How To Practice Keeping A Healthy Mind When “Home” is Your “Workplace”
Before we dive into today’s topic, and I remind you of some tips for keeping a healthy mind when fear is a global virus, I need to ask you a simple question.
How are you?
I hope you are well and that your family members and friends are well too.
Thank You For Your Service!
If you are a healthcare worker, social worker, counselor, first responder, store employee, food delivery person, or anyone out there on our frontlines: Thank you. You are doing all you can to keep our bodies safe.
You are our heroes. We owe you so much.
Keeping a healthy mind is our job, and no one can do that for us.
Our Brain’s Response to Fear Filled News
Our brain’s negativity bias makes evolutionary sense because it kept our ancestors alert to fatal dangers. In our situation today, it distorts our perspective as we face full-frontal access to media-led information from around the globe. If you let it in, you could expose yourself to a barrage of bad news throughout each day. That barrage can easily make us feel helpless and needlessly fearful.
In these exceptional times, we must rely on ourselves and each other to create positive energy and drive; or internal motivation. That way we can help others do the same—family, friends, neighbors, coworkers and our community.
People all around you look to you for guidance, support, and calm.
We Rely on Each Other for Signals on How We Should Feel
Those closest to you, family members of yours at home and elsewhere, your friends, your colleagues, and coworkers at work (many of whom you are connecting with at a distance these days) rely on you for how they should feel. They may not tell you that, but they do.
I have talked many times about how your emotional state can be felt by others around you. How you show up each day in your life is of critical importance today and every day from here on. The messaging that you convey to others through your body language, your nonverbal language, and the actual words that come out of your mouth all count!
You Have Control Over This!
In a time of uncertainty, how you “show up” habitually and emotionally will determine how you end up. You do have control over how you experience your situation. It is our attitude, how we think, what we do, and the actions we take (not just plan to take).
How you respond to things that happen around you, which are outside of our control, that ultimately creates your destiny.
Power of the Subconscious Mind
You may have heard of a book called The Power of the Sub-Conscious Mind by Joseph Murphy.
The author shares with us how changing your thought patterns can produce dramatic and positive improvements in your life. It is strange, but when we focus our minds on the positive things around us and pay attention to showing up positively, things tend to look and feel very different.
Right now, we could all do with some of that.
Our Health Demands That We Pay Attention
I am not suggesting that we ignore what is going on around us. We must pay attention; our health insists that we pay attention. You and I must abide by the structure given to our lives by our amazing health professionals.
Our Mental Health Demands That We Pay Attention
Recently I have become a “Success Magazine” reader, and over the past few months, I have noted a few exceptional articles that you might find helpful in keeping a healthy mind.
- 9 Ways to Stay Connected During Social Distancing
- 4 Tips for Maintaining Hope in the Face of Adversity
- 67 Ways to Boost Your Mood
Some other fantastic resources and ideas to access:
Practical In-House Wisdom for Keeping a Healthy Mind
I have been listening to sage wisdom from others around me. Here are some ideas:
- Utilize a support system
- Engage in your hobbies. Don’t feel guilty
- Arrange your work so that you also have legitimate “downtime.” If you don’t have engaging hobbies, you can use this time to develop some. Haven’t you wanted to learn about music, or play chess, or paint, or take photographs?
- If you must, listen to the news in the morning (what happened overnight) and in the evening (what happened during the day) but not continually or even sporadically.
- Do you have kids at home? Spend creative time with them.
- Love on your pets
- Count your blessings
- Listen to humor. Watch a movie (I love the selection of Hallmark Movies available to us right now), play a comedy special
- We need perspective. We need to laugh. Laughing mitigates stress and creates a better mood for you
- We’re talking months of this and then who knows how long in recovery, but the quickest recovery will be among those who have the most energy and resilience.
- Consider who you can safely help. You can support and coach others by phone, Zoom, Skype, etc.
A Story to Illustrate
I suggested to my son, Matt, that he and his wife, Maegen, could do a puzzle with their spare time. I love puzzles and have so many hanging around, so he took me up on the challenge and took one. Although my preferred method of concentrating is a good glass of red wine, they did an amazing job and had lots of fun doing it! They have moved onto a Harry Potter one now!
Most of all, though, I want you to stop being afraid and stop feeling guilty.
The question is never about what’s happened to us.
The question is always about what we’re going to do about it.
To your continued health and resiliency!