MARYVILLE, TENN. — For some, spreading hope is as easy as writing a Post-it note. A note of encouragement and kindness goes a long way.
According to psychologists, reading positive affirmations can help in stressful situations like this one.
With nearly 100,000 followers, a Tennessee psychologist is sharing comfort and hope on Instagram. Therapist Jenn Hardy uses sticky notes to spread positivity during this pandemic on social media — posts that give others permission to feel.
“It’s hard enough to go through all of this. It’s made even harder if you feel like you have to be some superhero that makes it look easy,” Hardy said. “And I think it allows people to show up for you and say ‘She’s having a hard time too. How can we support each other?'”
Hardy also shares helpful home advice on how to take healthy breaks during quarantine.
“Right now, life is we’re all at home, all the time. And people can feel like if I love someone, I’m never allowed to disagree, to get frustrated at them, I’m never supposed to need a break,” Hardy said. “Look, we all need breaks. They are not a bad person if they need a break from you. You’re not a bad person for them to need a break.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, weddings, graduation ceremonies, high school prom, and sporting events are canceled or postponed. Hardy believes it’s OK to grieve the experiences you’ve lost.
“People could say, ‘I’m not allowed to have feelings about that because other people are going through harder things.’ No, actually, you get to have feelings about that too,” Hardy said. “That’s grief. That’s loss. It’s OK to name it for what it is.”
According to Hardy, if you’re not feeling very creative or motivated right now, that’s normal.
“When people are in states of trauma and crisis, that’s not a time where you feel like you’re able to learn and grow,” Hardy said. “You’re in survival mode. We’re just trying to get through day by day. And a lot of us right now are in survival mode.”
Each post is a gentle reminders to take care of yourself because, according to Hardy, you are your own home.
“You might have grown up in a way that you got some of your needs met, maybe some of them were not met. Don’t focus on that,” Hardy said. “Focus on what you’re needing now. Maybe it’s you need to go to bed early. Maybe it’s you need to call a friend.”