Feel like you’re chronically depressed or anxious during this post-COVID-19 era? That's understandable. We're all experiencing a wide range of profound emotional experiences on a daily basis. These are unprecedented times and uncomfortable, difficult emotions are normal...and deeply human.
But emotional vigilance counts now more than ever. Your mindset will serve as an anchor, as every day brings its own personal challenges. That doesn't mean denying negative emotions when they arise but returning to a positive mindset as your foundation against a potential downward spiral.
So, here are four steps to a more positive, powerful mindset...yes, even during these times.
- Practice Gratitude
Yes, it's a challenge to be grateful when there is so much uncertainty. But it's certainly not impossible. Every day, many of us are given gifts like the ability to walk and talk, a roof over our heads, friends and family, and so much more.
Take note of all the blessings you have going for you. This practice reminds us of the good we already have and potentially, brings more good to us.
- Consider The Big Picture
We're deeply mired at the moment right now. And rightfully so. The moment is scary!
But there will be a next year. And another. And another. We also have a vast history of years stretched out behind us. This is one moment in time. And you are one person in a great patchwork of humanity, on a little planet whirling in an expansive universe.
Will the same issues be plaguing you next month? Probably not. New problems? Most likely.
Try this: Take a moment to look up into the sky. Breathe deep. Realize you are standing on a planet. Just one person, taking in the wonder. Acknowledging the big picture reduces the severity and impact of your current situation and broadens your outlook.
- Maintain A Healthy Social Circle
Social isolation can make us feel...well, isolated. But it doesn't have to. More now than ever, reach out to loved ones. For some this may mean a phone or video call. For others, a good, old-fashioned letter or card can make both parties feel connected.
How about those old friends or family members you haven't spoken to in a long while? Or someone you've had a disagreement with in the past? Maybe now is a good time to let go of grudges and simply connect?
It's been said that you are the sum of the five people you’re closest to. Connect with those people and recognize why they are your inner circle? Appreciate (there's that gratitude again) the calm and ease with which you connect with them. Appreciate that you have people to connect with in life.
- Seek out the Lessons
Always look for the lesson to be learned, even as we co-experience such global difficulty.
Many are us are learning the power of simplifying, using fewer resources by driving less and purchasing less, for example. We're also rediscovering inner resources. Since we have little to no control over the circumstances of a pandemic, we're forced to look inward and (simply put) let go.
Every day, lessons are to be had. Maybe you're at home, trying out a new recipe in the kitchen. Or purging your closets and realizing that yes, less truly is more. Whatever it is, take note of the lessons and wisdom that this time brings.
Listen, these times are plain hard. Let's not sugar coat it. But it's these big challenges that bring out our true inner strength and resiliency. Make time to be sad, confused and anxious. That's real. But alongside it, dare to take note of the positive. It's there, waiting for you to see it and claim it.