Mar 20, 2020
We’re all feeling scared and uncertain about the future.
I don’t have the answers. But I’m hoping my perspective might quiet those fears a bit.
My advice basically falls into a couple DOs and DONTs.
DON’T take anyone’s advice about all of the things you should be getting done right now while in quarantine.
This isn’t a vacation. A lot of us are panicked and we don’t need to add a layer of shame on top of it because we’re not re-organizing our closets or creating the perfect homeschooling plan for our children.
If you have the bandwidth to use this time to tackle the things you usually don’t have time for, great! Have at it!
But if you don’t, give yourself grace. It’s ok to just be. In our society of hustle, we don’t need to turn a pandemic into a time of productivity.
Let yourself do whatever you need right now and take off the guilt.
DON’T spend all day watching the news.
While I just said you can do whatever you want, that comes with one caveat: you can’t just take in hours and hours of news.
Our brains are evolutionarily wired to seek out all information about possible dangers. But it wasn’t evolved to take in a 24-hour news cycle that gets more ratings the scarier it is.
While you need to stay abreast of what is going on, you don’t need a minute-by-minute update of every person who has died from the virus.
Walk away. Do anything else.
DON’T try to predict the future.
“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.”- Seneca
When our thoughts run unchecked we try to come up with every possible scenario of what can happen. The reality is that we have no idea what is going to happen. Stop trying to control or plan for every possible scenario.
There are tons of factors that we have no control over--the government, how many people self-quarantine, etc. All we are doing in our attempt to control is increasing the amount of time we suffer. Know that you’ll deal with whatever issue comes up.
DO look at the silver linings-
While this can be hard, mindset work is the most needed in tough times.
I like to think about the Law of Polarity- everything has an equal, opposite side.
We’d never know what happiness was if we didn’t experience sadness. Think about it. How would food ever taste good if you were always full?
So while these events are hard and can be painful, there is another side. Maybe that’s getting time to be with your family. Maybe that’s giving mother nature a break from our constant onslaught. Maybe it’s just changing your perspective to stop worrying about all of the minor things.
Whatever it is, spend time each day focusing on that. No better time than now to start a gratitude practice.
DO look at how other people have thrived in uncertain times.
“You can’t be what you can’t see.” Marian Wright Edelman
It helps us to see others who have come out of tough times. It lets us know that it is possible.
Luckily, we’ve had tons of guests on the podcast who lost their jobs during the last economic recession in 2008 and it turned out to be the best thing that happened to them. Take some time to remind yourself that it’s not always as bad as we think it is.
Everything is cyclical. Humans have gone through these uncertain times over and over again. And we’ll make it out...sometimes much stronger.
DO take care of yourself.
The most important thing is to figure out what you need the most and give that to yourself right now, without shame or blame. Do whatever you need to take care of yourself mentally and physically.