Approximately four months ago, the world unanimously came together to mourn the shocking and untimely death of Kobe Bryant. I am sure most of us didn’t really know him or his family, but we felt this “personal” loss like he was one of our own. After all, most of us had seen him in purple and gold in our living rooms for the last 20 years. My first thoughts were for his family and then, my next was how unpredictable life is.
Then 10 weeks ago, the world came together once again over something we had not even heard of until recently. COVID-19 has enveloped the minds and lives of everyone worldwide.
And now two weeks ago, the world came together again over the senseless death of George Floyd and the much needed worldwide solidarity for the Black Lives movement.
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Both these events reminded me that we never know what’s in store for us and how quickly our mindsets have to shift gears and adjust. Many are struggling to make sense of all of this and wondering what life will look like on the other side of these crises, and honestly, none of us know.
The only thing we do know is we cannot let it break us. We need to find ways to come out of it stronger and more resilient.
So I encourage you to think of what we are going through as ‘quaranTIME’ instead of quarantine and spend 15 minutes a day to just focus on you. In those 15 minutes, I ask you to implement some aspects of REFLECT:
R – REACH out and do something that makes you happy. It could be anything that brings you joy—cooking a simple meal, painting a pretty picture, singing your favorite song, gardening in the sunshine, taking a walk in your neighborhood, listening to music, meditating to ease your mind, or doing some yoga.
E – ELEVATE your thoughts to think positively. Change your thoughts and your attitude before they change you. Know that we cannot always change the way things are but we can change the way we look at them. Did you know that negative thinking is somewhat of a learned behavior and can be unlearned?
F – Have FAITH. Believe that things will get better. Don’t give up and keep pushing and searching for answers no matter how hard things get. Remind yourself that this too shall pass, as nothing lasts forever.
L – LEARN from the situation and view learning as a key outcome even if you think you’ve failed. Give yourself permission to do something new, whatever that may be.
E – EMBRACE and accept the facts. Know that we are stronger than we give ourselves credit for. By embracing the situation, we acknowledge facts for what they are and learn to go with the flow rather than fighting against them. It gives you the ability to find balance and move forward.
C – CHOOSE happiness and know that there are things you can control and things you cannot. We have a choice on how we respond to something and that choice determines our happiness quotient.
T – Be THANKFUL and start to take a second look at your life and all the things, however small, that you might be taking for granted—like that cup of hot coffee in the morning, or that warm bed every night. Give more power to the beauty around you and try not to lament on the negatives.
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You pick that 15-minute time slot. It could be early in the morning before everyone wakes up, it could be late at night after everyone goes to bed, or it could be in the middle of the day. Initially, it will be hard to steal those 15 minutes and you may even feel guilty about it but with each passing day, you will start looking forward to those 15 minutes of “Me Time” and will slowly start incorporating it into your schedule.
I am not in any way saying that spending 15 minutes a day will bring you instant joy and happiness but what I am encouraging is for you to take time out every day for yourself to REFLECT and create that coping strategy for yourself. Give yourself the power and the essential tools to rewire your thoughts that will help weather the storm no matter how big or small.
It’s through the tough times that we have to remind ourselves that there are no rainbows without rain and the importance of Reaching, Elevating, Faith, Learning, Embracing, Choosing and being Thankful.