10 Ways to Stay Positive Under Covid-19 “Social Distancing”

Let’s face it. Life sucks under the “social distancing” mitigation efforts against the COVID-19 coronavirus. During this time, we have two ways we can handle it:

  • We can succumb to negativity, or
  • We can face this challenge with a positive outlook and resolve.

If we allow the social restrictions to defeat us, we will probably miss the “silver lining” in the situation that will bring us the kind of personal growth that will serve us for the rest of our lives. Let’s take a look at 10 things we can do that will help us stay positive during this time of social isolation:

  • Find and take on the optimistic outlook of the situation. A positive life starts with positive thoughts. Thinking about the good that can come out of this social isolation is better than beating yourself up over this situation that you had no control over or input.
  • Surround yourself with positivity. Stay clear from family, friends, and social media contacts who would rather wallow in the negative aspects of social distancing than focusing on the hidden opportunities. You already know all the negative, your mission is to find the positive aspects and surround yourself with others having the same goal.
  • Don’t exaggerate and focus on a minor issue. It’s very easy to be pessimistic. In other words, don’t turn a molehill into a mountain. See the obstacle for what it is … something that can be overcome.
  • Brighten someone else’s life. Karma alone dictates that the positivity of a smile and a kind word or gesture will be returned — by somebody, someday — to lift you up when you need it most.
  • Live a healthy lifestyle. Get enough sleep. Eat nutritious food. Exercise. Take care of yourself during this stressful time so you’ll be ready “take on the world” when you get through this.
  • Start your day on a positive path. Just as you need food to nourish your body, you need inspiration and motivation to nourish your mind and inner spirit. There are a multitude of sources you can use to provide the inspiration and motivation needed to get and keep your life on a positive trajectory.
  • Maintain a routine. Get up early. Have a set time to go to bed. Have set times to eat. Have a purpose or project for the day. Have a reason and purpose to be alive today.
  • Get outdoors. Getting outdoors in the morning sun for a while is a natural upper. Take a walk. Do some exercises. Read a book. It really doesn’t matter … your body, mind and inner spirit just needs the sun to jump-start your day … positively.
  • Find some humor in the situation. When we step back a little bit, we’ll be able to find some humor in all of this. Many times these bits of humor are hidden from us when we are focusing on the pain and frustration. Laugh! It’s a great way to immediately improve our outlook and attitude.
  • Learn something new. Learning keeps our mind actively fit. Learning keeps our mind in a state of acceptance and change. It also keeps us from dwelling on the negative.

You will get through this.
You will get though this whole.
You will be a better person when you get through
this.

Why? Because you chose to.

Living Strong

Photo by Anaya Katlego on Unsplash

“Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. Talk health, happiness, and prosperity to every person you meet. Make all your friends feel there is something special in them. Look at the sunny side of everything. Think only the best, be as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.

Forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future. Give everyone a smile. Spend so much time improving yourself that you have no time left to criticize others. Be too big for worry and too noble for anger.”
Norman Vincent Peale

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See the Whole of Me

Image by Giulia Marotta from Pixabay

It is common for those who don’t know us well to label us according to the characteristics they dislike about us. The problem with this is that the label they assign to us is only a sliver of our total being. This little sliver of our life becomes the whole perception of us in that person’s (or group’s) eyes. When evaluating people, this is the process of converting the complex into the simple even though it is a biased process and perception.

Let’s take a look at eight personal characteristics people that know me well have recently used to describe me:

  • Generous
  • Humanist / atheist
  • Dependable
  • Passionate
  • Socialist
  • Principled
  • Bisexual
  • Compassionate

Those who do not know me well typically only see the personal characteristics of:

  • Humanist / atheist
  • Socialist
  • Bisexual

Why do these folks only “see” the parts of me that are outside their perception or belief of the truth or right and wrong? It is these three areas of my life that seem to bring out the anger and hate in people. These people make it their life’s mission to set me straight and get me centered on the right path … as they see it.

Though I don’t brazenly share these areas of my life openly, I don’t hide them either when having a pertinent conversation, when asked or confronted. What these antagonists don’t understand is that:

  • I was a Christian before I became a humanist.
  • I was a successful capitalist before I became an anarcho-socialist.
  • I was straight before I became a bisexual.

At an earlier point in my life, I was them. I understand their line of thinking. I also understand where this way of thinking originates and I got a belly full of it long, long ago.

I don’t shove my beliefs and lifestyle choices in your face. I don’t try to persuade you to my way of living. I don’t make fun of you in group situations. I don’t humiliate you in front of others. Truth be told, I really don’t care what you believe. I don’t have any need or reason to “recruit” you to my way of thinking and living.

Your beliefs and principles are yours. You have the right to have beliefs that are contrary to mine. I respect and honor that right.

Consequently, I expect the same from you!

Just a Smile

Image by Giulia Marotta from Pixabay

“I love those who can smile in trouble…”
― Leonardo da Vinci

Many people across the world are facing troubling times. The global challenges of the coronavirus and an unstable economic future have many people facing a future beyond our ability to fully grasp.

While we may not be able to shield them from illness or meet their financial obligations, we can give them the comforting and empathetic gift of a smile … the only one they may see today.

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Simplify

Image by ilaria piras from Pixabay

“A simple life is not seeing how little we can get by with—that’s poverty—but how efficiently we can put first things first. . . . When you’re clear about your purpose and your priorities, you can painlessly discard whatever does not support these, whether it’s clutter in your cabinets or commitments on your calendar.
Victoria Moran

Different times throughout my life I have chosen a principle that I wanted to dedicate an entire year to learning about, implement and practice until it became a natural part of my thinking and living. For 2020, that principle is to simplify my life from top to bottom.

Before I could start simplifying my life, I had to be brutally honest with myself and determine why my life had become so complex. I am retired. There is no reason why my life should be so complex.

My analysis clearly showed that I allowed it to happen. There is no one else to blame. I am the one who didn’t say no to friends, family and encompassing circumstances. I allowed my life to keep taking on additional activities and responsibilities. Life offers enough attention and challenges without intentionally adding to it.

Though it is only the middle of March, I am making noticeable progress by:

  • Reducing the number of activities that are not bringing happiness and fulfillment to my life.
  • Reducing the number of activities with family and friends. Frequent shared activities aren’t required to maintain a close relationship.
  • Doing a better job of scheduling my life and not allowing myself to be “cluttered” with spur-of-the-moment activities.
  • Handling potential problems (relationships, budgeting, personal business, home and car repairs, etc.) as soon as I see one developing.
  • Getting adequate rest and sleep.
  • Having some daily “me time” for relaxation and personal development.

I am looking forward to seeing where I end up the year in comparison to where I started. I’m already noticing an improved outlook on life and far less stress.

Do you have a life-changing improvement plan for your life that you are working on? If yes, please send me your story in the comment section provided. I would enjoy knowing about it!

To Live By Example

“If you think the world is full of darkness,
let us see your light.

If you think the world is full of wickedness,
let us see your goodness.

If you think people are acting wrongly,
let us see your right action.

If you think people don’t know,
let us see what you know.

If you think the world is full of uncaring people,
let us see how you care about people.

If you think life is not being fair to you,
let us see how you can be fair to life.

If you think people are proud,
let us see your humility.

We can easily find fault and we can easily see what is wrong but a positive attitude backed by a right action in a true direction is all we need to survive in peace and harmony in the arena of life”

Ernest Agyemang Yeboah

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Effectively Resolving Personal Conflicts

Conflict
An open clash between two opposing groups (or individuals). A state of opposition between persons, ideas or interests.
— WordWeb Dictionary

Conflict is more than a disagreement. It as a deep, foundational clash between two or more people that determines the attitude, behavior and speech between those people.

To get beyond the conflict, we must agree to sit down and openly discuss the core differences we have that is causing the conflict and when we do meet, we must listen … really listen to what the other party(ies) has to say. In the end, both parties must come to a compromised position that allows both parties to satisfactorily move forward.

The challenge is that this is a tough, tedious process. There are no shortcuts. It requires our commitment to work it out. Lets look at the process to accomplish this:

Determine the general scope of the conflict

Look for over-the-top responses. We need to find out if we are dealing with a disagreement or a conflict. If the other person we are talking with is exhibiting far more anger and stress than warranted for the situation, we need to find out, through what the other person is saying or through that person’s behavior, the reason for the anger and stress. When addressing the reason(s) for the other person’s anger and stress, we must be careful not to aggravate that anger and stress to the point that the situation becomes violent.

Outside of the current conflict, is there tension between us and the other person? If we have previously been in conflict with the other person, we will naturally hold bad feelings towards that person whether we are in a current conflict or not. As a result, we may need to address this underlying conflict before we proceed to working out the current conflict.

Let’s examine how others may have tainted our perception of the other person. We need to honestly examine if others have fed our bias toward the other person. If yes, must purge this influence from our minds if we have any hopes of resolving our conflict. We must approach the resolution process with an open mind and a cooperative attitude. Otherwise, we’re wasting our time and effort.

The process of resolving our conflict

Our #1 task is to remain calm. Tempers are barriers to resolving our conflict. Hopefully, our goal is to make peace with the other person … not giving payback. To that end, we must remain calm and respectful.

It is often helpful to ask the other person for their ideas on how to resolve the conflict. This sends a signal to the other person that we are truly interested in resolving the conflict that stands between us.

Make a list of our specific concerns. As much as possible, we need to leave personalities and personal history out of it because that just leaves each party in a position to defend themselves. Talk about a specific behavior(s) that feeds the conflict.

We need to allow the other person to express their response(s) and opinions. As we will often learn, we have behaviors, attitudes and speech that needs addressing as well. We need to accept this as constructive criticism.

We need to ask plenty of questions. The best way we can learn what and how the other person is thinking and feeling is to ask them non-combative, non-leading questions. If all we’re doing is making statements, we come off as be threatening and authoritative rather then being open-minded to a resolution that we both can live with satisfactorily.

Sometimes we need to think outside the box for an acceptable resolution. If the resolution is going to be successful, both parties must have had a part in its construction. From a list of possible resolutions, we need to work together to determine which one or two are agreeable to both parties.

We need to take a breather if either one of us becomes too emotional. As mentioned before, the resolution process is work … hard work. Taking a break allows us to calm down and possibly think of new ideas with a new outlook.

We need to talk positively. When negotiating the resolution(s), we need to talk about the “do behaviors” instead of the “don’t behaviors”. This keeps us focused on the resolution(s) and not revisiting the behavior(s) that caused the conflict in the first place.

We need to find common ground. Frequently, we will find things we agree on when looking for resolutions. We need to acknowledge and build upon this common ground. This allows the resolution process to transition from a “you and me” resolution to an “our” resolution. This difference is success or failure.

Finally, we need to commit to the resolution agreed upon and vow to each other to make the resolution work.