What to do when you just don't like what's going on in the world ... thoughts about a contin
This is a tough time. Almost universally, we want it to be over.
We could even say we hate it. Some of us do say that, and are quite vociferous about how much this quarantine stinks.
Even though it undoubtedly has some good in it, overall, most of us view it as a giant disruption of our normal, everyday lives. And generally we don’t like disruptions. We like life to go on, predictably, in ways that make us feel comfortable and safe.
This is far from that for most of us.
So what do we do when we just aren’t happy about something that we can’t change?
Play the “what if” game to get some perspective. What if I … [insert positive action here] … how will I feel about that when the Covid-19 crisis is over and done with? Are there things I could do now that I’d be very grateful I did later? In this category could be personal things like learning another language, or business things like setting up a complicated and time-consuming system you’ve been avoiding.
Try to tweak your thoughts from the negative to the positive. Even in the midst of the pandemic, positive things are happening. People are helping each other and giving lots of kudos to first responders, medical personnel and essential employees. Others are finding new and creative ways to assist those who need it. Animals are having a field day. Pollution is way down. Even in the mess, there is beauty.
Decide not to wallow in your misery. Do something different. Be active. Try something new. Call a friend on the phone or video. Find a new game to play, puzzle to attack, book to read. It is YOUR choice how you manage your life.
Take care of yourself. Self-care is an important part of our response to nearly everything. Well-rested, not hungry and calm people in general do much better than those who do not care for their basic human needs. Make sure you eat, exercise, sleep, and groom yourself. It’s ok to wear sweats, but not all the time. Put those jeans on, if only to check to see if they fit or not.
Don’t compare your reactions and emotions to anyone else. You are you, not them, and every human will react differently. It’s quite common now to feel great one day and in the doldrums the next. To be happy-go-lucky today and in the pits of despair tomorrow. Last week, someone asked me why they were the only one who didn’t like the quarantine! I could assure her she is by FAR not the only one, although it is true that there are those who are seemingly very happy with our shelter in place orders. Don’t evaluate your emotions in light of others.
Think about what you have to be grateful for. Chances are, when you think of these things – and you absolutely should write them down, too – there will be a lot more than you thought there might be. Focus on what’s good, and don’t dwell unnecessarily on what’s not.
Take this time to connect, and to connect in a deeper way, with someone, whether that’s a family member, an intimate partner or a friend far away. Few of us have the excuse that we’re too busy right now, so make those overtures you’ve always been too stressed to make before.
Plan for the future, but don’t hold those plans too tight. It’s fun to think about where you’ll travel when you can, who you will see, what groups will look like, and how being together will have an extra fillip of joy. But don’t let yourself count too much on all that happening soon. We just don’t know what the future holds, and grasping these things too tightly will cause more disappointment if our wishes are further delayed.
Embrace the suck. Sometimes life just stinks. It’s not always unicorns and rainbows, and that’s a good thing. If it was, we wouldn’t appreciate the good things when we had them. Embrace life, thorns, roses and all. Life would be boring if it was all the same. Sometimes just an attitude adjustment like this can help you get through a bad day.
It’s a tough time. But, like all the commercials say, we are in this together, and we will get through it. As the great Persian adage puts it, “This, too, shall pass.” It will. Someday today and its trials will just be a memory. You can do things today to make that a better memory.
If you are still struggling, and you need a helping hand, listening ear and loving heart, give us a call. We are 100% online and waiting to help you.
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