Now more than ever, it’s important to actively find the calm amidst the chaos—and our bipolar symptoms—to focus our attention on hope and resilience.
Rumination and catastrophizing are common by-products of bipolar disorder. Stack those on top of the current backdrop of uncertainty, and it’s no wonder it can be difficult to rein in our all-consuming negative thoughts. One of the best ways to relieve this loop of gloomy musings is to take a detour from our worries and redirect to a more positive path. To start, here are some uplifting, heartwarming, and humorous diversions to get you on your way.
#1 John Krasinski’s “Some Good News”
Actor John Krasinski may be best known for his eight years spent on TV’s hit show The Office, and now currently as Jack Ryan in the series by the same name. He’s also a bit famous for being married to British-American actress Emily Blunt. Most recently, though, he’s being celebrated as the spreader of good cheer through his recently launched online web series, Some Good News (SGN). The interview-style format is devoted to positive news from around the world, which he curates himself. He does get some help from celebrities like Steve Carell, Brad Pitt, and the entire original Broadway cast of Hamilton. His first episode garnered a whopping 15 million views, and it’s not difficult to see why.
#2 Animals That Will Surely Brighten Your Day
Nature is magical. But there’s something extra special when you discover two different animal breeds becoming best pals, like a beagle and a bunny. In fact, you may end up spending a surprisingly long time scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube videos. And when they are unexpected and unusual friendships, like a bear befriending a lion, it’s hard to turn away. And for a topical news spin sporting our furry canine friends, Dogs Working from Home features—you guessed it—canines dressed in office attire.
#3 Brené Brown Launches Podcast about Human Connection
Just when we all need it most, research professor Brené Brown, PhD, has launched a podcast called Unlocking Us, where she unravels what it means to be human—especially during these challenging times. Either on her own or joined by interesting guests, like musician Alicia Keys, Brown brings her usual reality check combined with her own Texas humor. Brown is a New York Times–bestselling author who has spent two decades studying vulnerability, shame, courage, and empathy. Her TEDx talk “The Power of Vulnerability” is one of the top 10 most viewed talks in the world, with almost 30 million views.
#4 Inspiration to Make Your Heart Melt
This online portal goodnews_movement is all about curating the most inspirational and uplifting stories from around the world. Like the 93-year-old Pittsburgh grandma who posted a photo of herself in isolation holding a sign, “I need more beer!” and Coors responding by dropping off 10 cases. Or the virtual bingo session for senior citizens with actor Matthew McConaughey surprising them as their bingo caller. Or New Yorkers singing from their rooftops, or an innovative man re-creating a Disney ride for his grandchildren in their backyard.
#5 Marriage in the Time of Isolation
Kumail Nanjiani is a comedian, and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, is a former therapist and comedy writer. Together, they host Staying in with Emily & Kumail, a comedy podcast series that chronicles their life as a married couple during quarantine. They also tackle topics such as self-care, dressing for video calls, and working out—all in humorous fashion, of course. Plus, they donate all the podcast profits to various charities.
#6 Making Real Human Connections
Actor and all-around creative Rainn Wilson (also known as Dwight Schrute from the sitcom The Office) co-created SoulPancake (which spans all social channels) a decade ago. In April, it launched the daily Instagram Live series, Hey There, Human, in which Wilson talks with regular (sometimes random) people, as well as celebrities, about the connections they’ve made and obstacles they’ve overcome during these challenging times. Says Wilson, “If this crisis has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all human beings sharing a struggle as well as a planet.”
#7 “Betty the Weather Cat” Becomes Famous
Many people have had to bring their offices into their homes while working remotely. For instance, chief meteorologist Jeff Lyons of Channel 14 News in southern Indiana set up his green screen in his dining room to deliver the daily weather forecast. It wasn’t long before his pet cat, Betty, couldn’t stay away from her owner and kept vying for attention from Lyons during the live forecast. Receiving positive feedback from viewers, Betty became part of the weather broadcast. A star was born. The weather reports are now attracting people from around the globe. Naturally, Betty has her own Instagram account.
#8 Learn the Secrets of Happiness, Cost-Free
A couple of higher-education institutions are offering some of their beloved happiness courses at no cost online. Yale’s most popular class ever—The Science of Well-Being—includes video lectures, optional readings, and “rewirement” activities to help build happier habits. And at the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, their eight-week Science of Happiness course explores the roots of a meaningful and happy life through science and practice. Previous course-takers have reported a decrease in stress and significant increases in life satisfaction and happiness.
#9 Bring Arts & Culture to Your Living Room
Imagine going somewhere fascinating without ever having to change out of your yoga pants. Indeed, you can explore the beauty of the world thanks to free videos currently streaming. For example, take a virtual tour of hundreds of museums through Google Arts & Culture. Yes, hundreds! Always wanted to go to the opera? The Metropolitan Opera is offering free nightly opera streams. Broadway? You’re in luck. The series The Shows Must Go On! is offering complimentary streaming weekly. There are also myriad concerts taking place at no charge online.
#10 Your Daily Dose of Positivity
Everyone loves an uplifting, inspirational story. Like when we hear about the 89-year-old woman who sewed 600 hundred face masks while listening to the Beatles. Around since 1991, the Good News Network, which is active on most social channels, also has its own free app, for when you’re standing in line waiting and want to read something positive. It’s not just written news; they also offer motivational podcasts, tons of “good news” videos, and a weekly newsletter to boost your mood.
Tanya Hvilivitzky has spent almost 30 years in the communications field—a career that has included stints as an investigative journalist, magazine managing editor, corporate communications director, and researcher/writer. She has been with bp Magazine and esperanza Magazine since 2016, serving in roles such as interim editor and, currently, the features editor. She also writes for the bpBUZZ section of bphope.com, where she synthesizes complex information into a format that both inspires and informs.
As an award-winning writer/editor, she received the Beyond Borders Media Award for her 2012 investigative exposé about human trafficking. Her work on this important topic also earned the Media Freedom Award “Honouring Canada’s Heroes” from the Joy Smith Foundation to Stop Human Trafficking.
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