staying positive

Staying positive during the outbreak

I’ve moved my last nutrition-series post to next week to put out a couple of posts about staying positive and keeping calm during crises. The first post is about positivity and on Wednesday, I will write some tips to manage anxiety and staying well.


These tips are just a guide and not intended to give medical advice. I have my degree in psychology but am not a practicing psychologist. If you are experiencing depression or anxiety attacks during this time, please see your counsellor, psychologist, psychiatrist or doctor.

It’s sometimes tough to know how to react during outbreaks or crises. Keeping calm and staying positive can be difficult. While every country is experiencing different degrees of exposure, active cases and mortality rates, it is a global outbreak that spread so quickly.  

It’s hard to ignore the fight or flight actions that come with a crisis. Shortages of toilet paper, masks, sanitizer and food staples on shelves are only some indicators. 

Quick personal story

Staying positive during the outbreak
Photo courtesy of CBC Canada

I went to do my routine shopping on Thursday after trying to buy groceries online and not receive most of the items I needed. I had to visit four stores before I could get my basics. But then, of course, I end up caught up in a buying frenzy and grabbing everything I found because I want to ensure I too have food in two weeks!

What I noticed other than the glaring toilet paper and hand sanitizer shortages were the shortages of everything that I usually find in abundance where I live. Gluten-free pasta, frozen vegetables and tofu are always available with high stock. But not this time. I found one package each of tofu and gluten-free pasta and zero frozen vegetables. One friend said she had purchased gluten-free pasta because that was all that was left. I said that I figured it was the case, when desperate times call for it, everything goes. Luckily, I can always make homemade gluten-free noodles.

But then I felt guilty. What about people that can’t do that, or can’t afford to stock up on items, and will suffer further if things don’t balance out?  

Crises can bring out the worst and best in people

I choose to bring out the best of myself during troubled times.

Today, I’m not going to talk about practicing safe hygiene (I’m looking at you lady that coughed in the air near my face while I was trying to get to a grocery store). There are many guides out there today about how to do this. I want to focus on staying positive.

Stay positive 

Help others

If you’re going into crisis buying mode, pick up some of those extra items to give to the food banks or to people who are too elderly or ill to leave home. It may even be your neighbor. Some of these acts of reaching out can make all the difference in the world to someone else. Especially when emotions and fear are running high.

Support your local small businesses

In my province, events and gatherings are cancelled. Schools have closed or moved to online courses. I personally won’t go to busy restaurants right now either but live in an area made up of small businesses. And the emptiness walking around got to me.

Some places may not be able to survive this outbreak financially.

If it’s financially viable for you, try to support one of the small businesses in your area. As economies are in turmoil, this measure may help keep a small amount of balance. You don’t have to be there in person to make a difference. Some places may be taking online donations or other temporary means to stay afloat. It’s easy to call to find out.

Have some fun

Studies have shown that laughter improves your emotional state as well as strengthens your immune system. Even if you’re in self-isolation, regularly do something you enjoy. 

  • Make it a movie night at home
  • Connect on the phone or text people who make you happy
  • Play games
  • Workout regularly

Anything that you like doing can help make you feel better and give your immunity a boost.

These are a few ways to keep positivity up during this outbreak. My Wednesday post has tips for staying well during anxious times.


  1. I actually do not now how to stay positive if everything around you is too bad… I think that we need to stay positive anyway!

  2. I didn’t realize the hoarding was happening in Canada too. Great idea to share with others in need. Thanks for sharing Sam

  3. I had a similar experience shopping. I am so surprised it got like that so quickly. Thanks for sharing these tips!

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