This time last year, as we approached Halloween and the winter festivities, none of us had any idea that our lives were about to change dramatically. We certainly didn’t consider the idea of being forced to wear a face covering to go shopping or get petrol and had no expectation of a lockdown and isolation period which would prevent us from seeing family and friends, let alone going out for dinner. This pandemic is ravaging employment, destroying livelihoods and stealing loved ones. And it’s happening… on a global scale!
As a Transformational Coach and Mindset Trainer, this is a stark reminder that we cannot control the occurrences and catastrophes which take place around us and more importantly, the events and accidents which may happen to us. Of course, this is always true, but the heightened sense of uncertainty and being isolated in our own homes for days, weeks and even months, on end, changes our perception of how the world operates and what life is all about. Right now, we wait patiently to find out if we will have to suffer a second, third, and perhaps a fourth wave of measures, which impact upon our lives.
Multiple sources indicate that we are now living through an unrivalled drop in carbon output, albeit temporary. Apparently, no war, no recession, no previous pandemic has had such a dramatic impact on emissions of CO2 over the past century as C-19 has in just a few months. This is certainly the silver lining for our environment. But what about humans? What’s our silver lining? How can we benefit from lockdown and social distancing?
Now, more than ever, we need to be tolerant, resilient, tenacious and steadfast. Each and every one of us gets to decide how we respond to these events, and it is the decisions we make that will determine our psychological and emotional outcome during the pandemic. Here are some tips and ideas on what you can do to identify the silver lining to this cloud, which will help you remain positive and resilient whilst waiting for the good times to return. Make no mistake, this is a cloud, a large, black storm cloud that took the life of a member of my own family. But this too, shall pass.
1. Consider Your Media Intake
Today, it’s possible to watch the News for 24 hours a day, and whilst it’s important to stay up-to-date with the ever-changing advice and guidance we need to comply with, it’s not necessary to have the News on all day. It can become very addictive, but after a certain point, it can become more upsetting than informative. Make sure the information you are getting is from reputable and non-sensational sources… we are all familiar with the term “fake news”. If television is your only source of company and entertainment, try to watch something uplifting or humorous and if you know that you watch way too much tv on a regular basis, make a decision to watch funny material every day and be reminded of how good it is to laugh, which in turn will allow you to maintain a healthier mindset.
2. Find New Ways to Socialise
Now more than ever, contact with your family and friends is crucial. Even when social distancing rules are in place, with today’s technology, it’s simple enough to stay in touch with your loved ones. Your silver lining in this case, might be to reach out and reconnect with family members that you haven’t seen for some time. Perhaps it’s something you’ve been meaning to do for some time. Schedule regular phone and video calls, plan to have dinner, watch a movie or play games over Zoom, FaceTime, Skype or Houseparty (there are plenty of platforms to choose from). One summer evening we removed some panels from our fence and enjoyed a barbecue with our neighbours, remaining in our own gardens.
If you do find yourself feeling anxious, stressed or overwhelmed, then it is even more important to have someone you can reach out to. By expressing your worries with someone you trust, you’re more likely to feel relaxed and safe.