Ok, let’s just get to the main learnings while we practice social distancing:
Live the present
After several months now, the new normal is part of our daily lives. No parties or big gatherings. I’ve always been a person that plans vacations in advance trying to find the best flight price and the best centrally located hotel that does not exceed my budget. Not this time.
I used to focus a big percentage of my energy on what is going to happen: planning, planning, planning; making sure my next steps have considered as many alternatives as possible, as well as risk management. This doesn’t mean that I’ve totally stopped doing this. I’ve learned to be ok with all the limitations that the pandemic has brought and found alternatives instead of using the default approach. For example, I like travelling and it is my hope to visit a new country every year. This is something I am not willing to do right now and I switched my perspective to be a local tourist instead of an international one if I really feel the need to explore. Would I have considered this without the pandemic? Probably not.
Another approach to living in the present, while the world keeps social distancing, has been on how to take advantage of the high amount of time I spend at home and focus on the things that are under my control and I can influence. For example: spend more quality time with my family or tackle a big project.
When you wish for something you can’t get, like to gather with friends and family like we all used to do in early 2020, creates feelings of dissatisfaction and depression. When this approach of living the present finally clicks in your mind, it is a game-changer. It comes easy or fast for some people, but not for everyone.
Happiness is real when shared
We are social creatures. Living isolated is very hard but some degree of solitude is necessary. It is a balance. Some people may lean more towards the social part and others towards the quiet zone. There is no perfect approach if it makes sense for a person, then that is ok.
Some may say: “I feel so alone now during covid times”. But, are we really alone? If we have a partner in our household, we are not alone. When we live with our children, we are not alone. The reality is that we are missing the joys of social interaction from work, neighbours and friends. We take for granted casual and random conversations at home, but they happen and are so important to keep us going.
Do you have a family member or friend living completely alone? Reach out to them, video chat, just like if you were to hang out in person. You can still virtually communicate while social distancing. Get a Zoom account!
Struggles, problems and situations are part of life
“Why me?” Isn’t that a question everyone asks themselves? “When is my promotion going to happen? Why do I have to live so far from my family?” Why, why, why!
Asking why is not completely a bad thing. It is negative when we get stuck in the why instead of taking it as a starting point to fix the issue at hand.
Why not me? Really. Why am I so special in this world to not experience struggles? I am not. You are not. No one is. Call it however you want; Karma, life, God? or maybe destiny. Life is the ups and downs, the good and the bad, the social distancing moments, the happiest moments that make your heart almost explode and the sad or angry emotions of some circumstances.
When you accept the reality of life, dwelling goes away; with time.
I have more control of my life than I thought I had
- Control my emotions. Wherever I feel sad and I feel like a movie could help, I watch a movie.
- Watch my words. I can decide the message to be communicated to the other person. I can say “no” or “no, because…”.
- Control what type of influence I want to be for my child. I have the opportunity to set up an example. I can show him that hugging and kissing are normal between mom and dad so he can learn to express love as well.
- Decide what type of leader I want to be. I can choose to motivate and teach everything I know to anyone who wants to learn. The things I know don’t completely define my role; are the things that I share, the way I share them, how I collaborate, communicate and connect with other people that makes me successful.
- I can control my finances. Choose how much to spend and how much to save. I understand that a long-term vision is more fruitful than a short-term approach.
- Practice social distancing like
Hey! This does not mean I have everything under control. I still struggle with energy levels, time management, etc.
It is so gratifying to have the power to be rational and do not operate in default mode like some animals. Don’t you think so?