These days are definitely all of the above.
The commonality though in all of that is time.
A large portion of us suddenly have more time on our hands than we’re used to. And time can be brutal. It can move slow, get our mind going to where we’d rather not and have us doing things that aren’t overly great for us.
Hashtag scrolling Facebook.
But time can also be amazing. It can be a gift that we are too wrapped up in our own bubble to realize and use. So, with all of that bundled together, we have put together some of our thoughts in this Unsolicited Guide to Navigating Difficult Times in 7 (maybe not) Simple Steps.
Control Content Consumption What you see, read and hear will become you.
Your brain is on the hunt for data and facts and stories. And it doesn’t particularly care about the source or accuracy. It just wants to know the scoop and then wants to replay it for you. Over and over. Right before you go to sleep and juuuust as you open your eyes in the morning. So, be hyper vigilant about what you allow your eyes, ears and brain to consume. If you’re preparing dinner with CNN running on the TV in the living room, it’s time to shut that down and put on your favourite album.
Read fiction. Do puzzles. Listen to podcasts. Go for a walk. Watch keynote speeches on YouTube. Talk to friends. Go for a drive up the Niagara River Parkway. Colour with your kids. (sorry…I take that back. That’s asking too much). But do the other stuff.
Stocks Up 4%. Down 9%. Up 7%. Down 8%. Unless you are selling or buying, resist the urge to check on the TSX or Dow or [fill in the blank here] throughout the day. It’s only going to add to the narrative and internal chaos in your brain (see Control Content Consumption above). * caution: we are not financial advisors or economists. True story.
Less Facebook Hoy crap if there’s one thing you do. A few simple ideas. You can remove the icon from your phone so you only go on for a peek on your laptop or desktop. Snooze them! At the top right corner of everyone’s post you’ll see the 3 dots. Have someone clogging up your feed with doom and/or gloom? Click on those 3 dots and Snooze them for 30 days. BAM! They’re gone for just over 4 weeks. Do that without remorse until you’ve cleaned up your feed. But in general, less Facebook.
Silence is the Enemy Being separated from each other physically is going to have an incremental impact over time. Pretty sure we all start feeling that on day 2. While we’ve all become used to living on text and direct message, maybe it’s time we get back to speaking with each other. Facetime, skype and any other video platform is great. How about talking too? That’s a possible route to take.
Just retreating into our recrooms in silence may not be the healthiest long-term solution.
Using Time What are we going to do with this newfound time? Once the shock of the moment wears off, most of us are going to find ourselves with more time on our hands for an extended period than we have likely had before. At least since grade school. Maybe it’s time to tackle the basement clean-up or hang those pictures and shelves up. Remember that room in the basement that you’ve been meaning to paint? Gardening. Window cleaning. Photo sorting. Learning about [insert your idea here] is now possible. Work projects, online courses, books to read. It’s all possible.
Mindset Maintenance This should arguably be first on the list as without some mindset maintenance, none of the others will likely be possible. And it dovetails in with controlling what you consume. This one will take some work but it’s so worth it. Write a gratitude journal in the mornings or evenings (google it); listen to podcasts; look into meditating like you’ve been meaning to do; interact ONLY with people who raise you up; do not interact with negativity; go for walks and keep active; schedule in time for specific activities whether or not they’re productive. Work on you.
Sunny Days Will Return At the moment, we’re all at a summer BBQ that is getting rained out. We’re clustered together under a big tent waiting for the blue skies to return so we can all go back outside and throw the frisbee around. We can sit with friends and connect. We can eat and laugh and stroll around unencumbered. So, yes, it may be pouring rain at the moment but the clouds are going to clear and the sun will come back out.
We just have to be patient, be kind to each other and wait.
Have any ideas or thoughts about how to get through the coming weeks?
We’d love to hear from you.
…and thank-you to NeONBRAND for the great photo.