[Work From Home, Day 19]
I have many plans for February and March. I have a prior engagement with clients and a promise to go back to my hometown for a short vacation with my family. But all are canceled because of the pandemic. Not only me, but people around me must cancel their plans either. Whenever I read on my social media timeline, so many people post like these:
“I am supposed to travel abroad.”
“I am supposed to watch a concert I have been waiting for.”
“I am supposed to have a family gathering that has been planned a year ago.”
“I am supposed to hold an intimate party with my family and close friends.”
“I cannot use my flight ticket to Iceland.”
Where are they now?
Most of them are at home, trying their best to stay safe and healthy.
We, most people, must obey our government order to do social distancing, work from home, stay at home, and take care of our health. Even for us who still come to the office and factory, there are some changes in our daily routine. Some of my friends said they are divided into 2 groups and alternately work at the office based on the schedule.
These changes and restrictions might frustrate us and bring anxiety and somehow can lower our morale. Moreover, we are bombarded with bad news and tons of information about COVID-19 every day.
So, how to keep positive during this situation and maintain our sanity? How to keep socialize by doing social distancing?
There are some tips from Dale Carnegie’s book How to Stop Worrying and Start Living. This book was first published in 1948, a few years after World War II. Hopefully, by reading this, we are reminded to stay positive during this hard time.
Count Your Blessings, Not Your Troubles
Most of the bad news we hear and read is inevitable. If we focus only on bad things that happen in our lives right now, slowly we are sinking in frustration and depression. On the other hand, we can shift our minds and count our blessings, not only our troubles. For example, one of my friends in a community gave me a suggestion to keep a journal and create a gratitude list every day. Write down at least three things that we are grateful for, even though it’s only small things such as having good night’s sleep or able to watch the sunset (finally) again. I’ve been trying to do this for 2 months and it helps me to focus on good things and keep me being positive during this uncertainty.
During this time, the good thing we can do is stay at home. Or work from home. But if we only sit and do nothing, our minds would be wandering and maybe we start to whine and complain about this situation and at the end of the day, we become more tired and stressed.
By keeping ourselves busy, we focus our energy to do the task and divert our minds from thinking about our troubles.
We can deep-clean our house, rearrange the layout of our rooms and clean up the stack of our books and clothes. One colleague of mine sunbathes and does simple exercise every day. My other colleague spends time keeping in touch with her clients and she can call more than she usually does at the office. Two days ago, I read on Twitter, a French man named Elisha Nochomovitz did an extreme thing by running a marathon on his 7-meter balcony during the French lockdown. Amazing what people can do to keep them busy.
One influencer on Instagram that I follow did simple yet amazing things. To keep her kids busy, she made a simple craft using drawing paper, paints, straw and taught her kids about germs and the importance of keeping their hands clean. Little did she know, parents from the US and many countries including Indonesia followed her steps. The next day, she posted another simple craft using origami paper and created a caterpillar race. Once again, parents do the same thing with their kids and they have good times.
Create Happiness for Others
Social distancing doesn’t mean we cannot spread kindness to others. Doing kindness will warm our hearts and fill our thoughts with positive vibes.
I have a friend who lives in Kalimantan and she once told us on WhatsApp group that she was able to buy some facemasks that become very hard to find nowadays in Jakarta. She asked if some of us still need facemasks; and when we said yes, she sent some of her facemasks to us. The amazing thing is she didn’t charge any of the facemasks.
A week ago, on Instagram and Twitter, I read some people ordered food using Go-Food or Grab-Food (online platform) and instead of asking the driver to deliver the food, they told him to enjoy the food because they intentionally ordered the food for the driver. It is because due to the pandemic, there are only a few orders for online drivers. By asking them to enjoy the orders, it brightened the online driver’s day, even though only for a while.
We are still able to create happiness for others with small and simple acts. Calling out our family and friends, talking to them, sharing good things on our groups, staying at home and praying for the medical staff to do their work and even donating a small amount of money for them can still bring happiness.
Like I mention before, this current situation is inevitable, but we can choose to be positive every day.
So, for today, what will you do to keep being positive?
MARIA SHANTI DEVI ANGGRAINI Senior Trainer, Dale Carnegie Indonesia