Forward From Here
Just like sports, when unexpected change occurs, you need to ramp up your game. In life we all need a playbook to plan our next move...
Every day, all of us go through unexpected life changes aka “stuff”. This can sometimes cause grief, stress, loss, depression, anxiety, stagnation, indecision, sadness, and make us question everything. On the flip side, this “stuff” can also open doors, bring us joy, happiness, and excitement, offer new opportunities and experiences, usher in new love and friendships, and build faith, strength, hope, and courage we never knew we had.
Part of my "stuff" was spending over 100 consecutive days at hospitals, advocating for people that I loved, and dealing with subsequent loss. Those 100 days taught me that I already had the skills I needed to cope with the situation. I met a lot of people along the way who had skills too; however, they couldn't always find those skills when they needed them.
Having an action plan, or the ability to come up with one on a dime, is crucial to successfully advocate for yourself and others during a crisis. Taking care of oneself is the most important thing you can do. When flight attendants tell you to put on your mask on first, to be able to save other people...that's important! Just like sports, when an unexpected change occurs, you need to ramp up your game. In life we all need a playbook to plan our next move.
Like many Canadians, I've been watching the Prime Minister’s daily updates. The good news is we are all doing our part to flatten the COVID curve. The bad news is it might take longer than we all want it to. Along with social distancing, taking care of our mindset, and taking one day at a time is key to successfully navigating rapid, unexpected change.
Now more than ever it is important to keep perspective and remember our life is what we create. Being a positive thinker, and trying to stay mindful, will help you attract more positive into your life, no matter what the situation. It can also make the difference between having a super awesome life, or a super rotten one, while all this upheaval plays out.
During a pandemic, it is hard to know what the next five minutes will bring, but we do know that collectively, we are all in this together. In that spirit, I’ve included some super awesome tips to help you stay positive and mindful, and successfully stickhandle change during the days and weeks to come. For more ideas, you can check out our weekly inspiration page too.
Super Awesome Tips To Inspire a Positive Mindset During a Pandemic
Accept what Is
Accepting that change is happening is the first step towards developing a more positive mindset. To move forward, not backward, one has to try and accept change, not resist or deny it.
Focus on Your Basic Needs
When you can, eat healthy foods and rest more than you think you need to. Turn your living space into your personal sanctuary. Exercise outside when you can and enjoy the sunshine, safely. Taking care of yourself will help you take care of everyone, and everything else.
Try to Look at Life from the Outside In, rather than The Inside Out
When there is a sudden unexpected change, it can be difficult to find calmness and clarity of thought. Listing the Strengths, Challenges, Opportunities, and Threats of a situation can help you organize your thoughts and look at things more objectively: from the outside in, rather than the inside out. Looking at your scenario from the outside in, instead of the inside out, can help you accept the situation, reduce fear, and find the upside when you need it.
Mindfulness is a tool we can use to successfully navigate change. Taking things one day at a time, and staying in the present can help reduce depression about the past, and anxiety about the future. Take time out each day to clear your mind and just be, even for 5 minutes. This exercise will help you set your compass for the day. For ideas on how to be mindful, visit our Weekly Inspiration page.
Start each day with intention and gratitude. There is always something to be thankful for, even if it is as simple as you are still breathing today. We may not be able to control what happens, but we can control our reaction to it. Recognize that despite life’s challenges, you can manage how your day will unfold. Our intention creates our reality and gratitude can help us develop and maintain a positive perspective.
Recognize Your Accomplishments
Give yourself an Attaboy/girl note every day and congratulate yourself. For example, how well you handled a situation, that you cleaned the house, exercised, made a great dinner, got your work done, spent a fun afternoon with your children. Anything that will make you smile!
Social distancing does not have to include social isolation. Even though you cannot be physically present with friends and family, you can still connect and reconnect with people who love and encourage you via telephone, internet, or text. Let them remind you just how awesome you are. If the people around you are not amazing and do not love and encourage you, consider if you should be sharing time with this person or group. Anyone who makes you feel anything less than wonderful does not deserve to be a part of your life.
Treat Others with Kindness and Respect
We feel better about ourselves when we treat others the way we hope to be treated. That doesn’t mean everybody will always do the same, but you cannot control this. Good deeds will always come back to you- and that’s positive!
When we are stressed, we often try to lose ourselves in other activities such as work. You can put the F back in Fun even when you are self-isolating. Find time to bring balance to your life and enjoy things like chatting with friends, trying a new recipe, taking an online course, watching a funny movie, or reading a book that inspires you.
You Are What You Dream
Our thoughts are powerful things. Be mindful of what you think, feel and want. Your life will reflect this.
Positive Mindset Podcast
Bell Lets Talk Day
Accept what Is
Take a look at this Super Awesome podcast called The Mental Illness Happy Hour,
on how to have a positive mindset.
Thank you Bell for supporting the discussion on our mental health.