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.

Sailing Through Tough Times

Even during the Great Depression, there was innovation aplenty.

The first car radio (1930), the first electric dry razor (1929), xerography (invented 1938, patented 1942), the chocolate chip cookie (1933 by the owner of the Toll House Inn).

It’s discomforting enough to be constantly battered by news of the first public health pandemic in 100 years and have time to sit around and worry about it.  But recession talk and rising unemployment figures triggered by the virus can also get into the head.

Those are fear thoughts.

Forethoughts are different.

Looking to change careers, wanting to make lifestyle moves to enjoy life, desiring to meet people who share common values.

There is never a recession on dreams and new ideas no matter how much adversity we may be forced to face.

Fear thoughts are centered around why things won’t be good.

Forethought is the first step to overcoming adversity and now is a good time to become familiar with it.

Using Facts to Battle Fear

If you avoid watching, listening or reading the news, you might be able to tamp down the fear and isolation of the current health pandemic.

Or, you could take control.

Code writers get into your phone, onto your watch and across your laptops to serve you ads and they’re still doing it during COVID 19.  So the more they can keep you hooked, worried, scared or addicted to not missing anything, the more money they make.

Media companies succeed by running ads during times of national concern like now and that’s why everything is “Breaking News” and every story is based on fear.

Find a handful of news sources that have earned your trust and rely on them.

Take control of the negativity that bombards you all day.

Balance fear with hope.

Start with this – from Harvard Medical School citing CDC research and reread as necessary:

“Most people with COVID-19 recover. Estimates now suggest that 99% of people infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 will recover.”