toxic positivity

Toxic positivity

I’m not a negative person. I really am not. I’m someone who normally prepares for the worst because if the outcome is slightly more positive then there’s more the reason to be happy about it. I’m a pragmatist. I’m a realist. My two feet are always firmly on the ground. This however doesn’t make my outlook on life negative. I take time to smell the flowers, feel the wind in my hair, the sun in my face, I do that sort of stuff too and it comes to me naturally. But I also admit that it’s OK not to be OK every now and then.

A lot of people are going to disagree with what I’m going to say and that’s also OK. We’re not all wired the same way, we deal with our problems differently and what keeps someone motivated and makes them feel good may feel like a waste of time to someone else. So, here goes…

I noticed it a lot more during the last year – and it’s no coincidence that it happened to be the pandemic lockdown year – toxic positivity. 2020 was a pretty shitty year, right, and 2021 is no walk in the park for a lot of people either. A lot of people started sharing and overloading their social media feeds with positive quotes, mantras, affirmations, tips to overcome depression, how to practice gratitude etc. etc. As if to try to negate the negative feelings lots of other people may have been or still are processing. As someone who also suffered last winter for various reasons – I had to make some tough decisions in my career going forward, I found out I was pregnant, which I wasn’t exactly thrilled about (that is no longer the case, it just took my a bit longer to adjust and get excited about), I was sad about not being able to travel to the UK and see my husband’s side of the family, I felt the utter shock and grief when finding out a friend had taken his own life… – I was getting seriously sick of those overly positive quotes and suggestions. I’m sure those people meant well but I preferred to be upset and ignore the positivity for a while. I didn’t want to brush off the sadness that had overtaken me. I wanted to process it all and cry.

I didn’t experience them all myself but here are some examples of toxic positivity so you get a better idea what really annoyed me:

  • a meme telling you to just change your outlook and be happy
  • downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic by telling people to go outside, enjoy the fresh spring air, and all will be well
  • telling someone to snap out of their grief or suffering after a devastating loss
  • saying “but look on the bright side”, “be grateful for what you have”, “everything happens for a reason” or “it could be worse”
  • sharing “good vibes only” posts on social media
  • urging people to develop new skills or improve their fitness during the pandemic

I mean, the last one… I know too many parents who really suffered with working from home while home schooling their kids and then seeing those positive faces on Instagram feed showing off their new bod, that they’ve finished their 50th book that month or how they learnt a new language while in lockdown… there are too many examples. Bloody well done for leaving many other people feeling inadequate or ashamed because they just made through the day while feeling hopeless, lonely or depressed.

At their best, the above things I listed, are harmless and told by people with little empathy or just not wanting to deal with someone’s difficult emotions. At their worst, some of these positive statements come across as shaming and blaming people for not choosing to be happy.

You really don’t have to have a positive response to everything in life immediately. It’s important to recognise the intense negative emotions and deal with them first. Toxic positivity encourages people to ignore those difficult feelings, potentially even intensifying the power of them and making them feel bad about themselves for having those negative thoughts.

So, if, like me, you prefer to wallow in your own sadness for a while, allowing all the emotions to wash over you, without plastering a smile on your face and admitting that you’re having a tough time, then kudos. Don’t feel guilty. Unfollow or ignore the ones sharing daily motivational quotes if they’re not helping you. If it’s not your style, don’t beat yourself up. Somehow you’ll pull yourself through though, with or without the help of your family, friends or professionals, and you’ll know that you did it with dealing with the hard stuff first.

Share some love or hate for this post, you either agree, or disagree with it!

Maternity photoshoot
Health, Parenthood

It’s ok not to love being pregnant

I don’t really have time to blog these days, if you’re following me on Instagram then I’ve explained in length how much I’ve got going on at the same time. Shortly – I’m contracting on a marketing project and studying at the same time, more specifically finishing my holistic sleep coaching studies. The deadline for submitting my assignment is looming and it’s all go-go-go here! While not really having time to write anything ‘for myself”/for the blog, there are some emotions to do with my second pregnancy that I want somehow recorded and I decided to do it on this platform and I’m hoping it also resonates with some other mothers.

Continue reading “It’s ok not to love being pregnant”
Weight loss after mirena coil

Body positivity – believe in your body!

There’s actually a whole other reason why I shared this post on Instagram yesterday.

Body positivity weight loss mirena coil

Since having my daughter I’ve remained a bit heavier than in my pre-pregnancy days and I’ve been moaning about it for years because I absolutely didn’t want to buy a whole new wardrobe. By some miracle I’ve lost about 2kg since moving to Estonia and finally, this summer, I started to celebrate my body more again. Fine, I’m not as athletic as before and I’m now softer and curvier. But my belly is the softest pillow for my daughter when she cuddles up 😆 🧸. My goal is to lose a few more but I’m in no rush and what comes off slower stays off longer!
And before anyone slams me for wanting to lose only a few kilos ✋🏼 it’s my body and only I know when I’m happiest in my skin! Here’s to #mumbods, they’re all amazing!

Continue reading “Body positivity – believe in your body!”

Health, Parenthood

Miks nii paljudel (emadel) on tass tühi?

Eelmises eestikeelses postituses kirjeldasin, kuidas me elusse Eestis sulandume ja kuna olen veel lapsega kodune, siis olen hakanud pingsalt ostma ja lugema kohalikke ajakirju, mis on peredele suunatud, et rohkem aru saada, kuidas siinsed emad elavad ja mis on väikelaste emadele aktuaalne. Continue reading “Miks nii paljudel (emadel) on tass tühi?”

Health, Parenthood

Baby sleep app and anxiety

When our girl was born I found a very useful app to track the feeding and napping times. I fed on demand but still wanted to see how long had been since the last time and in terms of sleep it helped me to get an idea if she’s getting the recommended amount in total for her age group.  Continue reading “Baby sleep app and anxiety”

Health, Parenthood

Our struggle with tonsillitis

She’s only 13 months old and already suffering from tonsillitis! She had a cold more than a week ago but was feeling and looking well last week on Wednesday when I took her swimming. Massive mum guilt here because the next day she looked and felt miserable. Very clingy, wanted to be held and cuddled all the awake times. It reminded me of the newborn days when I found it hard to put her down as she’d start crying soon after.  Continue reading “Our struggle with tonsillitis”


Our cat taught me mindfulness

London is hectic and noisy and a couple of years ago it really started to affect me. I was going through some stressful times back then, I was battling with infertility and eventually diagnosed with endometriosis. I was looking for ways to calm and ground myself. I took up running, yoga, and concentrated on blogging/writing about my thoughts, but also meditation and I started figuring out what mindfulness was. And who helped me the most? Our cat! Continue reading “Our cat taught me mindfulness”


How to turn house cleaning into a workout

Cleaning the house isn’t fun. It often feels like it’s never ending and we just can’t wait for it to be finished. However, this infographic from HappyCleans looks at how you can turn it into a workout so you can kill two birds with the one stone. Remember that many aspects of housework are very good workouts as well and burn calories. For example, while mopping might not be the most fun task, one hour of it burns 168 calories. This little nugget might reduce your hatred of mopping just a little bit. Even tasks like ironing which aren’t that strenuous burn 128 calories an hour.

Continue reading “How to turn house cleaning into a workout”


HIIT for beginners (infographic)

This is a guest blog from My Fitness Boutique, a gym based in north London. They’ve produced an infographic on “HIIT for Beginners”, a guide to high intensity interval training (HIIT).

I decided to publish it on my blog as I quite enjoy throwing in some HIIT workouts myself. I like the way you can tailor them by difficulty, length and intensity. It offers a lot of variety and a great way to mix it up with my regular running sessions. In the summer months I prefer working out outdoors anyway (I hate gyms) and what better way to do it than with some body weight exercises and running. I hope you enjoy the read and the infographic too! Continue reading “HIIT for beginners (infographic)”

Soholistic Spa Ham Yard Hotel
Health, Liv's London

January – a month of wellness

As I wrote in New Year’s resolutions?, I don’t do them. So I didn’t do a dry January, start a fad diet or make any other promises that I knew I wasn’t able to keep up with. Instead, I turned January into a wellness month and tried starting to look after my mind, body and spirit better. I also followed almost all of these little tips by mindbodygreen to make my life a little bit happier. I’m a bit more concerned about my stress levels and negative thoughts so I want to make sure I look after myself better. Continue reading “January – a month of wellness”