If you’re breathing, you know how Covid 19 is affecting the entire country, as well as the world. As winter is approaching and much of the world is in colder weather, we’re staying indoors more, and unless we are diligent in terms of washing hands, always wearing a mask and staying away from large groups, the increase in cases will continue. And the change in how we do things isn’t going away any time soon, especially for how we work! Studies have shown that even after the pandemic is over, 30% of remote workers will STAY remote and 50% of travel for work will go away entirely.
Because of these huge jumps, states are increasing restrictions for business. Restaurants won’t be able to have in-house customers, brick and mortar stores can only be at a small percentage of their normal capacity, schools must close down again (as it is 50 million children are remote learning this year), possible curfews may go into effect. All travel will be restricted for a while. Each of these cause incredible stress and anxiety. We’re exhausted from NOT being able to “do” anything!
Going into the holiday season doesn’t seem so joyous, does it? Our Thanksgiving dinners will be smaller. We won’t be able to travel or see parents and loved ones for Christmas and Chanukah. More of us will be alone for the holidays.
So HOW can we flip the switch and shift into a more positive space? How can we use Play to make the best of a crappy situation? Here are some suggestions:
1-See the big picture. This is NOT going to last forever. Although we won’t go back to what we feel is “normal,” maybe the NEW way of doing things will be better! How do we know? We don’t, so instead of “futuring” (feeling that we KNOW what’s going to happen when we really, really don’t), let your mind wonder about all the possibilities for an even BETTER future! Hope is a great motivator and the way to keep yourself positive!
2-What’s one thing you CAN do right now that’s fun and makes you happy? Staying present and doing something you love, even for a few moments, stops the mental chatter and re-sets your brain. You stop spinning and worrying when you’re in the flow of enjoyment. Savor the moment. If you’re taking a hot bath, take a moment and FEEL the deliciousness of the hot water and relaxation. Going for a run? ENJOY the feeling of your body in motion. Reading a good book? Appreciate the author’s creativity and storytelling. When you’re present and playing at what you gives you joy, your mood changes instantly!
3-Look at something you love. This is a surprisingly simple way of changing your mindset. Right now, look around you. What’s in your line of sight that gives you joy? That makes you happy? Is it your kids? A tree outside? A piece of art you love? Just look at them/it and notice the feelings that bubble up. Savor those feelings for a few minutes and tell yourself how lucky you are to get to see/have them in your life. Being grateful for what you DO have, instead of focusing on the negative of the “don’ts” makes us feel infinitely better.
We have lots more tips and games to keep that positive mindset going all the time. Seeing the world, even as it is right now, through the eyes of Play keeps balanced and resilient, happier and hopeful. Don’t we all need a little more of that?