each day with being productive: making our beds. This allows us to be able to look back at the end of the day, even if we haven’t done as much as we would’ve liked, and know that we have achieved something. You’d be surprised at how good this will make you feel! See GiGi’s Printable age-appropriate schedules.

  1. Try to exercise (almost) everyday. Exercise is support important for keeping your body healthy, but it is also a great way to destress and take a break. It’ll also make you feel like you’ve had a productive day. Sometimes it is hard to motivate yourself to get up and get active when all you want to do is binge watch the newest Netflix series, especially during quarantine. However, exercising doesn’t have to be running six miles and lifting weights- it can be as simple as walking your dog around the neighborhood or 30 minutes of yoga. GiGi’s Playhouse’s virtual fundraiser on June 6th, Step to Accept (register as a team or individual on steptoaccept.org), is a great motivator, as not only are you working out because its good for you, you’re also doing it to help make a difference and promote acceptance for all. The key is to find something that you really love doing. To train for Step to Accept, GiGi’s is offering all sorts of free programs online for all: strength training, HIIT training, foundations of fitness training, and more. Many GiGi’s Playhouses also regularly offer exercise through their GiGiFit programs, Dance, Yoga and the Annapolis Fantastic Friends PiYo ! Once you find an activity you really enjoy doing, getting motivated to exercise will come easy!

 

  1. Set goals for yourself and write them down. This all goes back to humans’ needs to feel productive. Setting goals are great ways to increase productivity and writing them down allows you to look back and see how far you’ve come. It is good to set both long and short term goals. If your goals are all set way too far out, you can start to lose focus. Goals can be about anything: improving on a skill, getting certain grades, setting a good habit, and much more. You could start by setting a goal within one of GiGi’s Playhouse’s programs. Some ideas for goals include learning how to cook through the Playhouse’s virtual GiGi’s Kitchen Cooking class (for kids or adults), become more active by attending the GiGiFit classes, or learning sign language through the LMNOP program to be able to better communicate with you under 3-year-old. Goals are great because you can modify them, add to them, and then feel great when you’ve achieved them! Visit GiGi’s Annapolis local calendar or GiGi’s National calendar for LIVE and On Demand programming details.

 

  1. Engage in self care. In a world where we are constantly giving to others, it is very important to also remember to take time for ourselves. In a similar vein to what has already been mentioned, self care does not necessarily have to be elaborate. It does not have to be an expensive day at the spa- it can be as simple as at-home mani-pedi or a quick run around the neighborhood. It is “me” time. Why is self care so important? It helps you to maintain a good relationship with yourself. Self care allows you to focus on this in turn boosts your self confidence and self-esteem, while also producing positive feelings. Self care allows us to remember that our needs are important too. Make sure to set aside time this week to make everything all about you!

 

  1. Start volunteering. Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and to help make a difference in the lives of others. The key to volunteering is to pick something that you are passionate about, because that will make the experiences so much more fulfilling. GiGi’s Playhouse offers so many great volunteering opportunities, so you are sure to find something that is just right for you. Some of these opportunities include signing up to virtually tutor in math or literacy, lead a program involving something you love to do (dancing, singing, crafting), or helping to fundraise to enable the Playhouse to offer all of its programs for free. Everyone possesses special skills unique to them, so use yours to help others (and you never know, you may learn something too)!

 

  1. Reflect on your grateful things every day. My family started saying our grateful things every night at dinner a few years ago. Some days it is really hard to think about what I’m grateful for, as it seemed I had done everything for myself. However, we don’t finish dinner until everyone has shared. This is really important because it helps you realize that even if you had a bad day, there are still things for which to be thankful. There are always things for which to be grateful, even if its small, like your sister lending you her favorite shirt to wear. Reflecting on what you are thankful for does not have to come in the form of a dinner table discussion. You can write them down, send someone a thank you note, or think about them in your head before falling asleep. One of the things I am especially grateful for is the opportunity to intern for GiGi’s Playhouse this summer, as I know its going to be a great experience! Remembering that you have so much to be thankful for will lead to a much more positive outlook on your life and will leave you feeling super happy as well.

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