So here we are. Somewhere around day 17 (give or take) of quarantine, and we are all doing our best to keep a positive headspace as the time passes. I find myself thinking back to when I’d be getting ready for work and daydreaming of the chance to stay home and work from the cozy confines of my beloved bed (even though I love my job). It seemed like a fancy mirage that I lusted after. I would then proceed to burst my bubble, grab my car keys, and head off to work.
Fast forward to present times, and I now find myself desperately missing my cubicle mate, the cute little plant that I habitually overwatered on my desk, and the other office dogs and people who I’d get to scratch and chat with throughout the day. (Dogs=scratch, People=chat lol)
What I am sure of in these unsettling times is that I’m VERY fortunate to have the ability to work from home, stay with my fiance, and to grow my little nugget.
There are so many men and women who are tirelessly working to keep our essential businesses in place—people who are still at work and yearning to be at home with their families. People who are selflessly maintaining spaces for the rest of us to shop, heal, and gather the things we need to remain comfortable while we hideaway for the foreseeable future.
There are also so many other men and women who are now out of work entirely—wondering when things will settle down so that they can have the opportunity to get another job and obtain an income once again. Small businesses are hanging on by a thread, hoping to sustain enough revenue to keep their doors open and pay their employees. Companies that took years, hard work, and a single dream to make a reality.
Even though most of us are aware of these things, it can still be a daily battle to be thankful for the things we have, wherever we are. It is something that I have struggled with the last week or so, and I doubt that I am alone.
So what can we do to make sure we are lifting our spirits and supporting the people around us who may be having a harder time? Here are a few ideas I found in a Forbes article by William Arruda:
+Limit your intake. You could watch 24-hour news channels, listen to dire warnings on the radio, or visit countless websites and be bombarded with the angst of the moment. Instead, choose a single news source and decide how much limited time you’ll spend with it each day. Then stick to your plan.
+Look to the past. Get hope from your past resilience. You have likely endured other unforeseen major life disrupters like 9/11, major hurricanes, or the financial meltdown of 2008. You made it through! And you are stronger because of it. Know that you will get through this. Remind yourself of your resilience regularly.
+Watch a funny video. Thanks to the huge popularity of YouTube, there are thousands of videos that can help you take your mind off current events, if only for three minutes at a time. Start to bookmark the funniest among them so you can return for a repeat viewing whenever things feel gloomy.
+Look after your neighbors. You may be at low risk of severe consequences from the virus, but it may not be the same for your neighbors whose immune systems are compromised. The act of checking in on them (keeping six feet apart, of course) will not only make them feel good, and it will make you feel good and remind you that there are others for whom this predicament is even more stressful.
+Support your favorite local business. Maybe you’re heeding the social distancing advice and aren’t eager to sit in a crowded restaurant right now. And others feel the same way. Those empty seats aren’t helping the restaurant owner to pay her staff or keep the restaurant in business. Buy a gift card to help the business owner now, and prepay for a beautiful meal you can have to celebrate when this pandemic is behind us.
+Send gifts in the mail. It may not be wise to drop in on your loved ones with some fresh-baked goodies, so send them a card or present in the mail. Unexpected treats can be huge pick-me-up-in times of stress. This is especially valuable to the elderly who are living in nursing homes. Many facilities have closed their doors to all visitors, making residents feel even more isolated and vulnerable.
+Take advantage of found time. Cancelations allow me to focus on some things I’ve had no time for and to accelerate my progress on other product offerings. It’s liberating, and that’s what I’ve decided to focus on. If your company has implemented a WFH policy, how will you use the time you previously spent on commuting?
+Practice random acts of kindness. Leave an envelope with a little gift for the Amazon Fresh delivery person who drops off your supplies outside your door. Or have a coffee delivered to your doorman. Your kindness doesn’t require a monetary outlay. Write an unsolicited book review for a friend of yours who is an author. Comment on a colleague’s LinkedIn post. Send a snail-mail note of appreciation to a friend or colleague. Many in the entire country of Italy broke out in song and applause to honor their healthcare workers. Thank the custodians in your building or workplace for their efforts to keep things safe. Think of those who could benefit from your thoughtfulness and generosity. Then act.
+Rescue that animal you’ve wanted but haven’t been sure you’d have the time to allow it to get acclimated to your home and family.
In times of constant negative messaging, you need an antidote so that you can keep your positive attitude and march forward with determination and hope. Be deliberate in activities that are positive, heartwarming, stress-reducing, and laughter-inducing! Together, we’ll get through this.
Written By: Hayley Sutherland