I am certain that you (and all of us) are feeling a wide range of emotions regarding the Coronavirus outbreak and the task of social distancing. Most of us have been forced to self-isolate at home and ride this out. Humans are not accustomed to being isolated. We are, after all, pack beings. We need to be social and be around others to thrive.
Let’s admit that while the news is helpful in keeping us informed, it can also be very gloomy. So, what does this mean for you if you are having trouble staying positive with all that is going on right now? How do we find the good among the uncertain? For about a year now, I have been studying the art of purposeful living. While living in a purposeful way, you develop a positive mindset that is crucial to have in today’s world. We must train our minds to see the positive and our hearts to crave it. There is good in everything. Yes, even the direst of situations hold something good within it. You just need to find it.
We interpret everything that goes on around us by how we have been taught to view it. If we attach a negative viewpoint, we see negative. However, if we attach positive, we see positive. Remember it this way … It is not what we see that determines our mindset, but how we see it. The term self-isolate comes across as negative, but let’s look at it as positive. In your day to day routine, how much time do you have for just yourself? How often do you spend doing something just for your pleasure? I imagine not often. Therefore, look at this time as a time to pamper yourself. View this as a time to do what makes you calm, happy, laugh or smile. View this time as well-deserved “me” time.
During your time at home, try and find something new to learn or do. I have always wanted to learn sign language, so I am taking this time to watch videos of basic sign language. Is there something that you have always wanted to do, watch, learn? Keep in mind that it must be able to be done within the confines of home and not too time-consuming. View this time as “improving who I am” time.
We all have that list of chores, tasks, etc. that we keep ignoring. With the little precious time we have to ourselves, we often put off the less attractive tasks. I mean, why waste what little time we have on that, right? So, pull that list out. Be productive. View this time as “finally getting it done” time.
Let’s admit it, for the most part, at the moment the Coronavirus seems to be holding the control. So, how can we find good in a situation where we have little control? Most people are anxious at the moment, but while you can’t control what is going on, you can control how you react to it. It is our response to any given situation that determines if we are calm or anxious. In sociology there is a theory that our response to something makes it bad or good not the thing itself. So, how do you find control now? The answer is by giving up control of the big situation and focus on what you can control which is you and your response. This, then will allow you to see what is positive within your control rather than focusing on the negative. What can you do to protect yourself and your loved ones? What can you do to help ensure you will be OK financially (maybe cancel all but one subscription for movies, etc.). How can you help others? How do you spend your time? I bet you are starting to find things you can control. This will allow your mind to focus on those rather than on the larger situation. For some, this may be the hardest thing to learn, but it is so worth it when you do. View this time as “controlling what I can and not worrying about what I can’t” time.
As I mentioned earlier, we are social beings. We need others, so stay connected. Rather than texting, pick up the phone and call. Video chat. Conference call your best friends or loved ones. Write letters or send cards. Have neighbors? If you live in an apartment building, suggest to your neighbor that they sit inside their door, while you sit at least 6 feet away in the hallway. In a neighborhood, take chairs and sit in someone’s driveway. Have a balcony? Each of you can sit out there and talk. You get the picture. When we interact with others, it brings happiness and calmness. These two emotions bring about a positive mindset. View this time as “socializing” time.
Please know that you are not alone in this. It may seem like it, but you are not. View the situation as something good (that needed vacation of sorts) and focus on the positive. Once you begin looking and seeing positive, you will find that you need it. You will seek it in everything. It builds you up and makes you strong! So, hang in there. You got this!
Feel free to view my Instagram page @dr.bethanyj for uplifting and motivational messages. Together, we will thrive!