Clean Windows and Adapting

We’re now in Week 9 or 90 (so it feels) of quarantine. My city isn’t opening up any time soon, so here we are…still. Just taking it day by day. It seems what I focus on mostly is tackling what’s for dinner. We’ve all had to adapt to different ways of doing things – a different environment at home, and shifting moods, either from you and/or your family. I will give you 5 tips on how you can adapt to new situations.

Today is Mother’s Day, and it doesn’t feel any different than any other day. The morning wasn’t so special, and plans for the day seemed like the usual ones. And so, I felt a bit lost in my expectations as to how this Mother’s Day should go. Rather than get into my weeds, I decided to try to make the best of it by consciously shifting my attitude.

So what did I do? Since the weather is GORGEOUS today, I dragged myself out of my mood and decided to clean the front windows, since it had been a few years. Performing that simple chore changed my entire perspective on the day. No more bird poop on the windows (how is that possible anyway?). No more dirt and grime – and now the view of my beautiful front tree is crystal clear.

After I was finished, I began thinking about how easy it was to shift my mood. I’m finding that as I’m spending an enormous amount of time at home, I’m more introspective. And having the spotlight on myself at all times is, shall we say, tiring, in that it’s an endless of doubts and questions. Is switching my career the right thing to do? Should I be focusing on something else? Should we move to a different country?

By analyzing the action of my mood shift I felt that the scenario was a metaphor for how society is adapting to the pandemic situation, or any circumstance where adapting is a necessity. The idea of having a clean window symbolized to me a purification or a renewal. Sort of like clearing away the debris that’s getting in your way of your goals.

Is there anything that’s stopping you from adapting to a new situation?

Here are a few tips on how to best cope during challenging times in your life:

1. Define your negative feelings. Are they feelings of fear, boredom, sadness? Once you’ve put a label on your feelings try to look for ways to shift your negatives into positive feelings. For example, “I’m a terrible cook” can be turned around to “What are ways I can learn more techniques to improve my cooking?” Of “I don’t deserve this promotion” to “I’m being rewarded for all the hours and hard work I’ve put into my job!”

2. Allow yourself to create a comfort zone for coping. This will help you to adapt more easily to your new situation.

3. Make sure to structure your day. Sometimes we flounder when there is too much free time. Make a list of both priorities and activities that make you feel good.

4. Think about what’s good in your life. What do you appreciate? By focusing on what you cherish will allow you to be more aware of them and take away some of the negative feelings.

5. Be kind to yourself. I can’t stress enough the importance of not beating yourself up. When you are aware of doing this, imagine saying the same thing to someone you love. It’s likely you wouldn’t, for fear of hurting them. So ask yourself, why are you saying it to you?

Remember, change is inevitable. It’s how you learn to adapt that counts.

Stay safe. Be well.