Do you find yourself at your wits’ end during your new quarantine life? Are you having trouble adjusting to your chaotic new normal? Before you bang your head repeatedly against the wall, check out these helpful tips to try to stay calm during the storm.
One of the few guarantees in this life is that there will be storms. There will be rough patches and valleys we go through. There will be times where we feel like giving up, because we just can’t take much more. Life is hard sometimes.
The reality is that while we can’t control when the storms come or how long some storms last. We can, however, control our thought process and our action steps in the midst of the raging sea. In fact, the way we think and act during each storm will help determine how well we make it through. It can also dictate the position we find ourselves in when all is said and done.
Obviously our country, and world for that matter, has been experiencing a large storm in the form of the Covid-19 pandemic. Regardless of your thoughts or politics on the subject, the fact is that our world is in an extreme state of panic.
While we’ve experienced far greater threats and enemies globally and as a nation, I’ve personally not experienced the panic and hysteria that we’re living in today. I’m not here to debate if we should be closing this place or that place. I won’t tell you if I think the local governments have overstepped their bounds or taken brave actions to help save our nation. Again, those things are out of our control. We can only control our attitude and actions from this moment forward.
While many of us had our lives shaken and flipped upside down, we’ve been forced to institute new normals for an indefinite period of time. Most families have been dealing with the modified educational practices of their children learning from home. Many families have experienced a job loss. Others have experienced even more unimaginable circumstances through this national crisis.
So, how do you stay sane through all of the uncertainty? Where do you run to for relief or solace? What things do you do to keep from pulling your hair out or from going under?
After compiling a list of practices and thought processes to help with my own sanity, I narrowed it down to three simple steps. Three things we can all doing from the safety of our own quarentined, social distancing spaces. I’m convinced that if you implement these three practices into your everyday life, you can gain clarity and a renewed focus and perspective. They just might help you from jumping off that cliff!
THREE WAYS TO STAY POSITIVE DURING THE STORM
#1 MAKE A LIST OF PROS AND CONS.
Before my wife and I make any big decisions in life, we often take a good while to list out all of the pros and cons. Whether it’s a big purchase that we’re contemplating or deciding on a certain parenting method, we get out a list and write down as many pros and cons as we can.
At first, I hated this practice. When my wife would suggest it, her idea would often be met with an eye roll or a look of disgust. If you find yourself doing that right now, I’ll let you in on a little secret: you would benefit the most from doing this procedure. The reason I know that is because that’s exactly what I’ve come to learn.
When you make a list of pros during this crazy time in your life, think of all the positive things happening in your life right now. It’s a list of all the things you’re thankful for and all the ways that God is continuing to bless you through the storm. Don’t just remember to be thankful during the month of November. Do it right now while you’re trying to work, school your kids from home, make home cooked meals, all while all being cooped up and in need of a break!
This paragraph will be short, just like your cons list. The cons list is everything bad that’s happening to you.
Now compare the two lists that you have in front of you. You’ll realize that even though you may be going through one of the hardest things you’ve ever had to deal with, your blessings outweigh your curses.
If you want to know a little secret, I’ll give you this one for free. Your blessings will ALWAYS outweigh your curses. The things you’re thankful for will ALWAYS outweigh the bad stuff that’s happening to you and around you.
The practice of writing out the pros and cons during your current battle will help you gain perspective as your shift your thought process.
#2 HIT THE RESET BUTTON
If you’re like me and you grew up in the 90s, you probably played Nintendo or Super Nintendo. One of my favorite games to play on Super Nintendo was Mario. Mario was a game where you completed different levels, defeated enemies, and solved different puzzles. Each world became more difficult and prepared you for the next level.
The thing about the Super Nintendo console was that it only had two buttons. One button was a power button and the other was a reset button. Obviously the power button would turn on the console while the reset button would stop the game wherever you were and kick you back to the beginning.
I remember on more than a few occasions coming to a level that was just too difficult for me. I would be on the verge of throwing the controller through the glass on the tv screen. I would pour hours and hours into trying to conquer this one level, only to be met with rejection after rejection. Finally, I would do my go-to move in times like this. I would hit the reset button and start all over.
Don’t be afraid to start over. It’s a new chance to rebuild what you want.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you hit the reset button on life every time you are met with a challenging situation. What I am suggesting is that you hit the reset button mentally. Hitting the reset button mentally allows you to stop before you go too far.
Many times, I start to lose my cool when I see one of my kids doing something they know they shouldn’t. I’ve learned that there are some things that just aren’t worth the battle. I need to mentally hit the reset button before I explode. I usually remind myself that this won’t matter in five years from now, so it’s probably not worth the fight right now.
Hitting the reset button during Covid-19 could be the wake-up call that you need in your life. While you can’t control why or how long this pandemic will last, use it as a time to reset your priorities in life. Allow it to help you gain some much needed time with your wife/husband and kids. Let it remind you of just how much you appreciate things you used to take for granted.
If you got caught up in the rat race of corporate American and now you find yourself laid off and on the unemployment line, hit the reset. If you had a broken relationship with someone you know is important to you, hit the reset. If you feel guilty about the way you’ve been parenting your kids or the unhealthy lifestyle you’ve been living, hit the reset. If you turned your back on God or have had a lukewarm or even nonexistent relationship with Him, hit the reset.
Like in Mario, hitting the reset button won’t help you beat the level you’re on, but it’ll allow you to step back, re-evaluate, and come back with a stronger passion and focus. I encourage you to use this time to hit the reset button in your life!
#3 BE OPEN TO NEW OPPORTUNITIES
Conquering the first two steps will set you up nicely for this next practice. Once you gain a new perspective by shifting your focus on your blessings and after you hit the reset button, new opportunities will arise. Be open to these new opportunities.
New opportunities are often some of the greatest experiences that will ever happen in your life. They’re usually missed because you’ve failed to complete steps #1 and #2 above. Now you’re primed and ready, eyes wide open to all the new possibilities in your life.
Again, I implore you to be open to these new adventures and procedures. Maybe you’ve never really thought about homeschooling your kids, but this pandemic has forced you into a similar practice. Coming out of all of this, you could be given the opportunity to homeschool full-time.
Maybe you’ve been laid off at your job and a friend offers you the chance to do some work in a new field. Normally you would have turned him down because you’ve never done anything like that before. Now is the perfect opportunity to accept that offer and experiment with something supplemental. All this new time spent at home has given you the time to do do such a thing.
The new opportunity could be an invite to a church, albeit an online church during these days of quarantine and social distancing. Or maybe you’ve never been open to prayer and a friend offers to pray over you and your current situation. Be open to it and you could be blown away by the outcome.
I don’t know what that opportunity is for you specifically, but you now have the freedom to be open to new ideas. Give it a shot!
MAKE IT YOUR OWN.
If you find yourself on the brink of throwing in the towel, know that you have options. You won’t be stuck in this situation forever. Just like every other hard time in your life, it will pass. It’s best to put yourself in a position now to reap the benefits when things start to make a turnaround.
Try making a pros and cons list of everything in your life right now. Gain perspective to realize that your blessings will ALWAYS outweigh your curses. God can even take the things on your cons list and turn them into pros in your life.
Hit the reset button before you throw the controller through the tv screen. Use this reset, especially if it’s a forced reset, to cool off and regain focus.
After you’ve made your pros and cons list and hit the reset button, the soil will be fertile for the seeds you’ve planted to blossom into something magnificent. Be open to the new opportunities so that you can reap the harvest from all the seeds you’ve sown!
Remember, you can’t always control the storm in your life, but you can control your attitude and your action as you walk through that storm!