Fear of the Future

I don’t mind reaffirming I can get scared about COVID-19.

Constantly revising death tolls don’t cheer me up.

The obsession about being locked down is worse than actually being locked down.

If we were given a week’s vacation at a remote spa, we’d probably want to stay another week.

Time alone is different than too much time to think.

TV wants to hook us for ratings, digital wants to make us keep clicking so they can serve more ads.

The facts are that 99% of the people who get this virus will recover.

About 97% of the total population will not get the coronavirus at all.

We’re not doomed, we have the power to reject those with agendas by remembering the facts.

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The Lazy Virus

Have you been hearing people in lockdown saying they’re getting lazier?

Eating more than they should, watching too much Netflix?

We’re buying into the media obsession with being self-quarantined.

We’re missing the advantages of having the one thing we’ve always wanted.

Who among us hasn’t said, I wish I had more time.

The cure for the lazy virus is a routine and lists of goals.

Get dressed every morning – my students using online classes often show up for the online class in lounging clothes or propped up in bed.

While everyone else is complaining, you’re looking at an opportunity to get ahead.

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The Compliment Everyone Wants to Get

Especially now when we are starved for human contact.

“Continue to be the fine person you are”.

It affirms another through total acceptance.

It doesn’t require another word or explanation – or perfection.

Works well when someone is doubting themselves.

Is the ultimate compliment when you are among many others praising someone special.

And this one phrase works as inspiration for you when your confidence is slipping.

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Positivity at a Time of Bad News

For every fear thought, think of one that exemplifies confidence.

For every discouragement, think optimism.

For every inconvenience, focus on gratitude.

For despair, hope.

Lately, we have been living 24/7 illness.

The medical remedy is simple and clear.

Now move on to the emotional prescription:  for every negative thought or anxious feeling, remember to balance it with one of optimism.

Never underestimate the mind for dealing with anxiety, stress and trauma.

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Hopes for the Future

Imagine if doctors told their critically ill patients that they were doomed, without options, absent of hope.

I dare say it would not be the path to recovery.

In times when we get bad news on our phones, watches, TVs, social media and in constant conversation, it’s important not to forget hopes and dreams.

Divide 30 or 60 days of isolation into the number of days we have to live on this earth and it presents itself as a minor inconvenience.

Make that 30 to 60 days useful and you’ve made lemonade out of a lemons.

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Social Engagement

It’s not social distancing that we want –  it’s physical distancing to avoid illness.

An even worse disease will come over us if we mistake social distancing with physical separation.

Now more than ever those who reach out to touch others emotionally are curing their own ills as well.

More touch, more concern, more listening, more empathy, more encouragement, more love and more understanding is not restricted to 6 feet or less.

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Adversity is Transformational

If you’re anxious about physical distancing, there is a way to look at this inconvenience as a positive.

Adversity and pain are transformational.

They are the things that help us grow, advance and correct our life’s path.

Good days are coming after we use this alone time to better understand our own personal transformation.

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Your Non-Negotiables

6 feet back, yes.  No to pulling away emotionally.

Constraints make sense.  But it’s not negotiable that I postpone my hopes and dreams for even 30 days.  There’s plenty I can do even constrained.

Accepting uncertainty about the future goes with the territory.  Fearing the future is not negotiable.  Not even for a minute.

Loneliness can be expected.  But that doesn’t mean that I can’t use alone time to reengage all the people I have not had adequate time for in the past.

Depression is natural, but it is not negotiable to dwell on it.  Instead trade depression for expressions of gratitude, an elixir for unhappiness.

In this time of uncertainty, some things are given.

Some are not negotiable.

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The Blessings of Self-Isolation

During the bubonic plague that killed over 200 million people in Europe and Asia, William Shakespeare did some of his best writing in isolation.

King Lear, Macbeth, Antony and Cleopatra.

Shakespeare didn’t have the internet, social media, Zoom, Uber Eats, Amazon or any of the conveniences we have during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Isaac Newton, the father of modern science, focused on things beyond gravity when he had to endure the Great Plague of London.

No one likes isolation but it does have its advantages.

Seeing our present predicament as one bad breaking news story after another doesn’t change the outcome.

Only we can do that by focusing on the 99% who should they get coronavirus will recover and use the extra time on our hands more wisely.

Defeating Confinement

I know people say there is nothing you can do about being sequestered in your own home or apartment, but there is.

First on the list is what you always say you wish you had more time for because now you do.

Live by Netflix, get lazy by Netflix.  One reason we’re bored is because passively bingeing is not challenging the part of our brain that used to be stimulated before the virus.

Write down goals and accomplishments every day.  Accomplishments make you feel good and they can be done from anywhere.

As a radio program director, my kids were either lucky or tortured to hear their father run a “liner” every half hour for them as I did on my stations (actually four times an hour, but let’s not quibble).

I’d tell them what’s coming up next – “in a little while, we’re leaving for the Flyers game” or “I’m going to read you a book and tell you a story after your bath”.  Hardly an hour went by without me doing a “life promo”.  The idea is to look forward.

Confinement doesn’t seem as bad when we cultivate the ability to look forward – for now, the little things around our homes or apartments.  Later, the things in life that time alone has made us want to pursue.