‘You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind’ Mahatma Gandhi
I read a lot of the science articles about the research being done into finding a solution for freeing us up from the Covid 19 crisis. One message is coming out loud and clear, there will be no quick resolution. We find ourselves facing a long term, uncertain recurring lockdown situation. This requires a whole new mindset and life skills for maintaining consistent resilience and building lasting internal security for ourselves
Why You need to be realistically positive. Align your attitude and perspective
Evidence shows that those who are imprisoned need to have the right mindset and heartset in order to survive. I was listening to a podcast episode of the Podpreneur podcast with Alex Chisnall last week. He was interviewing Jonathan Bowman Perks who had a career in the army. He talked about the prisoners in the Korean war who were in the Chinese war camps for about 3 years and the importance of their attitude and perspective. Those who were pessimistic, simply gave up the will to live and died. Those who were unrealistically optimistic about going home soon, ended up with severe mental and physical problems and many of them died too. It was the realistic optimists who prepared for the worst, hoped for the best and lived each day as it came, who survived. Their attitude was optimistic and their perspective was realistic. of course we are not facing the same draconian situation, but we can learn from history. The key to making sure you get through the long term current situation is it be a realistic optimist.
I have put together 6 top tips to keeping your mind healthy and positive and beat Mindsolation during Covid 19 times:
Watch your language
Many newspapers and online sites use the most negative and doomladen words available in the English language. It is easy to allow these words to sink into our everyday thinking and conversations. In the ancient Vedic philosophical texts called the Upanashads written between 800 BC to 500 BC, one guidance says…’what man thinks, he becomes.’ Words carry power. Each sound has a specific vibrational frequency that creates a change in our reality. So if you are thinking and speaking negative words, make it a daily practice to replace them with positive words instead.
When you speak, you create sound waves. When you think, you create brain waves.
Take a new walk every day, even if it is the same route
If you are used to going out regularly, it is likely that you are getting uncomfortable with the current restrictions to travel that we all face. You may only have a few options for where to walk close to home. After many weeks of going to the same place, you might be getting bored of walking the same route and seeing the same things. A great way to change up your walk is to start using the time constructively, not just for exercise or getting out of the house for a while. Before you walk out of your door, imagine that you have never before walked the route you are about to take. Don’t assume that you know everything about it, where the trees and the houses are. That you are going to see that brick wall or the usual parked cars. Instead, start noticing things with a fresh perspective. Get surprised at how green the leaves are on the trees, the pattern of the stones you are stepping on, the direction the clouds are moving. Make every walk a brand new experience and leave the boredom and frustration behind.
Use your outdoor time creatively and with a specific purpose
You can deepen your purpose on your walks by setting yourself a specific task that you can work on every day. It might be as simple as building a little mound of stones one day at a time. On your route you can pick up a stone each day and add it to the pile you are building. Be creative with what you see along your walk. Each time you go out you are putting your energy into a little project and breaking through your mindsolation. You are creating a ritual for yourself which ensures that you stay in flow with your life and loosen up feelings of being stuck or restricted. At the most basic level, ritual allays anxiety and tension, as you focus your mind on something positive, consistent and trusted.
Parcel out your time and avoid the ‘boredom gap’
None of us knows how long the current lockdown will last and thinking about it can drag you down into negativity and drive your mind crazy with self-defeating thoughts. It is important to be fluid with your expectations of how long this will last. One of the biggest dangers is boredom. If your work has dropped off, your usual routine has disappeared and you are not able to see the people you are used to seeing, boredom can set in. You are likely to be used to doing work to deadlines and schedules. However, it is necessary right now to change your relationship with time. If you are still pushing yourself and rushing to finish jobs, you can find yourself running out of meaningful business work. It is very useful to switch your pace to parcelling out your time. Instead of working several hours to get a job done, spend 20 minutes on it and then go and do something else that is not related to your business. Unpack one of those boxes that you’ve been meaning to get around to but somehow never did for the last 5 years. wash your windows, do some cooking. Then go back later in the day and do another 20 minutes of work on your business. You might think that you will have lost your focus, but what you gain is a pair of fresh eyes and often that stimulates better input. It also means that you avoid the ‘boredom gap’.
Get dressed to keep your identity
One of the quickest ways to drop your self worth, is to neglect your appearance. There are loads of articles and videos right now about having your night PJs and your day PJs, about wearing comfortable clothing at home. I don’t agree. What we choose to wear, is a representation of who we are and how we see ourselves. If you can’t be bothered with what you wear, that affects the way you feel and the way you think. It is important to stay motivated no matter what happens over the next time period. I suggest getting dressed in the same type of clothes that you were wearing when you were going out to meetings and networking events. Honour yourself by taking care of your appearance and that energy will radiate out to all those that you are talking to, even if it is physically distanced.
Talk to the animals!
You might be saying ‘what!?’ right now, but I will explain what I mean and why I suggest that you do it. You might have noticed that despite our human world changing beyond recognition, nature hasn’t changed at all, except that it feels more comfortable without us! The birds are singing, the grass is growing and Spring is happening all around you. This is a purely human crisis. So it is comforting to spend time communicating with the natural world. We need to find some consistency amongst the daily updates of the overwhelming tragedy we are going through. If you have a pet, you are probably already aware of how much comfort they can bring, but the world outside can amplify that even more. Nature has its routines and so do its creatures. When you are not doing your 20 minutes of working on a business task, go outside and find a bee. Watch how it visits all the flowers, listen to its hum and notice how the sun shows its gossamer wings which are so delicate and yet so strong. Go a step further, tell the bee how grateful you are for the plants it pollinates so that you can have food on your plate. The food that the supermarkets have been struggling to supply. Imagine what it would be like if there were no more bees. Feel the gratitude for your bee, flood your body. Wish it good health and fulfilment. Gratitude is a powerful energy that brings us out of fear and confusion.
If you are finding it a real struggle to feel positive, hopeful and realistic, then book onto my Getting Your Through The Covid 19 Crisis Survival Program and let me restore your resilience and get you out of Mindsolation.