10 Ways to break the COVID-19 fear cycle

It’s easy to slip into the negativity, fear, and despair when it is posted everywhere you turn. As I mentioned last week, I slipped into that mode for a bit. It was NOT productive. It is very ineffective to you and your personal performance as a designer to focus on global doom and gloom that you can’t fix.

It is much more effective to focus on what you can actually control. You CAN control how you respond during this coronavirus pandemic.

Now is the time when we you can take it upon yourself to be the much needed positive force in your work life and home.

Putting yourself in a positive headspace will allow you to perform higher and be a more valuable designer too.

Here’s 10 ways to make the shift…

  1. Counter the negative intake with some positive intake. Here’s three of my favorite books that I have read for injecting positivity into my life; Think Like a Winner, Awaken the Giant Within, and The Magic of Thinking Big.
  2. Limit your news intake by setting time limits on your news apps. Alternatively, you can limit your news intake to only reading local news. If you don’t live in an epicenter, there isn’t much good focusing on the news of the distant geographical places who have it worse.
  3. Give. I’ve delivered multiple packages of toilet paper this week to neighbors on my street who needed it. While the purpose of this was to help meet my neighbors needs, I probably benefited just as much as they did by the positive rush of energy that giving often gives back to the giver. It also took the focus off of myself for a change.
  4. Get outside and move if at all possible, and if your local authorities allow you to do so. Just a few minutes of movement and outdoor air will help give you a boost and avoid the insanity that comes with being locked up.
  5. Write down your goals. Focusing on inspirational goals helps your perception of the future take a positive shift, and also helps get your mind off of inconsequential and trivial details.
  6. Set time limits on your social media apps or delete them from your phone altogether. Watch this TEDX talk by author Cal Newport for some motivation and courage on breaking free from the addiction of social media. I have no social media apps on my phone because I know my brain is susceptible to burning excessive time scrolling for the next dopamine hit.
  7. Take five minutes and listen to this motivational video. As the great Zig Ziglar said “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” If that video doesn’t do it for you, find one that does.
  8. Write down ten things that you are grateful for. Don’t just read this bullet, but actually do it. Even though having my boys home from school has presented some new challenges, I’m thankful for the extra time in the same building as them. Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions.
  9. Replace your commute time with a morning routine to take control of your mental state and attitude. People who are serious about high performance and their state don’t merely hope they’ll be in a peak state each day, they instead build a morning routine and priming to help ensure a peak state. Here’s a solid post and video from Tony Robbins to get you started.
  10. I haven’t talked much about my faith on my blog, but it is hard not to during a time of global crisis. I’ve been pushing into God, and reading this passage to help me deal with the added influence of fear and anxiety that a global pandemic brings.

Take action. Do the inner work so you can be the force for good and positivity that your world desperately needs right now.

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