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The COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps one of the greatest catastrophes of our time in addition to war, civil unrest, religious persecution, and multiple refugee crises. The global pandemic has unleashed chaos. Close to over 400 million people have lost their jobs, 756,000+ have lost their lives, others are battling between life and death in their homes or overcrowded hospitals leaving families and loved ones worried sick.
Lockdowns across countries have confined people to their homes for prolonged periods with no recreation. The pandemic has also adversely affected the movement of goods and services including food and medicines. Panic-stricken people hoarding essential supplies, long queues everywhere, travel restrictions, closing down of businesses large and small, etc. have thrown the world into chaos. With so much death and despair around, the effects are bound to be severe. The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to a host of problems including mental health issues. However, it would be foolish of us to succumb. Each one of us is a smart and able individual with so much to offer in terms of our talents, abilities, compassion, intelligence, etc. All we need is the right mindset to channel all these qualities and overcome the current challenges. In this blog, we outline 6 ways to develop the right mindset to help us through the pandemic:
1. Be Positive
We understand it is easier said than done but being positive is your first line of defense against a pandemic that has engulfed the entire world and caused devastation. Focus on what you have rather than what you’ve lost. If you have lost your job, yes that’s a cause for concern but you can use your talents or hobbies to start a business. For example, if you’re good at art, you can take art lessons online or in small groups to ensure social distancing.
2. Have Courage
Don’t let fear and anxiety overcome you. Fear only aggravates fear and causes unnecessary anxiety. Of course, we are afraid. We are afraid of being infected, we are afraid of losing our loved ones. However, fear can do more harm than good. When our minds are filled with fear, everything becomes a risk and we become frightened even when there is no need to be. Be courageous in the face of adversity and do not give in to fear. Fear will simply debilitate us and make things worse than they are. We all have to live our lives and no pandemic should stop us from doing so.
3. Prevention Is The Best Weapon
The coronavirus disease has taught us things the hard way. In a way, it was the push we needed to take our health and hygiene very seriously. For a virus that has eluded the best medical minds, strengthening immunity, until a vaccine is found and approved for use, is our only hope against the virus. So stock up on multivitamins, get in those immunity-boosting foods like fruits, herbs, and have a balanced diet, drink lots of fluids preferably hot beverages like herbal tea which contains antioxidants, and sanitize your throat.
4. Journey Mindset
According to Carly Cassella, Science Alert.com, a study was conducted by two psychologists, Szu-Chi Huang and Jennifer Aaker from Stanford University. They emphasize having a ‘journey mindset’ during the COVID-19 pandemic and thereafter. They say that solely focusing on the solution, in this case, a vaccine is going to end up in frustration and hopelessness. Furthermore, life shouldn’t just be about the destination, it should be about the journey as a whole. They advise that while connecting with family and friends, pursuing hobbies, and finding ways to be busy at home is a good thing, they also advise reflecting on both the good and bad from the past and present by writing down our experiences in a journal. Do this regularly – daily, weekly, yearly. This will help you look back on successes and failures and apply the learnings in the current situation. In doing so, you may just find a new path. Huang and Aaker put it very aptly: “Success, after all, is not all about goals; it’s also about growing, learning and changing.” (Cassella, C., A ‘Journey Mindset’ Can Help Us Get Through This Pandemic. Here’s What That Means, Science Alert.com, 2020)
5. Growth Mindset
As working from home and working virtually becomes the norm, it need not mean you think any less of your job and what you have to offer. Give working from home your best shot! Dress up, show up, and make the best of the situation. Train your mind to believe that there is no stopping you. If you are in a leadership position, it is all the more important to have and encourage a growth mindset. See the pandemic as a hurdle that you must overcome and not a stop sign. Take advantage of virtual tools like Skype, Zoom, Google Meets to conduct meetings; try work management software like Asana and Trello to manage your teams and get work done professionally. When you do this, your clients, collaborators, and other stakeholders will respect you and also develop unshakable trust in you, your abilities, and those of your team. Whether you’re a startup, a small business, or a larger firm — having a growth mindset will help you sail through this pandemic.
6. Look For Opportunities
It is fair to feel depressed, low, and unhappy but for how long? It is impractical to simply sit back and do nothing out of fear and anxiety. Instead, push harder and give it everything you got. Remember, happiness is a state of mind. We can be happy if we choose to be regardless of the circumstances.
A crisis is no time for opportunities you must think. However, there is no wrong or right time to look for opportunities. The current scenario can be a time to reflect, introspect or a time to develop new ideas. You never know, this situation may just be the break you’ve been waiting for! Many businesses and individuals have pivoted and are doing something completely different now. For example, restaurants have become full-time takeaway joints to maintain social distancing and safety of their customers, food entrepreneurs have started baking at home and interacting with customers online through videos and vlogs, businesses have figured out ways to stay afloat virtually, people are transforming their hobbies into businesses, etc. The bottom line is, there is always a possibility and an opportunity – all we need is the right mindset to make it happen.
The current pandemic and every pandemic in the future will bring with itself huge challenges. Although it is natural to have feelings of fear and despair, ensure these are temporary. Develop a fighting mindset by adopting these ways and rise to the challenge. Giving up is never the answer. So keep fighting, keep growing, keep changing, and keep learning — make it about the journey, not the destination.