I wanted to shift away just for a moment and focus on some housekeeping issues, one of them being that I have often struggled with my mind not being in the right place, whether it be focus issues or staying positive and possibly even fighting depression.
I’m not on medication for any of the above issues, but this leads to the direction of this post as we face the COVID-19 Pandemic. This crisis has us locked away, isolated, socially distancing, and guaranteed away in our homes, apartments, rooms, or wherever place we feel safe and away from people.
I have friends who have started journals, blogs, youtube channels, Tik-Toks, or any other type of outreach material to help self-cope during this time. I know some have turned toward reading books, listening to music, exercising, and much more. In fact, Monday I helped lead a Zoom call where we presented on coping skills during this time of COVID-19 and the question we asked was, how are you coping during this time of high anxiety and stress?
See, normally I’m writing about traveling or touring, or pointing towards small towns and rural America. I typically point to small-town businesses and encourage a growth mindset in those communities as a psychologist and career coach. However, there has been a larger issue at stake in all of this…Fear.
I’m going to offer a few thoughts and suggestions and by no means am I implying that this pandemic isn’t serious and that we don’t need to take precaution and wash our hands, cover ourselves, and abide with social distancing. However, I am saying we need to change our focus.
Right now if you turn on the news you will be consumed by what this virus is doing, the amount of death and sickness, and that is taking the fear that it brings and putting it and the front and center of your mind, and what consumes your MIND…controls your LIFE.
My suggestion is to turn off the news, walk away from social media for a day or more, and stop for a moment and open your eyes to the world around you. For some, it might be embracing the quietness in your life at the moment. For others, it might mean getting outside and away from people and into nature where we can develop an attitude of gratitude. Getting our minds right, so our lives are set right.
Again, not suggesting that we don’t take COVID-19 serious, but that we simply alter our state of mind. Building coping skills to help us, and all in all, help build our immunity system by releasing stress and anxiety in case we DO get sick.
For some of my fellow bloggers, I was on a message board the other day where bloggers were writing how difficult it is to blog right now because “we’re just not feeling it” or “it’s hard to focus on writing about things we enjoy when it’s simply hard to enjoy when we have NO JOY” and I get it! Personally, I haven’t been blogging or writing myself for the very same reasons.
Now is the time that the world needs bloggers. Now is the time that the world needs artists, musicians, writers, and anything resembling any ounce of communication far and in-between that we can muster! Now is the time and forevermore!
So if you are a travel blogger and can’t blog because travel just isn’t happening, and everything seems doom and gloom, I encourage you to think something up…dream up travel posts about where you are going in the future, how we can change travel plans due to the virus, how we can travel virtually and on and on. Whether you blog about food, motivation, exercise, video games, whatever it is…now is the time the world needs you the most. This is where we can develop a GROWTH MINDSET and change the question being asked.
In what ways can I?
I’ll post more about this question later. For now, let’s stop red-lighting and coming up with reasons and ways that we CAN’T do something, and start green-lighting and creating ways that WE CAN do something. Because we can!
In closing, I wanted to share a picture that we hung in our dining room window. It’s a colored paper chain that symbolizes a rainbow. Earlier this month students all over were encouraged to go out on rainbow hunts and find rainbows that strangers, neighbors, friends, and family put up in and out of their homes to find.
I wanted to share this with the world, or anyone who happens to read this post. Go out and find your rainbows, because they’re out there! If you can’t go out or whatever else is holding you back or preventing you…ask IN WHAT WAYS CAN I?
We can’t control what happens in the world around us.
We can control how we react and think about things.