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As we come to the end of January, I cannot quite believe how fast this year is going already even though we're still in lockdown.

With the announcement of lockdown being extended to at least March it has certainly put a bit of a downer to the start of this year.

It has certainly been tough to stay positive during this pandemic and lots of peoples mental health has been affected.

I have never really placed much importance on mental health and always thought "just get on with it" or "get over it". In the last year I have started to realise that taking care of your mental health is just as important as your physical health and they both go hand in hand.

Here are a few things I do to stay positive and mentally healthy.

1. Be grateful.

It sounds simple but it is so powerful. Instead of "I have to wake up early with Olive tomorrow" I change my outlook to gratitude. All of a sudden "I get the opportunity to play with Olive in the morning". A simple but powerful change in outlook.

2. Be active.

It's so hard during lockdown to stay active, especially with the gyms being closed (let's not go there) but it is more important than ever to get moving. Get outside, go for a walk, get some fresh air. Do some pushups, squats, anything that you enjoy to work up a bit of a sweat.

3. Meditate

Take some time to yourself, focus on breathing. It doesn't have to be long. Just take 5-10 minutes. Take some deep, intentional breaths. Declutter your mind. Take a moment. I try and take some time to meditate most evenings as I'm going to bed. Works wonders to relieve stress and give me a nice relaxing sleep.

I'm absolutely not an expert and I'm not trying to be a preachy guru or any of that nonsense but these are just a few helpful tips that have worked for me and kept me positive throughout this pandemic.

That and my family. Hearing Olive laugh and seeing her smile always makes me happy.

I mean just look at her.

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