*Please stick around until the end – I promise it will improve your day.*
Wearing a mask at work has become natural for me. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is something that continues even after the pandemic status is cleared, it just makes sense. Sadly, I’ve not become accustomed to all of the changes due to COVID-19. I truly wish I was, but life is just a series of challenges at the moment. Many of us will come out of this with personal growth, and even more of us will just be thankful that it has ended.
My day to day life is routine now that the semester has started. Most mornings I wake up later than in previous semesters. My plan was to work in the mornings and have classes in the afternoons, but I no longer have the same job. After making coffee and breakfast, I sit down for a day of looking at the computer. A couple of hours of classes and homework pass by, with breaks for meals, and then my nightly routine begins. Some days I participate in meetings with my organizations and then more studying or time with a few friends. Other days I make the commute to my part-time job, work for a few hours, then come home and crash. That routine has been pretty standard for five weeks, and it looks like it will remain very similar until I return home for the holidays.
Complete transparency: staying positive is HARD. I’m by myself all day and only get human interaction through work or a video chat. The really bad days occur when I forget to step outside… for the entire day. Many people recommended getting dressed every morning or going out for a walk at lunch, but that just hasn’t worked for me. I take it day by day and celebrate small accomplishments and improvements. There has never been a perfect way to live, and now is not the time to beat ourselves up for not being at 100%.
Here’s the flip side, you still have complete control over your thoughts, attitude, and outlook. This was something I had forgotten during the first few weeks of school. Luckily one of my organizations, the Select Leaders Development Program, gave me a much-needed reminder. We had one of our weekly meetings with an organization called Positive Foundry, and as you can probably guess they specialize in being positive. Visit https://positivefoundry.com/ for more information!
During this meeting, we were tasked with taking our negatives and flipping them into positives. This exercise made me realize I have been walking around with blinders on, and they were pointing toward all of the crappy stuff in my life. Take a second and find two things that are bothering you today.
For me that is:
I am not enjoying the weather. It’s chilly, cloudy, and the crickets are annoying.
Two big assignments are due tonight and they are stressing me out a little.
Do you have your two things? Don’t think too hard, they don’t have to be deep (mine clearly aren’t). Now that you have your two negatives, turn them into positives. Consider writing them down or at least making a mental note of how you’re feeling during this process.
My flip side is:
Chilly weather means I can finally break out all my cute sweaters! It’s cloudy because it rained for the first time in a few weeks yesterday, so I am happy for nature. The crickets are still annoying, but they provide for a fantastic and soothing distraction from studying.
The big assignments are a huge addition to my knowledge,and I have spent weeks working on them. The accomplishment of whatever grade I earn is a testament to my hard work.
How are you feeling now? A little bit better I hope. If not, try two more negatives to switch to positives.
This exercise is here to remind you that you DO have control over your environment and your most powerful move is to change your attitude toward the situation. Yes, life may be challenging right now, but those challenges don’t need to be seen as negatives! We already spend enough time thinking about the hard things in life, let’s switch it up and remind each other of the positives.