Negativity bias has a longer shelf life than positivity, and hence we tend to overestimate threats and underestimate our ability to overcome them. When negativity like the pandemic strikes, our power comes in the way we respond to it. This isn’t easy. It’s hard, but these 10 tips can stack 2021 in your favor and help you bounce back from pandemic threats and aftereffects.
Focus on the upside of a downside situation.
When there are so many incidences of devastation, fear, and heartbreak, it’s natural to focus on the downside of the pandemic. But we can balance that out with how it’s brought people together, volunteering and helping one another and strengthening the whole idea of collective selflessness. What upsides can you name?
Pinpoint the opportunity in the difficulty.
Ask, “How can I make this situation work to my advantage? Can I find something positive in it? What can I manage or overcome in this instance?” During the pandemic, for example, we can use times of self-isolation for self-reflection and think about the direction we want to take in the new year. What opportunities do you see?
Frame 2020 as a lesson to learn, not misery to endure.
Ask what you can learn from the difficulties of 2020 and use them as stepping-stones, instead of roadblocks. Think of the adversities of 2020 as happening for you instead of to you. If you consider this perspective less taken, what has 2020 taught you that you can take into 2021?
Look beyond the fear, loss, and disappointment at the big picture. Take an inventory of your life and include all the things the pandemic prevented you from doing that you once took for granted. And consider all the people and things in your life that you’re grateful for, letting gratitude steer you beyond the gloom and doom. What are you grateful for?
Take small risks in new situations instead of predicting negative outcomes before giving them a try. “If I ask for a shot at the promotion, my boss might laugh in my face” becomes “If I ask for a shot at the promotion, my boss might think I have guts and ambition.” How can you stick your neck out at work in the new year?
Focus not only on mental but on your physical health as well
As you prioritize the well-being of your mental health, do not forget to prioritize your physical health as well. With the pandemic situation still prevailing, make sure to eat healthily, take your medicines, maintain your regular health checkups, and consult your physician immediately in case of any health emergency. For any emergency health consultation, you can avail of the telemedicine services of Curewell Medical Center powered by PatientMD, and get a consultation from our board-certified direct primary care physician, Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD.
Avoid blowing a situation out of proportion.
Don’t let one negative experience rule your whole outlook: “I was supposed to get a promotion until the pandemic; now that everything’s on hold, I’ll never advance in my career” becomes “Things are on hold for a while, but nothing lasts forever and there will be other pathways to success.” What limiting situations can you minimize and overcome in 2021?
Focus on the solution, not the problem.
You’ll feel more empowered to cope with pandemic curveballs when you step back from the problem and brainstorm a wide range of possibilities. Your negativity bias will direct you to zoom in and focus on the problem. But when you broaden your perspective, your wide-angle lens will help you see potential in the big picture. What possibilities do you see for 2021?
Practice positive self-talk.
During tough times, be as kind to yourself as you would your best friend. Underscore your triumphs. Replace bludgeoning yourself and using put-downs and criticisms with the practice of self-compassion. Affirm positive feedback instead of letting it roll over your head. Give yourself “atta-boys” or “atta-girls.” Throw modesty out the window, and remind yourself of all your personal resources. What are your strengths?
Solitude is good for the soul. It takes you out of the rat race for a while, gives you a bird’s-eye view of your daily life, and replaces chaos with serenity. Spend a minimum of five minutes a day alone. Meditate, pray, practice yoga, or contemplate nature and connect with something larger than yourself for inspiration and peace of mind. What type of solitude can you practice?
See a fresh start contained in the loss.
Every loss contains again but you have to look for it. Every time you get up just one more time than you fall, you increase the likelihood of scaling hard times. Baseball great Babe Ruth said, “It’s hard to beat a person who never gives up. Every strike brings me closer to the next home run.” What endings in 2020 contain new beginnings in 2021?
Choosing a positive attitude is one of the most powerful things we can take into 2021. Don’t forget that grass grows through concrete. Think of yourself as an elastic band that bends and stretches to a certain point before you spring back higher than you fall. And you will have the physical and mental stamina to come back with a vengeance in 2021.
For a fresh start in 2021, you need to not only a strong mind but a healthy body as well. To get and maintain that, look no further than Curewell Medical Center, a premier medical institution that provides primary care with a healing touch. We have the state-of-the-art infrastructure in place, to run tests at our onsite labs, check your cholesterol, blood sugar readings, diagnose the health issues, and recommend you a personalized treatment plan to seamlessly manage the health issue faced in your day-to-day life. Our board-certified in-house family doctor and DPC physician, Dr. Rathna Kumar Yallapragada, MD, an internal medicine specialist with more than 20 years of experience in primary care of adults and adolescents over the age of 13 years old, will dedicatedly examine and oversee the management of the health issue right from its early detection to its cure. If you cannot come to the clinic, no problem there! Schedule a telemedicine visit with Dr. Rathna and get the required medical consultation from the comfort of your home!
Quality, Life-Changing care from the comfort of your home.