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Finding joy in the midst of chaos

While most of us are hunkered down in our homes, you probably know by now that millions of people all around the globe are feeling the economic and physical effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. We are feeling isolated and uncertain of the future, but we are not alone in feeling that way. We are being financially impacted by the response to the pandemic, in our attempt to slow it down. These things alone are enough to instill stress, anxiety, worry, confusion, and depression as we are put out of work, lacking social interactions, and feeling cooped up. I want to explore some activities and mental attitudes we can practice during this extremely unique time, and hopefully develop habits we can continue to practice as things start to calm down.

The first and most important attitude to practice, especially for those of us who are out of work, is to practice looking on the bright side. There are many downsides to being out of work; it’s stress inducing to keep replaying the lack-mentality thought loop. Keep in mind that while some of these thoughts might be based in reality, many of these thoughts are actually based in doubt, uncertainty, and worry. When we experience fear, we’re paralyzed and easily discouraged. When we can look at our situation with objectivity and with a feeling of confidence, we are able to make important decisions based on what is realistically happening. To keep a “bright side” attitude, it’s important to look at our newly released free time as an opportunity to improve ourselves, our work load, and/or start a new project.

Improving ourselves might mean taking the time to groom our physical bodies like taking a long bath, using that face mask you’ve been saving for a rainy day, or starting a new at-home fitness regime. It’s also a time to read any self-help books that might have been collecting dust on your shelf, paint a new painting, or write a short story or poem. You also might want to start brushing up on current skills, or learning new ones by using online virtual platforms for self-education; or even starting an online education program in a subject of your choice. All of these can transfer over into coming up with new ideas for your job efficiency: Creating new projects relative to your job that your boss or company may appreciate; getting a head start in tasks you can do from home to make your work load a bit lighter when we do return back to work.

The important thing to do during this time is to keep yourself busy. Now if you’ve been majorly sleep deprived, maybe now is the time to catch up on some much needed sleep. If you’ve been neglecting major or minor projects at home, now is the time to start checking them off your list. There are a lot of things we can do to help keep our minds off the chaos, and onto productive activities we can do each day to keep our minds busy, our bodies healthy, and our attitudes positive. The last thing you want to do is allow the days to pass by without having done anything truly productive towards your personal, family, or work life. It may not feel like it now, but when we do return to work you may feel even more anxiety and stress over having missed opportunities to divert your focus and energy to life-building activities.

There’s no better word to describe what’s going on than chaos. Put your mind at ease by doing day to day tasks and avoid over-thinking the future. No one knows what is going to happen, but one thing we do have control over, is what we do right now. Take advantage of this unusual time, and make something happen. I have faith we will get through this unscathed, but it’s important to keep yourself participating in joyful activities. This is a difficult situation for everyone, but there’s no reason we can’t make the best of it. Friends, stay joyful, hold that chin up, and keep on shining through the chaos!