We are living a new normal in these pandemic times. People are worried, stressed, and fearful about the future. It’s a once in a lifetime event that many of us haven’t faced. This is a virus that is affecting each and every one of us, in every part of the world.
How do we live in this new normal? How do we go forward, when we are fearing that our next visit or handshake can lead to a harmful sickness? How do we work when the economy and our jobs are uncertain? How do we mentally cope with the stay at home orders and lockdown orders which have consumed our vocabulary and day-to-day life?
Instead of succumbing to the fears of our Whatsapp friends or conspiracy-minded Facebook friends, try these 6 “P’s” to manage your day-to-day life. I’m certain if you can adopt this perspective, you’re going to not only survive but thrive in pandemic times.
Here are the 6P’s to help you cope and live in pandemic times:
You want to reminisce on the good times of the past and think about how good we had it. You also want to think about the future and how uncertain it is. Yesterday and tomorrow are no longer here. We have to continue to do what we have done during these weeks of stay at home orders which is to be flexible and take it day-by-day. We have to opt for flexibility and come to accept the unfamiliar as our standard operating procedure. We have to face the day in front of us and rise to the moment in front of us. We have to be present to what we are dealing with now.
This is not a repeat of #1 but a reminder to treat everything as a gift: a present. It’s easy to complain and grumble during these pandemic times but I’ve found that complaints and lamentation often bring more pain and struggle. Instead of complaining about how dire things are, start treating whatever you can as a present. Welcome in the present of spending time with your family. Welcome in the present of worshipping at home. Welcome in the present of quiet, calm and peaceful. Drown out the complaints and embrace the many small presents you’ve been given.
There’s never been a time that you have had to wait with no end in sight. Until the vaccine or a cure comes about, all of us have to wait with different parts of our lives. You may not have had a good relationship with patience. In today’s modern world, we complain when an app takes too long to download. Now, we have to wait for weeks before we find out what the next phase of our life is going to look like. The vaccine is going to take time. Treatment is going to take time. Normalcy is going to take time. All you can do is cultivate the virtue of patience. You have to remind yourself that public health and the pandemic are out of your control. You only have the ability to respond with patience to circumstances you can’t do much about.
You have to remind yourself that you and society have come through everything. We have survived wars, plagues, natural disasters, and personal disasters to get to where we are today. Collectively, we are resilient people who overcome adversity. Individually, think about all the hardships and difficulties you’ve faced in your own life. You preserved here. You wouldn’t be here today if you didn’t get through the difficult spots in your life. Now is the time to remind yourself that you are a captain of perseverance. You are going to go forward knowing that you are going to get through whatever comes your way. You will persevere through this pandemic as you’ve persevered through other challenges in your life.
You are going to have to prioritize all areas of your life. You are going to have to prioritize your time, prioritize your schedule, prioritize when you leave the house, and the relationships in your life. This means that you have to value some things over others. You no longer have the luxury of being an over-achieving, hyper-productive parent or partner. You are going to have to choose, pick, and prioritize one thing over another. You can continue to do the things that matter and drop the things that don’t.
“People who can focus, get things done. People who can prioritize, get the right things done.” – John Maeda
You get a choice today. You can remain positive and hopeful about what is to come or you can throw in the towel, and expect the worst. Your lense of positivity or negativity is going to affect your pandemic experience and life after this is over. Stay in positivity and your life is going to be easier. Peddle in negativity and you’re going to struggle more each day. Continue to stay in a positive frame of mind when hearing about or living in pandemic times. Ask yourself, “what is the positive in this situation?” repeatedly until you squeeze out an ounce of positivity.
You got this. We got this. Don’t let the negative of others steal your peace and positivity. Pandemic times call for you to exercise the many sleeping virtues you possess. Your perspective and your perseverance are much needed right now. All of us are going to get through this challenging health crisis like we overcome everything. At the end of the day, there’s one more “P” waiting for all of us. We will…prevail.
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