Staying positive during Coronavirus

By Jaye Cowle, Founder of Launch Online, 24 March 2020

We’re in unfamiliar waters; to experience a threat to both our family and our business, our finances and our freedom, is completely new and terrifying. There are people making knee-jerk decisions from fear, we all need to take a deep breath and just pause.

Mark Twain: “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.”

I have a fascination with behavioural psychology; I wish I had studied it at university but for now it is something I try and read and understand – especially as it helps to influence our advertising strategy for clients. 

I read an interesting brief article in Forbes by Bryan Robinson where he talks about the psychology of uncertainty, giving an overview of why we are responding with panic:

“We’re hardwired to overestimate threats and underestimate your ability to handle them – all in the name of survival. If your brain doesn’t know what’s around the corner, it can’t keep you out of harm’s way. It always assumes the worst, over-personalizes threats and jumps to conclusions.

“Your mindset during this crisis is everything. Your perspective is the most powerful thing you can control in a situation that is beyond your control. Yes, these disruptions are scary, but fear, panic and worry are not preparation.”

So mindset is everything and we should focus on what we can control.

5 tips for staying positive 

I am not an expert but I am a mother, wife, sister, daughter, business owner, mentor and colleague and I am known for my positive vibes. In fact my leaderboard name on Peloton is #always_smiling – so it must be right!

1. Look for the good

Write down or gather a little round up of positive things that are happening – the Coldplay live session on instagram, Joe Wicks inspiring all the kids for live workouts, Gok Wan lounge clubbing…no? Just me? Encourage people to share more. These moments are part of the experience and should be celebrated.

2. Pick your outlets wisely

Be selective with your news consumption – stick to the media outlets you trust.

3. Gather your tribe

Many of you will be home-working so organise virtual coffees but be strict with the topics – don’t make it a doom and gloom session. Perhaps start every coffee with a positive or funny story. Holding a hot drink is proven to make you feel warm and fuzzy.  We are loving the HouseParty app, you can even play Pictionary with friends on it, in fact my social life has actually improved in isolation!

4. Stay connected

Prioritise your immediate circle, your family, friends, neighbours, colleagues and clients. If your immediate circle are happy, it will help you be happier and feel more positive.

5. Get organised

Working from home can be a challenge so work in a nice clean space that is decluttered. Even if it’s an ironing board, make it the best damn ironing board desk there is. Start your communication with colleagues early, with a morning cuppa. Once those channels of communication are open then you are more likely to speak to each other more during the day. What has been very interesting to see are the barriers come down between colleagues and even clients. We’re all in our trackies, we’re all in box rooms and cupboards, we’re all struggling to stop the dog barking… we have a shared camaraderie and a lack of formality. It’s actually really nice.

My final observation is about the future: our children will be experts in online communication, it will be their normal. Will we ever go back to how it was before? I hope we certainly take some of the positives into the new brave world.

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