Couch Conversations: How our Mindset has Shifted Throughout the Progression of the Coronavirus Era
It’s safe to say that almost everyone at this point has dealt with changes in their life due to the COVID-19 health pandemic. If you are fortunate enough to have a job, you might be working from home which has come with its own set of challenges. If you have lost your job, then you are hustling to find a way of staying afloat. Perhaps you are still commuting to work, but are experiencing an increase in tension and stress at your onsite workplace.
Regardless of the differences of how people have coped with these recent changes, perhaps one fundamental change that underlies almost everyone’s experience is a change in mindset. Whether or not you are aware of it, not only did your body adapt to physical changes in your environment during the pandemic, but your mind has also been changing to adjust to these new challenges. You may not always notice this since it is harder to measure changes in your mind, but it is likely that you have been experiencing a shift of mindset and have needed to adapt to many recent changes.
Let’s look at a progression of some of the mindset changes people could have experienced throughout the coronavirus era and what is possibly yet to come.
The Initial Experience of the Pandemic
When the initial news of coronavirus hit, most people were not yet viewing it as a pandemic. A majority of people were seeing it as a temporary situation that was only meant to last a few weeks before returning to the status quo of their lives. After all, many people left the last day of their jobs and/or school not knowing that they could possibly not be returning at all.
In the beginning stages, people started noticing a shift in their mindset toward that of worry and anxiety. It is understandable that people were concerned about what their future was going to look like. How were they going to get childcare while working from home? What was going to happen to their grades? How would businesses continue to operate with new legislation placed in different states and counties? People also had serious concerns over possibly contracting COVID-19 which led to increased anxiety, nervousness, and fear.
Others experienced sadness and the losses they had as a result of the coronavirus. While some families have experienced the grief of losing a family member due to the coronavirus, others experienced the loss of a life they once lived. Seniors in high school and college were unable to have graduation ceremonies, weddings were postponed or celebrated in smaller, more intimate settings, and employees were facing the reality of their companies struggling with keeping them employed. As a result of these real life changes, people started to feel the sadness or depression of how quickly their lives changed.
However, there was also a lot of hope. People were hopeful that by sacrificing certain things in their lives in the short-term, they would be making a positive change in the long-term. People were hopeful that they would be returning to school and work in a matter of weeks and that this phase would not be long-lasting. People also started to see the good in being able to stay home, spend more time with family, and work on tasks and projects that otherwise would not have been possible given the demands on their schedule.
No matter what the circumstances, people did experience some sort of mindset shift. While some people were experiencing worry and sadness, others were experiencing hope and joy in the changes that came their way.
Going Through the Pandemic
Several months into the coronavirus era, people started viewing this experience as a pandemic and at this point have experienced the overall positive or negative impact the pandemic has had on their lives. And there have been many different mindset shifts that have occurred during this middle phase of the pandemic.
People going through this pandemic have had to make many important and difficult choices about how they will approach this time period. Some people understandably are still very anxious about what will happen next, just as they were in the initial stages of the pandemic. Others are feeling more hopeless that the changes they expect will not happen, and living in monotony has been incredibly distressing.
Some people have decided to engage in acceptance of what is and have managed to shift their mindset on being in their present moment. We know that we cannot go back in time and change the past, and we also cannot necessarily control the future. All we can do is let go of the need for control and practice being in our present moment.
For now, the present moment is uncertain and there are many questions that have yet to be answered. But people who have been able to accept that they cannot control anything at the present moment, have experienced what is probably the most helpful mindset shift.
What Will Happen Post-Pandemic?
It is hard to predict how people will deal with the aftermath of the pandemic. So much of what has happened already has been hard to predict. New information is constantly coming in about the trajectory of the virus on society as a whole and different cities are making very different decisions about how to proceed. Again, much of the future is still out of our control.
But what we can probably count on is that the return back to “normal” will not look like how it did in the past. Returning to the hustle and bustle of life before will likely just look like returning to just the hustle or just the bustle, but likely not both. There is not enough space literally to have people in the same area and social distancing rules will continue to apply likely for some more time.
Some small business are trying to stay afloat. Most companies are trying to figure out what to do with their employees. Will employees continue working from home? Will companies be able to accommodate a return back to the workplace? Or is the new “normal” going to include some compromise of working from home with some workplace interaction?
Many of these questions are still unanswered. As a result, people need to adopt a mindset shift of being flexible and adapting to yet another stage of the pandemic with uncertainty. For this future mindset shift to be successful, people must understand that certainty will not be present. Just like the initial changes of the pandemic, many more changes may yet occur, and they can happen without much notice.
People must learn to adapt and be willing to continue to form and shape their ideas and perceptions of the future. Those who are successful in the mindset shift of the future will know that taking things moment by moment and one day at a time will ultimately lead to acceptance that the future is very much unknown.
Your mindset shift is one of many important factors in getting through this pandemic. Consider how you have been managing your mindset so far, and what would be most helpful for you moving forward. If you would like to work on changing your mindset in more positive ways, feel free to Contact Us below to learn more about how our Couch Conversations Psychotherapy and Counseling, Inc. therapists could help.