By Steve Moran
It has been a tough year for pretty much everyone. The pandemic, the politics, the economy. It feels grossly unfair and unjust. There have been more deaths in my circle of friends and family this year than any other year in my life (most not directly attributable to COVID). Even as I am writing this article I just got a call that my 92-year-old father is in the hospital with some heart irregularities.
It is easy to find negativity and hard to find positivity. I have watched friends and acquaintances go crazy negative on social media in ways that make me wonder if they have become possessed by a demon. Driving, going shopping, or just going out for a walk, people are on edge. Ready to jump on and be critical of anyone for anything.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, through LinkedIn, I got this message from someone in the senior living industry (more about this in a separate article):
“Yes, I would expect you to say something like that. You’re old, so you lack understanding for today (sic) society. Do use (sic) both a favor and defriends (sic) me so that my team never send (sic) you anything again you fXXXXXX aXXhXXX.”
6 Ways to Thrive
It is, however, possible to thrive in the middle of a pandemic, and here is how (from an HBR article: How to Thrive When Everything Feels Terrible):
- Avoid Negativity – This might mean turning off the news or changing the way you consume news. It might mean limiting your exposure to friends who wallow in the negative. I have found, in particular, I have limited my exposure to negative people. And it has made my life much better.
- Guard Your Own Language – The more negative your own language is the more negative it will become and the more negative you will become. It is so easy to see the bad and much harder to see the good.
- Nurture a Proactive Mindset – Walk away from thinking about those things you have little or no control over. Yep, regardless of your political point of view, there is plenty of reason to hate the other side. But how does that help you in your day-to-day life? And you have zero chance of making it better or different.
Instead, focus on the ways you can make the world a better place for you and your family, for your friends and neighbors, for your co-workers.
- Practice Gratitude – This might come off wrong, but think about it, no matter how bad it is for you there are others who are worse off. Use that as a starting point to focus on the things you can be grateful for. I promise you there are things.
- Manage Your Energy – A lot is written about time management. In reality, most of us have plenty of time, but we don’t have plenty of energy. There are things we can do to have more energy: eat well, get enough sleep, exercise. And then spend that energy on the positive not the negative.
- Seek the Positive – Make a mental list of people in your life, then pick out the one or two that are always positive. Call them up and have a conversation. Don’t be afraid to call and say, “I am feeling down, so I called so you can cheer me up.” One conversation can make a huge difference for days or weeks.
We are going to get through the pandemic. There will be lasting scars that can’t be helped and can’t be healed. But you and I have a great deal of control over what it does to our souls.