WE are living in uncertain times, which have taken their toll on us as individuals and collectively. Reports show a worrying trend in people’s mental health as a result of the pandemic and the adversities generated as a result. Yet this won’t be the first time many have felt the strain.
We all know people who, no matter what misfortune befalls them, are able to maintain a seemingly sunny disposition. Without positivity, there is no life, only existence, and a glass half empty approach can be as detrimental to your health as many of the other maladaptive coping mechanisms such as excessive drinking and smoking, which we are advised against. 
Positivity can be learned, the same as any other skill. Surrounding yourself with positive people, albeit in a socially distanced manner at the present time, will help. Enthusiasm is infectious. Being around others with a healthy outlook, rather than those who have the weight of the world on their shoulders, is more likely to have you feeling similarly buoyant.
Don’t be your own worst critic. Self-negativity can easily spiral out of control. Take time to acknowledge your strengths, while improving your weaknesses at a realistic pace. None of us is perfect.
Perspective is vitally important. You’ve heard the phrase “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill”, but if we stand back even a little from our problems, they are often clearer to understand.
Live in the moment, learning from the past, while looking towards the future. We can get caught up in reminiscing about what was, often with rose tinted spectacles. At the same time, it is a common mistake to say “I will be happy when…”. By romanticising the past or planning for the future, we miss out on the here and now, and all the opportunities it has to offer.
Do something every day, just for you, that puts a smile on your face. Put on your favourite music, have a relaxing bath or go for a walk. Dump the mobile phone and turn off the news. They will all be there later.
Have a routine you can stick to. Not allowing yourself enough sleep, skipping meals, or consuming too much alcohol can affect your ability to stay positive. Just ten minutes of gentle exercise a day will increase the levels of endorphins (happy chemicals) and reduce cortisol, one of the body’s stress hormones. 
Above all else, learn to accept the person you are.