Life is what happens to us when we are busy making other plans. Who would have thought that we would be almost confined to our homes for such a long time? That we would not even be able to hug, handshake or greet each other from close quarters! Our social, professional and family life has completely changed due to the pandemic and none of us was prepared. This makes it the right time to develop mental adaptability and respond well to this change.
Identify Red Flags
If you find yourself longer in a situation you didn’t expect to be in the first place, certain overwhelming feelings are but natural. Be very aware of red flags like excessive worry, negative self-talk (why this happened to me? Am I not good enough?), feeling like a victim, sadness, anger and frustration so that the moment you experience them, you can immediately take steps to nip them in the bud. Identifying red flags and diverting your attention away from them by doing things like listening to a song, going for a walk or talking to a loved one enhances mental adaptability over time.
When things go wrong, we might suffer from negative thoughts, low motivation levels, stress and even difficulty in concentrating for a while. Instead of beating yourself up about these, be aware of what’s happening with you and give yourself time overcoming them. It is completely fine to slow down and take it easy. Thereafter, adjust your expectations from yourself, the situation and people around you depending upon the changed circumstances and begin again with new, realistic goals.
We can choose to be miserable about the fact that something that we wanted didn’t happen or look at the bright side and appreciate what has actually happened. For instance, we can feel bad watching the negative effects of the pandemic on television or celebrate the fact that now we get to work from home! We have more time to ourselves which we can invest in pursuing creativity and our hobbies. Inculcating optimism, even in the harshest of times, helps in developing adaptability.
Be Open to Change
Experiment, be curious and introduce changes in your routine every now and then. Develop flexibility by finding new ways and solutions. Think ahead and have a plan B in place. And in case none works, inculcate emotional and psychological strength to face uncertainties. Move out of your comfort zone, fall down, get up and walk again. Mental adaptability is all about taking each day as it comes and adopting new behaviors/skills/goals in accordance with changed circumstances. Concentrate on the things you can control and give them your best. As they say, past is history and future is mystery, all that we really have is TODAY. Let’s make it count!