Friday, November 13, 2020

Living Through The Pandemic With Your Mind Intact.

This week, I've looked at changing our mood by smiling, working on cultivating happiness and today I'm looking at ways to survive being home with everyone due to lockdowns and other issues directly tied to the pandemic.

One major event that changed everyones lives was when schools closed and adults ended up working from home or ended up at home due to their work disappearing.  With everyone home, it is important to create sustainable routine for everyone. This schedule ranges from when to get up, have meals, attend school sessions via distance, clean rooms, etc.

Another thing to do is to not to think about all the what if's based on rising numbers in many states.  It is important to focus on where you are now rather than looking at what might be if something changes.  This type of thinking sends us away from reality and our actual situation into a fictional realm.  When you focus on what is happening in your life right now, it helps you feel more under control so you on longer feel helpless. 

In addition to looking at facts, it is important to stay flexible due to the constantly changing demands of your situation.  Look at schools who one day are meeting in person and then the next, everyone is learning from home.  This leads to a perception of loosing control which is what most people hate to face.  One way around it is to look at all the facts while staying flexible. When you look at scenarios, look at them with an objective point of view rather than the worst case so as to not lose sight of reality.  Look at the possibilities your family has for the current situation.  Furthermore, give yourself permission to change your mind as the data changes because it will always be changing. 

One should also find continuing purpose in this time of uncertainty. One should sit down and determine which personal values are most important at this time. Those are the values to focus on and share with your family.  In addition, what things do you want your kids to remember when this is over and what values do you want them to experience.  

Make sure your whole family gets physical since physical movement helps us relieve stress and feel better.   Physical movement can be as simple as walking around the backyard, or around the office or practice some Tai Chi or yoga, maybe throw some music on and just dance, or move.  Perhaps, the physical movement might be going up and down stairs multiple times.  

Finally, it is ok to be disappointed or to mourn the things that didn't happen such as your annual family holiday, a wedding, your weekly visits to a relative in a retirement home.  The thing is that we look forward to these events and are disappointed when they are taken away from us.  During this time, we have to make hard decisions to not go places and we experience disappointment but we have to accept that we are disappointed.  Then think about why we were going to the event and how we could still do it or find something else.  For instance, if you have to miss a wedding, maybe you can still attend via Zoom, or instead of going to Europe for that long awaited holiday, find videos of the place and enjoy it that way.

Our lives have changed for the past few months and will stay changed.  If we don't  make some choices, we will become depressed and that is not good.  We have to take steps to survive this pandemic intact so when it is over, we will be able to move forward.  Let me know what you think, I'd love to hear. Have a great day.

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