Written April 14th, 2020
Think you’re starting to go crazy indoors, or worried about the impact this pandemic will have on you, your family, your career, your life…? This global crisis is affecting us in big ways. But we need to realize that we DO have a say in just how it affects us.
Our emotions are fluid – the good ones will come, then they’ll go. The bad ones will do the same. But when we alter our perception of what defines “good” and “bad”, we then start to view all our emotions as being necessary and welcome them to flow freely through us in their own time. That is called ‘taking the path of least resistance’ and can help us to understand that our goal here is not to remain unchanged, but quite the opposite. This is a time for re-evaluation and growth. While we are all dealing with the impacts of this pandemic in different ways, there are ways that we can all keep our mental and physical health intact, as well as our motivation to keep going, and create a positive change.
Although part of my job is to work from home a few days out of the week, I am so very opposite of the type of person who is okay with sitting inside the house all day. So this staying at home thing was really not for me at first. However, I’ve found my own personal ways to retain my motivation (and my sanity), and I honestly feel more determined to succeed than I had ever felt before this all began.
- Get up. Whatever that might mean for you – waking up early, getting off the couch, being more physically active – whatever it is, do it. Your mind and your body are exceptionally good friends. When one is inactive and/or stagnant, so is the other. Think about what the means for you specifically and implement it in your daily life.
- Take a darn shower. Who cares that you don’t have anyone to impress right now!? This is about your health, not impressing your coworkers or your friends. Whether you’re sick, or just survived a killer workout, or sometimes even when you’re feeling a little down…doesn’t a shower always make you feel at least a little better? This applies to grooming yourself too – put makeup on if that’s what you usually do. Brush your hair, use some perfume or cologne and get dressed. These are all things that we usually do to feel better about ourselves – don’t stop doing those things now.
- Meditation, yoga, and all that “woo woo” stuff. Don’t write me off yet – it’s 2020. I know by now everyone knows the benefits of practicing mindfulness through meditation, yoga, and connecting with nature. Maybe before you didn’t have the time, or you didn’t think it could work for you. Now is a great time to quiet your insecurities or doubts about it, and just try it. You’ve got plenty of time, even if you’re an essential worker – all that time you spent going to the gym or the bar, or hanging out with friends and family before, you can now spend on taking a deeper look inside yourself. I promise, you have nothing to lose and potentially so much to gain.
- Get outside. You are still allowed to go hiking, take walks, and spend time in nature. Dedicate 20 minutes of your day to being outside. We took it for granted before. Appreciate it now and you’ll notice almost instantly how much of an impact some fresh air and chirping birds can have on your mood and outlook.
- Stop reading the negative headlines. Not enough positivity is reported. Most of what is out there right now is all about the negative impacts this is and will continue having on us. Change the narrative! Start thinking about ways that we can create a positive impact from this… and spread that! Start talking about what you’ll do differently once the dust settles with this. I know from now on, I’ll be more mindful of my actions and the ripple effect they undoubtedly have.
- The Earth is healing…let’s help it heal. Humans are beautiful, sentient beings who have a great purpose in this world. But, we can also cause some harm. Since there are less of us driving, there’s less transportation pollution. Since many of us are out of a job, the ones who still have theirs are realizing how grateful they can be for it. Let’s keep that momentum going, even after we return to our usual schedules. Ride your bike instead of drive when you can, take time to actively express your appreciation for whatever it is you are grateful for. Be more present. Be more environmentally conscious. Be better than you were before.
There ARE positive things happening right now, and we can keep that momentum going. So whether you are working from home, not working at all, or your schedule hasn’t changed one bit – let’s look at this as a much needed time for reflection and growth. We’re all in this together. We will get through this. And we WILL be changed – it’s up to us to make it a good change.