Today on HarperClassroom we are extremely privileged to share Tips for Staying Positive from author and inspirational speaker, Paige Rawl. Paige has been HIV positive since birth, and as a result has had to overcome relentless bullying.
In her astonishing memoir Positive, Paige immerses the reader in her experience and tells a story that is both deeply personal and completely universal: a story of one girl overcoming relentless bullying by choosing to be Positive.
Thank you Paige for being such an inspiration and taking the time to share tips on how to stay positive in the face of bullying.
Tips for staying Positive by Paige Rawl
1.) Learn to take a negative and turn it into a positive - I decided that I was going to take having HIV and being bullied because of it and do something with it to help others. I started sharing my story to educate others on HIV/AIDS and advocate against bullying. I decided that even though I was bullied I was going to make sure no one else went through the same thing.
2.) Get support from friends and family - Knowing that I had my mother and family through everything gave me strength. No matter what the bullies thought I knew I still had people who were on my side and loved me for who I was despite what the bullies said.
3.) Have a coping method for hard times - Listening to music and writing was a good outlet for me when I felt alone or down about the bullying or my HIV status. Then, as soon as I began sharing my story that became a way for me to cope with the bullying. Find your outlet. It could be anything, from painting, to sports, to dancing around in your room to your favorite musician—whatever allows you to take your energy and expend it in a healthy way.
4.) Help others – You may be going through rough times, but I find one of the best ways to get your mind off your own troubles is volunteering to help someone else. Seeing the happiness your care brings to others will get you to smile and put your brain in a positive place.
5.) Make a list - If you are thinking negative thoughts you can write a list of five things you are grateful for. Or list five positive things going on in your life. You’d be surprised how you won’t necessarily be able to stop at five—and again, you’ll see how much you have to be thankful for.
Positive is a must-read for teens, their parents, educators, and administrators. Available August 26th!