Let’s face it: as we head into May, we are still practicing social distancing. I have noticed that I am looking for the positive (and I find it daily). My family is safe and healthy so far, and that is my number one priority and focus in all of this.
There is a lot of research into the benefits of positivity, but I like to digest it into a short phrase: you find what you look for. If you look for the positive things happening in life, you will tend to find them. If you focus on everything wrong with the world, you will find it. I am not downplaying the negative - I probably won’t be able to visit my sister in Seattle this year, and social distancing keeps me from seeing my dad in person. Daily phone calls and hand-written notes are the norm. But this social distancing is keeping those whom I love safe. Edit: I DO believe in the power of positivity and know that I am blessed that I still have my job and my family is safe and my children are in college/graduated. I do not take that lightly. Please know that I am thinking of all of you whatever your struggles may or may not be. I believe that we are all in this together.
Of course, connections and gratitude and mindfulness all play a role in positivity. And calm is contagious. If you are interested in more of the science behind this, I highly recommend this video featuring research by Shauna Shapiro.
I am taking advantage of the gift of time by embarking on some self-care and self-development opportunities. My workplace created a 10,000 steps a day in April challenge, and I am well on my way to successfully completing that challenge; in fact, I will keep up some form of daily exercise because my body is much less stiff. I am taking time to routinely care for my skin and hair. I have started cooking again and trying new recipes. I have spent time decluttering. I read a World War II novel (The Paris Architect), which is not my usual genre, but I loved it. I finally finished Everything is Figureoutable. I had read a lot of the book, and gleaned important, actionable takeaways from the first part of the book, so I was glad to finish the book after 4 months. I set up my stationary bike and ride it while catching up on Veep.
One thing that I look forward to is I have more time to spend on learning in many forms: podcasts, books, coaching, blog posts, online courses, LinkedIn Learning. People are being incredibly generous with learning - there is so much out there! I am fascinated by many topics. Consequently, I have signed up for a lot of things and chosen to pay for some as well.
Fast forward to evenings when I want to focus on something other than reruns or binge-watching Netflix. I found myself digging through emails in an effort to search for what I had purchased or signed up for! So I created a Google doc where I can add the link for the training and use it as a reference for later. Each day, I am focusing on one learning item (because there is so much available). And I have stopped signing up for more things.
Finally, I am limiting my news consumption. I like to watch the ending of the NBC national news because they focus on good stories and resilience and the extraordinary kindness of people. I also watch the local news to keep up with what is happening in my area and the weather.
How are you focusing on the positive?