How to Stay Positive during COVID-19 Lockdown
Published on: 14.05.2020
We all know that achieving something takes a lot of effort, time, and motivation while at the same time a good thing can be ruined at the click of a finger. Surprisingly, a lockdown situation can provide the best conditions and circumstances to do both. Staying closed inside is not difficult but dealing with all the implications that it brings in can be nerve-racking. The combination of home-schooling, remote working, financial concerns, health insurances, negative news exposure, and touch and hug deprivation can be hard to deal with.
How to stay strong and sane during and after the pandemic?
Not all people know how they would react in a time of crisis unless they find themselves in the middle of one. Some are incredibly calm and rational, others go in panic mood. One lesson learned from the pandemic is that maybe crisis management should be part of school curricula.
In the meantime, we can learn from what ‘happiness’ specialists have to share. Cognitive scientist and Professor of Psychology at Yale University Laurie Santos has an online training on the science of well-being. In an interview for the World Economic Forum’s own podcast, Professor Santos explains how her insights can help combat feelings of isolation and low mood, and what governments and businesses can learn too.
Ways to stay sane
“Happy people tend to be really ‘other’ oriented,” Professor Santos explains, meaning they focus on other people’s happiness rather than their own.
Stay connected with family and friends
Staying connected in times when social distancing is the rule is crucial. Schedule video calls and do fun stuff such as playing games or even decide on a dress code. Most of all, try to be a good listener. It’s an invaluable skill.
Even though nobody knows when the pandemic will end, why not focus on that beach body goals. Go for a walk if you’re allowed to go out or stick to an indoor training program. Physical training gives a boost to mental health and your self-esteem.
Take a moment of mindfulness for yourself and be present in that moment.
Learn new things
In times of lockdown, you can’t find excuses to be late on online meetings and to not do something because you have no time. Filling long hours of isolation with new activities gives a sense of accomplishment. From foreign languages to social entrepreneurship training, the list of things one can learn online for free seems limitless.
Be careful when comparing your life to others
Theodore Roosevelt said that “comparison is the thief of joy” and maybe he was right, maybe not.
The human mind is always comparing. So it’s easy to fall in the trap of equating our lives with others even if we’re locked within the walls of our homes during a world pandemic. Measuring ourselves against others can be helpful in cases when we feel inspiration and motivation from what they have achieved. If the emotions we get while scrolling or reading on our phones make us feel good and boost our self-esteem that’s OK.
However, there is always the risk of feeling smaller, depressed, inferior, and discouraged especially when people compare their real lives with what others post on social media.
Do not take the bait of the social media comparison trap. Social media gives just a tiny bit of reality that seems built in a way to make you feel unsatisfied. On the contrary, you can learn how to use social comparison beneficially.
Social Comparison can be advantageous when people use social networks, both real and virtual, to push themselves. It’s like what we do in the Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition. We invite you to a friendly competition where you push each other to achieve your goals in a better, smarter, and more efficient way. Your interactions and activity generate even more activity among the other members and it works because you know that what you do is for a greater good other than just instant gratification.
In a few words, if you enjoy good health, you should cherish what you have created and achieved. Your own life, no matter how successful you are, is beautiful and someone else would be happy to be in your place. It’s just like “The neighbors’ window”, an Oscar-winning short film inspired by a true story that conveys this simple and important message.