…if everyone around you is “losing it”!

Staying positive when the world is “losing it” is one of the best ways of surviving the tide and making it out of the storm. However, remaining focused can be challenging. It requires a strong mindset. If you are struggling to remain positive during the COVID-19 pandemic, here are 10 Tips to help you:

 1) Plan ahead  

The timeless motto of scouting applies today — “Be prepared.” Planning can help control your stress levels and anxiety in a world where people are anything but calm. Being well prepared for whatever comes is one way of making sure you and your loved ones remain positive when faced with negativity. We all saw what happened with the toilet paper and hand sanitizer early on in this pandemic. Be prepared and have enough supplies on hand without hoarding.

2) Filter information

Avoid negative news whenever you can. Do not focus on the kind of information that doesn’t help rectify the situation. Pay attention to material that gives advice on how you can overcome or guard against being affected by the worsening of the pandemic. Filtering information can also mean not engaging when COVID-19 is brought up countless times in conversations. You know who you can have those conversations with and those who you should avoid.

3) Keep exercising

As you know, exercising is a great way of staying positive, staying healthy, and improving your overall physical and mental well-being. Exercising can also help keep your mind in check. Concentrating on improving your health is another method of staying positive when everyone else is not. One mistake you can make when faced with difficulties is changing or cancelling your workout routine. So, keep exercising and enjoy it!

4) Focus on happy thoughts    

Thinking happy thoughts does not come easy when it seems as if your world is falling apart. Do your best to focus on happy thoughts or feeling good internally without focusing as much on what is going on externally. If you can’t think of anything that shifts your mind from the bad news that is being broadcast everywhere, create happy thoughts. You can achieve this by envisioning where you will be when all the madness is over or visualizing your dream vacation. Think about the number of people who have overcome or are overcoming the same situation you’re in or look at a photo album and rekindle happy memories.

5) Manage your finances

Mishandling your finances is quite easy when you are dealing with job uncertainty. It’s a good idea to manage your finances wisely to avoid having regrets when this has all passed. Tips include avoiding compulsive purchases, keeping accurate records and documentation of your expenditures, contacting creditors if needed, and creating a new budget.

6) Try caring for someone else   

Sometimes caring for someone else is all it takes to feel better yourself. Shift your focus to doing something worthwhile for someone else or putting a smile on someone else’s face. This could include picking up groceries or doing something as simple as a daily check-in call for a neighbor, family or friends.

7) Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an excellent way of relaxing your mind and having a much clearer perspective on things. Mindfulness is being present and fully engaged with what you are doing at the moment with no distraction or judgement. It is being aware of your thoughts and feelings but not getting caught up in them.

If you are currently practicing mindfulness, keep going! If you are just starting out, a simple exercise is to find a quiet place, close your eyes and focus on your breath for two minutes. Notice how it feels and where you feel it. Notice your belly rise and fall. Inhale and exhale and if thoughts come up (which they will) simply acknowledge them and then go back to the breathing exercise. After two minutes, open your eyes and observe how you feel.

8) Continue with your work or studies        

You may start panicking if you think that your professional life is on hold right now. However, realize that not being able to go to the office does not necessarily mean the end of progress. This will help you remain calm. Continue with your work or study even if you can’t go to the office or on campus. Remember that working or studying from home has its fair share of benefits as well. You are able to work peacefully without the worries of dressing up, and there can be fewer distractions. You can control your environment and work at your own pace.

9) Enjoy whatever you do

Make it a priority to enjoy whatever you do during this pandemic. If you are working on something that you have to do but not necessarily enjoy, try coming up with a fun or alternative way of doing it. Instead of doing your work or completing your projects the way your supervisor or teacher suggests, come up with your own creative way, as long as the job is done impeccably and impressively, of course.  Be creative! 

10) Fend off negative people

No matter what happens in the world, negative people will always look for ways to blow things out of proportion. That is why fending off negative people in tough times is a useful exercise. This can be tough since we are told to stay at home and some of those negative people can be living with you!

Do your best to encourage the people around you to remain positive. While it may be impossible to make sure everyone stays positive, you can always bring up something positive to talk about. This changes the energy. If you are calling to check in with someone you know is a Negative Nelly, steer the conversation to what you are grateful for versus what is getting them down.

Try implementing some, or all of these tips and you’ll truly see a difference!

Shelly Ryan
WHEN Chief Career & Training Officer®

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