written by Sarah Brennan
Mindset is our collection of beliefs and values, and mindset affects each of our thoughts and habits. Mindset is a primary factor in how we make sense of the world. Mindset is also malleable. We can choose to reflect on how we think and how we see things, and with practice, we can learn to take a more positive approach. For example, many people are self-isolating at home: we can choose to see this as a kind of enforced confinement, or we can see it as our best effort and our civic responsibility to keep ourselves, our family and our community safe.
We often form our beliefs based on the noise around us – the people we interact with day to day, the news, social media, print media, etc. But at this time of profound change and uncertainty, we can choose to take a step back from all the noise and examine our values more closely. The reality is that most of us know now what our responsibilities are in relation to hand-washing, physical distancing and other precautionary measures, we don’t need to have the news on around the clock telling us to keep this up. We must also accept that we can only be responsible for our own actions around these guidelines; we have no control over the actions of others.
While many of us are becoming overwhelmed with the volume of information, misinformation and general chatter online around our current struggles, we can very easily adjust what we see. We can choose to block particularly troubling sites on the individual platforms or through our internet browser – it’s enough to check in with trusted sources once a day to keep ourselves informed. But if this crisis has taught us anything, it’s that the Internet can also be an incredibly powerful tool for good. Many professionals, performers, artists, agencies and businesses are reviewing their engagement, looking at their talents and reserves, and sharing them with their communities. The volume of resources to help educate, entertain and support every member of the family is simply incredible.
We may not have chosen it for ourselves, but life is going to be very different for a while. Let’s embrace it. Now is the time to sit and write out the list of things you’ve been putting off, then in your own time take each item and work through it. But go gently; now is not the time for pressuring ourselves into achieving.
If you have a talent or some wisdom that you have always wanted to share, then do it. Spend a little time familiarising yourself with the technology you require (it might be simpler than you think), and find a way to write or record whatever it is you have to offer.
Make the call you haven’t been taking the time to make. Check in with someone you think could use a chat. Learn something new online or from a book. Keep connected in a positive way, but allow yourself to pause and be grateful, you may never get a chance like this again. Enjoy the extra time with your loved ones. Be glad that we live in a society where there are caring professionals continuing to go to work each day to ensure that you have the provisions, the support, the care, the expertise and the medicine that you need to be well. Find a way to thank someone.
This will pass.
* Sarah Brennan is Coordinator, South Roscommon Family Resource Centre/Acting Director of Services, Vita House Family Centre