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Marlon Devonish teaching

Never give up. Marlon Devonish's 6 tips to stay positive

Now, as in life, we are all faced with challenging moments. Through no fault of our own, we find ourselves facing ambiguous situations, challenging relationships, worries and fears. 

PE class at the Shanghai, Puxi international school

The COVID-19 situation has forced us to study and work at home and it has thrown us out of our usual routine. It has deprived us of some of our usual coping mechanisms such as going to the gym or getting a quick bite with friends. This can be extremely unsettling.

However, this is the challenge we are all facing and we need to rise to it. During this difficult time Mr Marlon Devonish shares 6 top tips to staying postive through challenging times.

1. Acknowledge your own feelings

Are you feeling unsettled and stressed? Are there negative thoughts bouncing around in your head?  Is the lack of routine causing disorder and anxiety in the family, and amplifying existing negativity?If so, this is normal and it’s an important part of a challenging situation.

Our raw instinctive reactions, freeze, fight or flight, put us into survival mode and can block out any rational thinking. At this point we must stop and acknowledge the ‘negative’ thoughts, we must bring them into our awareness and find the positives, however big or small. It’s time to focus on these positive thoughts because the alternative is far more difficult to deal with when looking at the ever-changing big picture.

Are you nervous about exams? What’s your body and mind telling you? Bring it into your awareness and accept it. Then get organised, get focused, get going!  It’s important to acknowledge the negative and then quickly get proactive.

Primary PE class run by Marlon Devonish

2. Seek out the positive

There are so many positives out there but sometimes you might have to seek it out.  I always try and surround myself with positive people and ideas, however small. I enjoy social media as it allows us to keep in touch with our great friends and classmates around the world.

However, I recommend you limit the amount of time in WeChat chatrooms that focus on the negative and don’t really give you positive useful ideas.  Be informed, be curious but don't engage in the negative conversations.

3. Set up your new routine

With no more school your routine has been disrupted.  We must adapt. You can set a new one.  You need to make this routine work for you because ultimately you are responsible for your own success.  Your teachers and parents will guide you but you know at BISS Puxi we create independent learners so you have all the tools necessary to get what you want to done.

Make a plan - what do you want to achieve, who do you want to work with, what deadline or milestones are you going to hit,  what learning objectives do you want to nail how are you going to reward yourself when you get there? What is your positive intention for the day?  Why don’t I start the day with a Mr. Devonish work out – now that’s a positive idea!

4. Keep active

You should not need me to explain the academic, physical and wellness elements of keeping active. Please join me on WeChat to watch my keep fit videos, enjoy them, get your body moving, your blood pumping and go for it!

5. Restore and recharge

In sports as in life actively resting and recovering is as important as the sprint itself. People recharge their batteries in different ways. For me, when facing a challenging situation, there are times when I want to be with people and I want to share ideas and talk about it.  Being with other positive people inspires me and puts me at ease.

There are other times, usually later at night when I want to be more reflective and take some ‘me’ time. It’s OK for people to take ‘me’ time but it can be difficult with everyone at home.  Be open and talk to people about why you sometimes need some moments of chill out time to recharge.  They may well understand.  There are even some great guided meditation or yoga apps out there so why not give something new a try? What have you got to lose?

6. Never Give Up

Those of you who regularly read my blog know of my philosophy of ‘there is no destination’  It means that whatever moment I am in, good or bad, I am always on a journey and always seeking opportunities to improve myself and to reach even higher goals.

This moment right now is part of your journey, it’s your challenge that, as you stay positive will make your stronger, smarter and fitter. It’s a time when you will learn about yourself, test yourself and pull together with other positive people who are important to you. Review your big goals and start taking small but positive steps to get you there. And remember always…

Stay positive. Stay safe. Never give up.

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