MY TWO CENTS:
We occasionally will use MTC to conduct informal surveys and/or requests for ideas or input. Relax…this isn’t one of those times! ;-)
In an edition during the fall of 2019, we requested some input for topics on which you’d like to have us share some thoughts. Since then we were able to address a couple, but not all. One in particular jumped out at me as I prepared this edition, so I thought I’d share it with you: staying positive in the crisis.
Staying positive in the crisis seems awfully poignant right now as we continue to wade through the implications of COVID-19. The wide reach of impact has extended from physical health to mental health, from job layoffs to unemployment benefits, from businesses shut down to essential businesses overloaded, from an economic tsunami to remarkable market volatility. I don’t know of one single person who hasn’t been affected in some way, shape, or form!
So, how do we stay positive when we’re in the midst of the crisis? Please indulge me as I offer a few ideas that might be worthy of consideration…maybe even worthy of being written down on a little note card and carried in your pocket or a sticky note stuck to your mirror.
- Make a gratitude list. List anything and everything, no matter how big or how small, for which you are grateful.
- Initiate a call (or Zoom/FaceTime/Skype) to a friend with whom you haven’t connected since the crisis began. Start the call by telling them how glad you are that they are in your life and keep the conversation focused on positive by asking them about their own gratitude list.
- Set a daily alarm or calendar reminder for your positivity break. I know it sounds funny, but if you’ll commit to honoring that time to focus on the joy of your relationships and experiences you can’t help but feel positivity creep in.
- Build and stick to a schedule that resembles a normal you prefer. Controlling your daily time will help you manage the tendency to be overwhelmed by items over which you have little or no control.
- TURN OFF THE NEWS and TURN OFF THE SOCIAL MEDIA FEED! I know this may seem counterintuitive, but I promise that purposefully disconnecting yourself from the potential for additional yuck filling your mind will help you get to a place where your other efforts aren’t in vain.
- Go to bed on time. This goes along with item #3 above, but leans into the idea that we need rest to help us manage the emotions of uncertainty. You can control the timing of unplugging for the night and that will help your morning look much more positive.
- Get outside for some fresh air and exercise. My great-grandmother used to say, “Go outside and blow some stink off.” If you’ve been indoors wallowing in negativity, you probably have some stink to blow off. Just sayin’… ;-)
This may feel like a pretty elementary list to some of our readers. If you’re someone who’s been wrestling with staying positive through a crisis, though, we hope this list will give you some simple and practical steps to make today a better day.
And…if we string together seven better days, we canmake it a great week!!
Scott Cousino, CFP®