By Louise Loxton - Head of Department, Employer Relationships

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Two smiling toys sat on a bench

The Positivity Toolkit – and why you need one

Whenever we’re faced with uncertainty and challenge, it’s important that we have personal strategies in place, to help maintain our mental health and well-being.

For example, you might already have a favourite hobby or sport that gives you a well-needed ‘pick-me-up’ whenever you feel down, or started a new past-time like crafting, as a result of the lockdown.  

However, one of the things that can help you maintain a positive attitude as you navigate the ‘new normal’, is having your own Positivity Toolkit. 

This is something which is personal to you and which you can dip into, whenever your motivation or mood needs a boost. As different things work for different people, this is something you can tailor-make specifically to what ‘floats your boat’ and adapt and add to it as you go along. That way, it will be an instant help when you’re feeling low.   

So what is a Positivity Toolkit and how does it work?

A Positivity Toolkit is basically a collection of cheerful things, real and/or virtual, that you can quickly dip into, to give you some inspiration and motivation whenever you’re feeling down. 

Negative thoughts can lead to more negative thoughts if left unchecked – just like a snowball - and if we don’t catch ourselves in time, we can start to spiral downwards emotionally. By having your own toolkit to hand, you can ‘catch’ this negativity early. Spending some time with the things you have put in there – such as an uplifting song or a favourite photo -  will instantly start to distract you and calm you down if you’re feeling stressed.

What it needs to contain 

Your Positivity Toolkit is personal to you – so it can contain absolutely anything which makes you happy and inspires you. 

However, here are some suggestions you might like to include in yours:

  • Photos of somewhere you would like to visit
  • Some positive quotes – written on cards, or as pictures, for example  
  • A music playlist with uplifting, positive tracks 
  • Photos of your family or heroes 
  • Pictures of your favourite places 
  • A list of your favourite feel-good movies (then you don’t struggle to remember which ones you need to watch!)
  • A list of your ‘support crew’ to remind you which people in your life are there for you, or always manage to cheer you up when you speak to them 
  • A list of hobbies and pastimes you enjoy – so that you can look through the list and see which one to start doing, depending on how you are feeling

The main thing is that this collection should be easily accessible to you. Definitely keep some of it in digital form so you’ve got an instant pick-me-up at the touch of a button. 

Where to keep it

You can store or save your Positivity Toolkit on your phone or laptop if that works better for you or, if you are more tactile and like to be creative, you might want to collect these things in a decorative box, scrapbook or folder or use a notice board to display them.

And finally…

This kind of Toolkit can be a real help when you’re feeling down, as well as being a nice project to work on – especially if you’re creating a picture board for your room or office, for example. However, it’s not a substitute for professional help. So, if you’re feeling anxious or your low mood persists, always seek help and advice from a medical professional or support organisation. 

If you’re a TMC student, or considering applying to us, we have a great Student Support team who will help you adjust to life (back) at College. Check out our student support page to find out more. 

In the meantime as “Happiness is an Inside Job”* we hope you enjoy creating your own Positivity Toolkit! 

*quote by William Arthur Ward, inspirational writer