We are all emerging from a cave-like existence as stringent social distancing measures begin to loosen and businesses reopen.
How does it feel to slowly be getting back to some sense of normal? How does it feel to get back to work and be around people? Do you find yourself experiencing uneasiness or anxiety in an environment that once felt normal? Or, does it feel good to get back to a somewhat familiar environment?
We are all struggling with this to varying degrees and for different reasons. Whether it’s the public health ramifications of COVID-19, the lack of a routine like exercise and socializing, or more serious issues such as unemployment or financial struggles, one thing is sure: we have all felt the impact of the pandemic.
What has helped me get through this uncertainty, and other challenges throughout life is finding something positive on which to focus. Despite our lives being consumed with COVID-19 news, I’ve discovered that remaining optimistic helps in all situations, not just during a global pandemic.
I started to understand the power of this mindset a long time ago. I used to struggle to see anything but the worst-case scenario. I used to get stuck in a rut, giving up all hope of ever having a better circumstance. I developed an overall negative mindset that I either deserved these awful circumstances or was just born with bad luck — neither of which was true. But with time and introspection, I slowly started to see that those obstacles offered opportunities for growth.
Only when I tried to adjust my thinking did I begin to understand that I was only hurting myself by staying focused on my obstacles instead of the path around them. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t go through bad things, nor did I try to minimize the fact that I had the right to feel my negative feelings. But for me, those were self-defeating thoughts that didn’t strengthen me or improve my situation. At some point, I was desperate to stop feeling such despair. I had to make a change.
While this was a lengthy process that required much inner strength and introspection, I challenge you to make it a daily practice. Eliminate your negative thoughts and try to see the positive in your situation — whether it’s anxiety caused by COVID-19 or personal troubles.
In the end, your mental and physical health will benefit. If nothing else, you will be more joyful and have more patience with the world around you.
A veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Amy Pietrowski is an Oxford-based attorney at Pietrowski Law Practice, working primarily in DUI Defense, Criminal Defense and Family Law. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. View her complete bio: https://apietrowski.com/about/