By: Maya Fasthoff
As we try every day to have some sort of a routine in our personal lives and in our business lives while dealing with a pandemic, these challenging times have made very clear that it is more important now than ever before to keep connected and help each other.
Whether you are isolated at home or not, the current pandemic has pushed us out of our comfort zone in ways we never imagined we would be pushed. So how to keep a positive outlook while facing so many challenges and bad news everywhere? It isn’t easy of course, so let’s not look at the big mountain we’re climbing and instead look at one little step at a time every day. We will get to the top sooner than we think, and once we get there, we will look for a new mountain to climb. Here are some of the things that helped me to change my outlook, I hope you find them as helpful as I did.
- First and foremost limit the time you spend on social media. This is an obvious tip, but the more you hear it -or read it- the better. It’s hard to do at first and if you believe you cannot do it, at least limit the time you spend reading the news and/or political videos, postings, arguments, etc. There is nothing that will stress you more than bad news being played over and over on different platforms. Directing your focus to learn what other businesses are doing to keep growing would be time much better spent and definitely better for your health.
- If you must be on social media, then try to limit your contact with negativity. This tip applies to real life as well as virtual life. It can be hard as many of us are people pleasers and find it very difficult to say No, so build your way up to your goal.
Start with one page or source you follow that meets your “negative” criteria, the one which affects you the most can be an obvious starter. You could start by snoozing them for 30 days, unfollowing them – while still being friends. Just a few days after limiting what you see from those people or sites, will greatly reduce your stress, negative thoughts, and mood.
- Create a routine for checking the news and stick to it. Some people read the news in the morning, others during lunch, or at night time. My personal routine consists of checking the news in the morning while having breakfast. When I finish my breakfast my time with the news is over and I move on to the rest of my day. This not only limits how long I’ll read the news, but it helps me get my mind off all the crazy things going on in our world. The news will be there tomorrow anyway, no need for an update several times a day.
I also avoid watching the news or news-related videos before going to bed, as those thoughts and worries linger in my mind making it hard to have a peaceful sleep. Instead, I watch something that gives me joy or peace before falling asleep.
- Have more positive contacts. Just like eliminating negative sites/people will help, having more contact with positive or inspiring people will help boost your outlook. It may be a friend who inspires you, a website, blogger, animal videos, music, etc, etc, any or all of these can shake your mind off the negative train and on to the positive track.
- An attitude of gratitude. This may sound cliche, but we forget how truly fortunate we are in so many ways. We also forget things move in a cycle, today is low, tomorrow high…there will always be better times. But what to be grateful for? Again, start with small things: your morning coffee, a roof over your head, your health, a meal, a beautiful day. Then go to bigger things: your spouse, a special friendship, your family, your job, a good weekend, and so on. Keep adding to your list and soon you will see more and more things to be grateful for and how small things can add up to a lot. Keep this list where you can see it frequently and say it outloud through the day. We need to see it and hear it!
- Connect with people with similar projects or businesses, and nurture bonds with positive energy people. Being around positive energetic people can lift your mood and drive very quickly, not only because of their contagious energy, but also because it helps keep you focused. Keep it local and band together with other businesses to mutually benefit from campaigns and events.
- Self care is very important. The old adage that you must love yourself before you can love others, is very true and is important to put into practice to achieve a positive outlook. This is of course easier said than done, as many of us tend to put everyone else’s needs before ours. But remember that every time you “pamper” yourself, you are recharging your emotional and mental batteries to continue doing more for your business and for others.
- Arm yourself with knowledge and put it into practice. For me, the knowledge I found helpful has been a collection of audible books that I keep replaying every single day. I started with The Power of your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy, then The Secret, The Hero, and lastly The Power – series by Rhonda Byrne.
When I first started listening to the Power of your Subconscious Mind, I thought it was a little old-fashioned for my taste,- it is in fact a very old book – but stuck with it until the end. It reinforced some things I knew and got me curious as to what else was out there. The main thing it did for me was laying the groundwork and understanding of the message, preparing me for the rest of the books.
Then I read the Rhonda Byrne books in the order presented before, and I couldn’t stop after that. Now I try to play one of them every day as I’m getting ready in the morning or when I’m driving in the car…it takes repetition to retrain your mind and to really put the ideas into practice consistently. Whatever books you decide to read, keep them handy, and every time you read them or listen to them again, you’ll realize there were things you skipped or didn’t absorb before, or just understood them differently the previous times. Taking control of our minds, mood and outlook, doesn’t come naturally to everyone, this is a way I found very helpful to retrain my mind for the better.
Now, I’ve sort of incorporated the message of these books in music; having a selection of music that energizes me and I play and replay when driving, working out, working, doing chores or if I find myself in a bad mood or stressed about something, I’ll play some of those tunes.