So, as we adjust to working from home and avoid all but essential contact and travel, it’s clear that a positive attitude and whatever community support we can offer or receive is what we need to see us through the current COVID-19 pandemic.
In the professional world, the air is one of concern and change. If you’ve recently started looking for a new job, this will have obviously thrown an enormous spanner in the works, and in some cases, brought on heightened levels of stress and anxiety, so we would like to help in any way we can.
Here are some ways you can stay positive during these unique and challenging times:
Accept that you have no control over this situation and let go of any thoughts of trying to plan the coming days and weeks. Accept the situation for what it is. It’s human to be anxious, especially when you have no idea what lies ahead. At the same time, there are lots of reasons not to be scared. Be reasonable and be cautious, but don’t be frightened.
If you listen to, read or watch too much media, it will become energy-sapping; too much ‘gloom and doom’ to process, taking up too much space in your head. Free up the space for more uplifting thoughts – think about things you want to do, things that make you happy, things that make those around you feel good too. You have the chance to do that now, so don’t waste it by having the news on all day long.
News is toxic to your body. Panicky stories spur the release of cascades of cortisol. This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress.
Remember this – news stories are overwhelmingly about things you cannot influence. The daily repetition of news about things we can’t act upon makes us passive. It grinds us down until we adopt a worldview that is pessimistic, desensitised, sarcastic and fatalistic. And we really do not need this right now. So switch off your news notifications; carve out a few completely ‘device-free’ hours each day.
Now you are in a situation where you can choose who you want to call, who you want to send messages to, who you want to connect with – this will bring about calm and improve the quality of your relationships at the same time.
Appreciate this enforced downtime. When have you ever had time like this? You will miss it when you go back to your usual routine in the fast-paced ‘real world’.
Since you can’t possibly know what’s coming, it’s important that you keep your eyes open and be ready to grab hold of new opportunities. Or create your own. And that means focusing on yourself, which is perhaps something you haven’t devoted much time to recently.
People are reaching out like no other time – and you can do just this if you need to (maybe not for toilet paper or pasta, but advice and ideas). Connect with people who know you well, and ask them to be your sounding board.
Look for the good in others – it’s a time that hundreds of thousands of people are rallying to help others; people are more available, with time to listen, time to talk through your options, and even present new possibilities. Make the most of your network by dropping them a line and ask them for their help and advice.
Nobody knows for sure what’s going to happen over the coming weeks/months, but things will certainly look very different on the other side. Perhaps you will want to explore a
different career path. So take this time to reflect. Think about what it is that really makes you tick, and what gets you out of bed in the morning.
This will all come to an end at some point. We will get through it, and come out different people with new perspectives. In the meantime, we are all trying to stay positive, focused and well. We hope you are too.
Feel free to get in touch with Sarah Leembruggen at firstname.lastname@example.org if there is anything we can help you with, even just a quick chat.