5 Tips to Maintain a Positive Mindset During the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic
With the unfolding of the Coronavirus global pandemic crisis, the first few weeks I found myself able to maintain an eerie level of optimism and confidence that everything was going to be okay.
I saw how well-prepared I was with my transition over the past couple of years to a Coronavirus- friendly business. Most of my work already was over Zoom or online. I had a service – helping faith-based business owners make money while keeping God, their relationships, and their purpose a top priority on a daily basis – that maintained a solid demand admist economic turmoil.
The logistics of my life worked. My home and office were situated well to care for both my kids and my work. The YMCA’s temporary closure didn’t hamper my workouts. I was outfitted in my basement workout area with a treadmill, weights, bands, and a large TV for doing exercise videos and exercise equipment. I experience zero blip feelings of social isolation; my regular social interactions and Bible studies smoothly transitioned to Zoom. My freezer was bursting with frozen leftover containers of soups and casseroles, which spared me of rushes to the understocked grocery store invaded by panicked shoppers.
Our bathroom was stocked with 12 to 16 rolls of toilet paper just waiting for our use.
I sensed God prepared me for this moment, like he tipped off Noah to build that arc before it started raining.
But then my 7th grader and high school sophomore got an end to their extended two-week spring break and started online school.
THERE’S A REASON WHY GOD DID NOT CALL ME TO BE A HOMESCHOOL MOM
The teachers in both of my kids schools could not have been more gracious in helping us make this transition.
But, the reality is, I am not a gifted homeschool mom.
First, there was the set up process that took an hour and a half to get organized, which I for some reason did not calculate in my weekly time planning.
Having smart kiddos comes at a price. I knew I was in trouble when my 7th grader finished a day’s work of assignments in an hour and a half–and the entire week’s worth in about five hours.
My equally-smart high school daughter played the workload thing a little cooler, but she breezed through her work as well.
They blew through the things they liked, but conveniently didn’t follow through with their less favorite activities, like setting up three weekly PE workouts. In fact, in the waning structure, they started blowing off other tasks, like taking out the trash and putting items that needed to be put away in the refrigerator.
We were all getting a little challenged remembering the last time we took a shower.
I had to even remind some people to change their underwear on a regular basis: my kids, not my clients.
The Coronavirus didn’t damper the demand for my services. But with the uncertain economic climate many prospects postponed decisions and cancelled appointments. After nearly a month of not doing my steady, revenue-generating activities my bank account started talking to me–crying, actually.
The kids were going on electronic device binges and bouncing off the wall and with the “online education jackpot”. I was trying to reign everyone in with some kind of responsible parenting accountability processes.
On top of this I was trying to organize my bookkeeping and tax stuff for my accountant: one of my least favorite things to do. The constant interruptions made it difficult for me to focus on any task to complete.
I finally sat down with my 16-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son for a “come to Jesus” meeting. I laid down the law that this was not going to be a free-for-all.
That started the third World War.
My kids united in a valiant effort to fight their case. They argued that if they got their work done in 1 ½ – 3 hours each day, that they were done. They did not accept my logical arguments that they usually are in school seven hours daily plus additional time for homework.
We reached out to the teachers for some supplemental work. I took the advice of children book author and veteran homeschool mom, Kim Sanderson, and assigned them projects.
They now are doing weekly Coronavirus written and video reports. I knew there was some hope when I heard giggles from their “home school classroom” as they collaborated on the project. A day later I had the first weekly report: an 18-page report and a five-minute video.
The moral of this story is that if the global health crisis or the economic collapse doesn’t get you down, the process of homeschooling your children might do it.
And down is not where you want to stay if you are a business owner. Mindset trumps (pun intended) everything.
Here are three tips for keeping a positive mindset during a global pandemic:
- Acknowledge and own your own stresses and reactions to the pandemic.
This crisis affects everyone differently. Some people are bored out of their minds. Some are risking their lives daily. Others are stressed to the peak levels in life-and-death service in the medical fields. Some businesses are maintaining revenue and cash flow easily. Others are completely shut down and out of a job. Your situation is unique and so is your emotional reaction. Own the unique stresses and resources you have without apology, even though your stresses might be small compared to what others are experiencing.
- Observe, not absorb, with empathy the suffering of others.
Scenes of hotspot areas with not enough ventilators and those who care for them dying on a daily basis bleeds your heart. Thinking of homeless people who are experiencing a crisis makes you cry. Seeing below poverty line people literally scrambling on the streets for food in many parts of the world can melt even the most frozen heart. It’s easy to want to tune out these images, but don’t. Let yourself suffer with them and, as the sisters in the Catholic schools say, “offer it up”. While that might sound trite or you might dismiss it if you aren’t particularly religious, science is now documenting in Quantum Theory that your thoughts and feelings actually are tangible on an atomic level. Positive thoughts, love and compassion being the highest form, can actually be felt by others, even world’s away. My recent guest on Christian Biz Owners on Fire Bob Brick explains how Quantum Prayer Works.
- Recognize and move past survivors guilt
When you have it pretty good and you are aware of the suffering of others, it’s human to experience a phenomenon of survivor’s guilt. It goes like this, “I feel guilty about and can’t let myself prosper because others are experiencing horrendous kinds of suffering. But, especially as business owners, I encourage you to move past that as quickly as possible. As a business owner the best thing you can do for those who are suffering is to thrive in your business, keep the flow of money flowing, and create jobs, opportunities, and products and services that serve others. The best gift you can give the world when we all come through this is a solid economy.
By following those three steps, your mindset will naturally buoy to healthy levels. You will be living in gratitude for the gifts God has given you; being fully human by living the breadth of your human emotions; and preparing the most abundant world possible for those who are suffering the most.
Christian Entrepreneurs on Fire Biz and Life Tip: The secret to maintaining a positive mindset in chaotic times lies in using your gifts in the highest service to God and others.