The global pandemic, COVID-19, came into our existence back in 2019 and has since crippled the world in terms of the economy, finances and most importantly, humanity. All of this distress may afflict you but it is always in our hands to remain optimistic and mentally strong. One of the most common ways to stay strong is by developing our sense of Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Now you might be pondering as to what Emotional Intelligence or EQ is.
To sum it up, Emotional Intelligence is how you understand, acknowledge and manage your emotions positively to relieve stress, communicate effectively, understand others’ emotions, improve your social network and most importantly, how you can resolve any grievance you may face. So how can we take something as strange as Emotional Intelligence and how can we use it the right way during a global pandemic?
1.Adapting to the situation
When the entire globe was pushed into lockdown, curfew and even travel restrictions, we were forced to become used to something we never thought of doing, “Work from home”. This may have been the dream for most of you who are reading this, but it took a major toll on a certain individual’s mental health. This is because we not only become used to our physical workplace, we become used to our peers and superiors, to the culture and traditions and most importantly, to the connection we developed and established, may it be positive or negative. So when we were confined to our own homes for months on end, our minds were confined to adapting to this new norm, which put our minds in a state similar to culture shock. When this happens, we usually become bored of constantly communicating through various platforms such as WhatsApp, Zoom, Facebook and so forth.
Adapting to the situation means making the best use of your resources and time. By saying this, it is always the best option to remain active by setting a timetable for yourself. Consider how many hours you will spend staring at a screen, how many hours you will allocate for yourself in terms of development, reading or even working out. It would be even better if you could rotate or add new elements to your timetable. By doing this, we are constantly refreshing our minds to prevent monotonousness.
2.Remaining optimistic; especially during times of unemployment
As I write this article, it reminds me of the time I was unemployed for a period of 07 months straight. It can be a challenging time for many individuals when they are laid off due to the current global pandemic, especially for their mental health. The spiraling thoughts of “if and when” you will get another job haunts you on a day-to-day basis and your sent folder becomes bigger than your inbox. But the number one thing I held on to tightly was hope and maintaining a positive mindset, no matter what.
Your true strength will be tested during these challenging times and this is also a good exercise to develop an optimistic and growth-orientated mindset. You may think of this time as a loss, but it is high time you change your perception regarding this and look at it as an opportunity to learn a new skill or craft or even pick up a new hobby that will enable you to learn and grow constantly. It can range from learning how to cook, reading, learning to play an instrument, learning coding or design. Etc. I recommend you pick up reading as that new hobby because not only does reading enhance your communication and grammatical skills, it also teaches you how to think outside the box in a unique and creative manner. The basis of this is to appreciate the little things in life which will feed into our optimistic mindset. We always used to complain that we lacked time to pursue our passion, goals and hobbies, but now, we are in the comfort of our own homes and time is in our hands, so it all begins WITH YOU!
Doing all of this can give you a sense of purpose and it can reignite the creative spark that is in all of us, we just need the right fuel to keep us moving forward.
3.Giving back to the community
Giving back to the community has always been the best way to remain optimistic, change your mindset and most importantly, making us feel thankful for what we have. As you are reading this, you would remember the hard times we faced during the entirety of the lockdown, thinking about if we are getting our salary this month, holding your phone tightly hoping you would get a call from one of the companies you applied for or even going outside and meeting your friends or family.
Giving back to the community will make you feel thankful for the roof you had over yourself, the running water in your faucets, the food you had on your table and the bed you get to hop into each night. Helping another individual who lacks these basic necessities definitely changes your mindset and gives you a level of empathy that you can use in your personal and professional lives, which positively feeds your Emotional Intelligence.
As we continue to live in a global pandemic and as we are becoming used to this new norm, we should never forget to focus on the above in order for us to keep our minds refreshed and one step ahead at all times.
May we all strive through this together, may we remember we are in this together and may we all rise out of this global pandemic together.
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