In the present situation, it is probably easiest for reflective optimists to function. They see not only opportunities and positives, but also like to reflect. It is worse for those task-oriented pessimists for whom perceiving the bright sides of life is a big problem. They have always been doomed to an action that is definitely limited for most of us today. How to find positives in this difficult situation.
Is how it is?
Another week has passed since the suspension of classes in educational institutions and the introduction of radical bans due to the epidemiological condition in our country. Despite some loosening, we still rather stay at home, work remotely, avoid social meetings. The only opportunities to participate in cultural events are offered by the Internet. The days merge into one, identical to each other. We feel bored, we feel less and less. Our loved ones, with whom we spend every minute, irritate us more and more. Our fears arise in the flood of depressing information about the situation in the world, in the face of growing morbidity and death statistics. Is it still possible to put on pink glasses? Even if not entirely pink, at least one that will focus our eyesight and attention on the positive aspects of the present day?
It may be otherwise
We all deal with stress differently. Reflective people look for solace in a philosophical view of the time they are going through. They look both in history (analyzing other pandemics) and in visions of future changes that we can implement – because each experience teaches us and gives us more wisdom. They build a vision of themselves being smarter, making better use of their abilities. Appreciating every aspect of everyday life that is missing today: freedom of movement, access to science, culture, sport, recreation, unlimited opportunities to meet with family, friends, etc.
Pessimists, on the other hand, comment that it sounds like a list of New Year’s resolutions, which we remember rather briefly, and few of us keep them. Does not matter. Planning for the future is a way of finding the positive aspects of what we are going through. If we plan, it means that we see opportunities to change what is and what is so overwhelming us today. So maybe the way to put on pink glasses will be to write down our dreams with an expiry date?
Chinese proverbs in practice
You can also look away and deal with the past in an unusual way: let’s write down those things for which we did not have time before the quarantine. The Chinese say: Be careful that your dreams do not come true! There is something about it. We wanted to have time to e.g. be with children (we really dreamed about it until recently!), Read them books, play board games, teach them to play the guitar, show them photo albums from their youth, watch nature films and travel reports together in inaccessible corners of the earth. We were constantly putting off plans to start practicing yoga or fitness, write our own book (e.g. cookbook)… And it was the right time to make such decisions! To work! First, a plan for a day, a week, then maybe even a month and… let’s start! Good luck!
I think it might also be a good time to get to know yourself, to see your advantages (and disadvantages) in a new light. It can be a difficult experience. If we constantly required our children to systematically learn, do their homework, practice their skills, because that’s the only way they will achieve their goals, now the time has come when children can say: Mom, Dad, we check! So: the word was said and… Taking into account the professional duties and education of the children, we plan the remaining free time.
- We are announcing a family competition for the number of books read (they can be in the digital version). It is not enough just to read them, you have to tell your family about them (during the evening sessions) and recommend those that we consider worth recommending. The forms of presentation can be any: poster, drawing, comic, performance, drama, pantomime… What is playing in the soul? If this results in an increased love of reading, we can put this aspect of quarantine on the positive side.
- We write out training plans for all family members: stretching, training with dumbbells (bottles filled with water), jumping rope, bag jumping, frog jumping, squats, push-ups (different, depending on age and possibilities), breathing training (if we are happy owners a house with a garden – on the grass or on the terrace if there are apartments in a block – on the balcony).
- Family competition in taking unique photos: everyday images or ordinary objects can be photographed from different perspectives to surprise everyone in the household! One evening a week will be planned for the presentation of the most interesting – according to the authors – photographs. Guess-guess: what’s in my picture?
Do you say it’s hard? It seems difficult because many of these proposals have already been used and there are no new ideas. You spend most of your day working remotely and helping children to cope with teachers’ demands. One could say that the effects of another Chinese proverb, which says: May you teach other people’s children …, we experience the hard way in the version: May you teach your own children … classes, as well as the children themselves. I think about noticing the real possibilities of our children, their commitment (or lack thereof), the ability to concentrate and mobilize to complete a task or motivation. This is a good time to praise and reward the many small and great achievements of our children.
However, the most valuable competence that we can now train both in ourselves and in our children is the ability to be thankful. Gratitude is difficult in the daily hustle and bustle when we focus on the different aspects of meeting our needs. Showing appreciation is more of a spiritual than a social competence. It is extremely valuable in building social, partner, and family relationships … How to train gratitude? You can start by talking to your children about what we are grateful to our parents, grandparents, relatives … Or maybe our children will hear from us, for what we are grateful to them? Even if we struggle with many troubles that our children generate, their appearance in the world brought a different quality to our lives.
In the end, no kidding
We are all going through a very difficult time at the moment, but whether and how we spend it depends only on our approach. We can, for example, use this period as an opportunity to develop the competencies of the future.
- Finding the meaning and significance of social and economic phenomena, giving meaning to one’s own work and that of others.
- Social intelligence: understanding behavior, influencing others.
- Thinking outside the box (creative thinking, creativity) and adaptation (flexibility, adapting to changing conditions).
- Use of new media (use of images and films).
- Information management and critical thinking.
- Effective cooperation in a virtual team.
So maybe it’s time for some new skills? To work! We all learn to be successful in the future. Good luck!