It’s fair to say, now is a somewhat confusing time for Britain. We have a newly appointed Prime Minister who supported Remain but now has Brexit on her agenda, the opposition in disarray, and still no one really knows when Article 50 will be triggered or what will happen once it has. It’s unlikely anything will be resolved over the next couple of months in any case, which leaves us in a quandary – how do we carry on as normal and enjoy life, remain positive, when the familiar structure of our country is no longer in place? Oh, and did we mention this wildly unpredictable weather?
Here we offer some tips to looking on the bright side. Warning: they mainly involve distraction and escapism.
Not to be confused with the hippy likes of homeopathy, mindfulness now has a full NHS page outlining its benefits and in these stressful weeks it might be just what you need. No one’s asking you to sit cross-legged in a dark room and hum; mindfulness is more about taking a deep breath and taking in the world around you each day – it might be while you walk to the train station or sitting in your garden after work. It is thought that being more mindful can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress.
Think about things that are definitely not coming back
Many people are in what could be described as a period of mourning for the lost connection to the EU. We don’t know exactly when we’re leaving nor if the EU will ever come back to us (never say never). But there are some things that are definitely not returning that – if we think about them – might make us feel a bit happier:
Tony Blair as prime minister
Margaret Thatcher as prime minister
TV programmes fronted by Rolf Harris
Feel better already? Thought so.
Focus on small but significant positives
It might seem very British of us to turn to the weather during times like these, but oh isn't it glorious? Sure, most of London is a sweaty hot mess and the trains aren't running properly, but the sun is out and we can finally get our fill of Vitamin D after months of bleakness. And - those summer nights...
Embrace childish obliviousness
Surprisingly effective this one. Small children have absolutely no idea anything has changed in Britain. Even if they have heard of Brexit, know we ‘voted to leave’ and understand there’s a new Prime Minister, they don’t have any capacity to imagine how that affects their futures. As far as they’re concerned, Peppa Pig is still on TV, bedtime is still 7.30pm and they’re never allowed as many sweets as they’d like. This charming naivety is brilliant and if you spend a day with a five-year-old not only will you find it strangely reassuring but you’ll also be too tired to stay up for Newsnight (which would only stress you out again).
Concentrate on the successes going on around us
Hamilton won the British Grand Prix! Yay, well done Lewis! Heather Watson was in the winning Mixed Doubles team at Wimbledon! Woop, nice one Heather! And Andy Murray won the Men’s Singles title AGAIN – proving it wasn’t just a fluke the first time, we really DO have a top-class British tennis player. (Yes, British. For now, at least…) Whether or not you’re into sport, these successes can only improve the mood of the nation and therefore we’d encourage you to embrace them. Which takes us nicely on to…
Recapture the feelings of 2012’s Super Saturday
We realise that as a nation a few things are, well, different to the previous Olympics. Remember the optimism? Remember London? Remember 2012 being the most exciting summer in the UK in a long, long time? Even if you can just get back 5% of that positive energy while watching this summer’s Rio extravaganza, it’s going to lift your spirits and see you through August. (Hopefully we’ll actually win some medals too.)
Be reassured that nearly everyone is more interested in politics now
Whether you voted Leave or Remain, there is no denying that the Referendum result has sparked an interest in British politics that wasn’t there before. The news is endlessly changing, it’s almost hard to keep up with the constant resignations, votes and debates. And people suddenly want to understand - they want an informed opinion. This can only be a good thing. The next time there’s a hugely important vote to take part in, people should be a little more prepared.
Think about Christmas
If the heatwave is a little too much for you, then the best thing to do is probably think about winter. Start planning your Christmas menus, buy some presents and help bolster the UK economy in the process, daydream about sitting on a comfy sofa with a glass of champagne watching some film you didn’t even want to see at the cinema but is now strangely appealing. Think presents and twinkly lights. Think about the fact that at least we might know a bit more about what the Tories plan to do about Brexit by then. Perhaps Labour will have decided what they’re up to as well. Maybe Facebook will have returned to just being nice pictures of your friends’ kids and pets. You never know, Nigel Farage might have even stopped appearing in the newspapers. Be happy, be optimistic.
Images: iStock, Rex Features
Remember: puppies are still cute.
Go forth and Google them: guaranteed cheer.