It’s not easy to stay positive during a global crisis, but after two decades of dealing with challenging situations as a divorce attorney, I’ve discovered these three simple steps can help us all cope with the current times we find ourselves in:
1. Practice Gratitude- Lately, it’s all about the little things. I start each morning grateful for my ability to taste that first cup of tea (a positive sign that I’m still COVID-free), and then if the sun is shining, I give thanks to the weather gods for providing me the opportunity to walk outside for at least 3 miles. I find tremendous joy in my ability to purchase desired treats when I go to the grocery store. And throughout the day, I continue to show appreciation for every positive human interaction available. Sadly, all these things were previously taken for granted.
2. Train Your Brain– As soon as you find yourself going into a negative downward spiral, you need to stop. Negativity is neither healthy nor productive. Teach yourself to reframe things and see the positive possibilities out there. If there is something you don’t like, rather than complain focus your energy on how you can implement changes and make things better not just for yourself but others around you.
3. Focus on the Positives– Now more than ever, we need to celebrate those special moments. Even if we cannot be there in person, we should try to acknowledge births, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, promotions, or other milestones that family and friends have in their lives. And even though making plans for the remainder of 2020 might be tricky, allow yourself to dream– we all need things to look forward to. Try to set some modest, short-term goals for yourself with built-in rewards along the way.
For better or worse, COVID-19 is forcing us all to rethink how we conduct our lives and work on developing a stronger emotional toolbox. Use this time wisely to rid yourself of some bad habits and past emotional baggage. With tremendous humility and grace, it is actually possible to see many unintended positives from this painful transformative phase we are currently in. The key is to not lose hope, and trust that there are better days ahead.
By Regina A. DeMeo