How to Stay Positive and Moving Through the Down Days
The down days? Yes, they exist for all of us.
Now more than ever it can be tough to stay motivated. With many working from home, kids home from school for the foreseeable future, many of us sheltering in place (aka quarantine), and certainly no shortage of negative news floating around, it can be hard to keep a positive spirit and be productive.
Even before this latest crisis hit, if we are all honest, not every day is a great day. We all encounter the down days, and despite what social media or some portray on the outside that everything is great and almost perfect, everyone has them. It’s harder in times like this, when major changes are being brought upon us all without asking for it for sure and not having much as far as answers on how to handle it.
Like many, I have the down days as well. How do you navigate them and stay both positive and productive?
Trust the process.
Proverbs 10:4 tells us, “He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich.”
It’s that “hand” or process, of being diligent that makes one rich. It doesn’t have to be rich with money, although many would likely desire that, but can be “rich” in so many other things including gratitude, productivity, or happiness. The flip side of it is being poor or deficient, again not just in money, but feelings of emptiness or lacking productivity. So, the first question is do you have a process, and the next would be, what is it?
We will assume you have some level of “process” in your life. In times of crisis, our processes get tested. Not only our work processes, but our spiritual and mental ones as well. Sheltering in place or isolating for extended periods can be taxing on many mentally, even if you are isolated with loved ones. Spiritually, we may be confused, wondering how God is working through something like this in a divine nature and question why. Our physical processes are being tested as well. Making sure we stay disciplined to get in some form of exercise each day, which is so important not only to our physical health but our mental as well. Staying disciplined in our work is being tested, as far as business related tasks, meetings, and schedules beginning to blend with personal lives like maybe never before.
If you don’t have a process, we would suggest working to begin building one. Two types of people will emerge from this crisis period. One will be the ones who took it easy, over thought things, and were unproductive, maybe even lazy, struggling to adapt back or maybe losing ground. The other will be the ones who cut through the distraction and fear, used the stress as motivation, and worked hard to be creative, building or maintaining process discipline to continuously improve and emerge even stronger than before. Which group will you be in?
One of the benefits of being sequestered is you have some time and latitude to build habits and more process in in your life, if you have the desire and discipline to do so. It’s also easy to choose not to build a process and retreat to the couch to watch Netflix. Likewise, it can be easy to slack off from your current process and do the same, maybe even forgetting about goals. But we know we shouldn’t. Stressful periods can be great times of motivation if you are centered and focused.
Instead we should trust and rely on our process more today than ever. That is what will get you through the down days. It’s what will keep you mentally and physically strong which will fuel your motivation. While we don’t have answers for things that we may be questioning on the spiritual front, we should question divine plans we don’t understand. Like we trust our process, we should trust God, be patient, and know He has a process as well. Knowing this, believing this, and having faith in that will help ease any spiritual burden in crazy times like this.
The moral: if you don’t have a process, build one now and rely on it. If you do, trust your process more than ever, work to keep improving it, improve yourself, and have faith things will work out in positive ways. Maybe not how we envision it, but it’s all part of "A" process. Times like this are actually ideal to build yourself. Use your process to read, train, eat better, get more rest, and rejuvenate. You can emerge from all this a lot better personally and professionally if you trust the process. Be in the latter group and maybe the 10% if I am being generous who will improve on the other side.
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