Growth Mindset In The Pandemic

Coping with COVID

2020.   ¯\_(?)_/¯  Am I right?  And we just keep stretching on into 2021.  The pandemic isn’t over, the virus isn’t gone.  And here we still are.

Having a growth mindset in the midst of a pandemic.Thriving?

Stuck?

Research psychologist, Carol Dweck, says that there are two mindsets we can have:  fixed and growth.

In the fixed mindset, we think we are just the way we are.  Our personalities and skills are just a part of who we are.  “A natural athlete/writer/salesman/comedian,” or whatever else.  We just are born with those skills… or personalities.

In a growth mindset, we can learn… grow and change.  We can get better in something we want to improve.  No, that doesn’t mean that anyone can be a world-class athlete.  But if I want to improve my abilities, I can.  If I want to shoot better free-throws, I can practice.  If I want to improve my writing, I can practice.  I can get better through, learning, effort, and practice.

It seems obvious when we look at it that way, but many of us accidentally fall into a fixed mindset, both of ourselves and others.  Experts change their recommendations, and we can either see that as a failure on their part, “wishy-washy” and up to no good.  Or we can see that they, too, are learning and sharing from what they are learning.  Fixed or growth.

And we can also look at how we, ourselves, are learning to shift, pivot, alter, and change our lives in the face of a pandemic.  When we get back to normal, it won’t be the normal of December 2020.  It will be different.  How will we shift?

RELATED RESOURCES
Carol Dweck’s book, Mindset
Podcast on Growth
Podcasts on Coping with COVID

From “If” to “Is”

Why “If” keeps you stuck… and how to shift

Are you stuck in the “If’s” of life:  What if, If only, Only if?  Shift to Is.. What ISAt the beginning of my career, I was a hospital chaplain.  One of my tasks was to help people accept what was going on… to accept the diagnosis, the outcome of an accident or tragedy, to accept the changes.  Interestingly, many times, it seemed that those wanting the person to “accept” were really looking for resignation.  Kind of giving up.

I think our understanding of acceptance has expanded since then.  But that doesn’t make it any easier.

You see, we all want some “alternate reality,” some different space where things didn’t, aren’t, or won’t happen.  Where we get to choose to undo/redo, or not do what we don’t like.  The alternate reality where things happened or happen or will happen differently.

Except they don’t.  They happened as they did.  They are happening as they are.  And they will happen as they will.

Yes, we have some control about what we do in this moment, and what we will do to move toward the next.  But not enough to create our alternate reality where we get to choose everything (we do get to choose our own response, though).

There are 3 “If’s” we play out in our mind.  One shift matters, if we want to thrive.  The shift to “Is.”

I unpack what that is about and talk about how we can make the shift in this episode of the Thriveology Podcast.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Grief
When to Act, How to Accept
Is the Present Perfect?
Book:  The Thrive Principles

Ease <==> Dis-Ease

Finding your ease when the days are filled with scary stuff.  Don’t let the fear keep you from thriving.“So, I guess it is pretty tough to thrive these days, isn’t it?” a friend remarked.  He was assuming that, in order to thrive, life must be going well.  Everything in place, and everything humming along.

Sure, those are nice days.  And yes, they represent easier moments.  But thriving is not just about having things go well.  It is possible to thrive, in spite of what life is throwing your way.

Or maybe because of what life is throwing at you.

And wow, life is really throwing it at us these days, isn’t it?  Yesterday marked the one year anniversary since the first COVID case made it to the States.  We’ve been living with that virus now for a year.  Then throw in the economic struggles, thanks to the virus.  Then toss in a little political struggle, some social unrest.  These are challenging days!

And if we aren’t careful, we can let media (social and otherwise) keep us hyped up on fear and dread.

Or we can find our place of calm.  Our spot of ease.

In this episode of Thriveology Podcast, I cover the space between Un-Ease, Dis-Ease, and Ease.  How to make the shift.

RELATED RESOURCES
The Coping with COVID series
Dealing with Stress
Finding Calm
Better Breathing

Starting Your Day Strong
Ending Your Day Better
My Books on Thriving

 

5 Strategies for Better Sleep

When you can’t sleep.  5 strategies for getting better sleep.How are you sleeping?  If you are like the majority of Americans, at least one night a week, not well! And if you are like over 1/3rd of workers, you are not getting the recommended minimum of sleep.  Which is why more than 40% of people use some over-the-counter product to get to sleep (which does not include the number of people using a prescribed product for sleep).

Research is pretty consistent:  adults need somewhere between 7 and 9 hours of nightly sleep in order to be healthy.  More than 9 can indicate a problem.  And less than 7 can lead to health problems like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even diabetes.  It also has a psychological toll.

But if you are struggling with getting sleep, none of what I just wrote comes as a surprise… which is why you are trying to get the rest you need.

In this week’s Thriveology Podcast, I discuss 5 strategies for betting better sleep. Most are simple, but all are important, if you struggle to get the rest you need.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Thriving Body series
End Your Day on a High Note
5 Ways to Shift Your Day from Stressful to Restful
Breathe for Health and Calm
Thrive Principles Book

What Stage Are You In? – Pandemic Grief

Stages of grief and the covid pandemic.Have you ever had the experience of a doctor telling you what was wrong with you, and even if you couldn’t really do anything, it helped to know what it was?  Maybe it was just an ache or pain, a small illness.  Just having a name for it — even some fancy latin term (or maybe especially some latin term) — somehow makes it seem better.  Naming something helps us feel some control.

This pandemic has stripped us of many feelings of control.  It more often feels like life is disrupted and dangerous.  Early in the pandemic — but far enough in that it was clear we were headed down a long path — I was wondering why it took me so long to process that we were in for a long-haul… with implications for every segment of life.  Why had I “missed” the signs?

Denial.  That is what I realized.  I had been playing the denial game.

Which reminded me that I was experiencing a grief response.  I was in grief!  From the pandemic.  Well, the pandemic losses and impact.

Over the next few weeks, as I talked with individuals and organizations, I noticed that we were all in collective grief, as well as experiencing the individual grief.  And as the pandemic has continued, I have noticed that people are experiencing the different stages of grief at different times.  That very fact seems to be at the root of much of the struggles I see played out on social media and regular media.  Clashing stages.

Still, stages.  Grief comes in stages. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross noted 5 stages.  Her colleague, David Kessler, has more recently added a potential 6th stage (an aspirational stage for many).  The point of describing the stages is not so much to force people on through the stages.  It is more for being able to name the stage for what it is.  The capacity of looking at where you are and naming the stage gives a sense of control.  And when we have some sense of control, we can choose whether we are where we want to be, or if we would rather shift.  The shift becomes an option.

Or we can just name the stage and know that is what we are experiencing.

What stage of grief are you in?  I discuss the 5+1 stages in this week’s episode of the Thriveology Podcast.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on Grief
Medium Article by Lee Baucom on The Paradox of Pandemic
Book by Lee Baucom, Thrive Principles
Coping with Covid Series of Podcasts

Finding Moments of Calm in Times of Chaos

David Dachinger and Tamara Green, how to find calm in chaotic times, using the Loving Meditations App.What a chaotic time we are in!  Even without a pandemic, it was already chaotic, what with politics and changes in society. Stir in a pandemic, and there is NO way to be calm.

Right?

Or maybe….

Maybe calm is not about what is happening around you, outside of you. Perhaps it comes from somewhere within you. Somewhere that knows you are separate from the external chaos.

Our internal response to a chaotic world can be chaos… or we might be able to find calm. Especially if we can separate our thoughts from the events and emotions. If we can find a space between what is happening and how we respond.  A space that is rooted in peace.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I have a chance to speak with David Dachinger and Tamara Green.  David is a firefighter and a Grammy nominated music composer (quite the contrast there!).  And Tamara is an author and licensed therapist.

When David was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (there IS no stage 5), his world shifted chaos from fighting fires to fighting cancer. He and Tamara realized that they needed to rally their resources to help in David’s health and healing. That included meditation and mindfulness. The resources they developed are now helping others to find calm in the midst of chaos.

Not a bad goal in today’s world, is it?

Listen below to hear their story and their method of bringing calm to the world through an app.

RELATED RESOURCES
LovingMeditations App
David and Tamara’s Website
Calming Your Thriving Body Episode
A Thriving Breath Episode
Coping with COVID Series
Thrive Principles Book

Breathe for Your Health and Calm

Coping with COVID Series

James Nestor, author of Deep and Breath.It happens about 25,000 per day.  And for the most part, it is automatic.  But it is one of the few bodily functions that you can “take off automatic” and choose how you will do it.  And you might not be doing it optimally.

What is it?

Breathing.  Taking a breath.  Inhaling and exhaling.

I know, it seems automatic, right?  But you can choose to take a deep breath.  Or you can hold your breath.  You may breathe out of your nose.  Or you may breathe with your mouth (you may want to change that one… listen to the podcast for why).

Breathing one way can stress you out.  Breathing another way will calm you down (meaning, you can choose which way you want to breathe!).

Since you are currently reading this, we can assume you are breathing.  That’s a great start?  How about breathing BETTER?  That is a process that can take you down lots of paths.

On this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I interview James Nestor.  A journalist and writer, James got interested in breathing from an ealier book, Deep, which focused on freediving (people going very deep for a long time, because they are excellent breathers).

His upcoming (and excellent) book is Breath.  It is a super-deep (and very readable) “dive” into breathing — why it is important, how to do it better, and what difference it makes.

When I heard about the book, I knew I needed to get James on the podcast, at this moment.  His book won’t be out until May (but go ahead and pre-order it!).  But with the pandemic, you need this information now.  So, I got him on!  And James offered some simple, easy ways to uber-breathe to help your health.

This is super important.  Take a listen below!  (Then order his book!)

RELATED RESOURCES
Breath – from Amazon
Breath – from Bookstore.org (they support local bookstores)
James Nestor’s website

Coping with COVID Series

The COVID Coping SeriesWhat a time we are living through in the world!  The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many parts of culture and the economy to a screeching halt.  Other parts are overwhelmed with the pace.

Frontline and essential workers are feeling the overwhelm of responsibility.  Most of the rest are feeling the overwhelm of isolation.

We WILL get through this.  That is what we, as humans, do.  We overcome.  We rise to the challenge.  We push through.  And we will do the same with this crisis.

But between here and there, we have to live.  We can move beyond just surviving.  We just start with surviving.  And we reach from there.

Over the past month, I have been releasing podcast episodes that focus on dealing with the COVID crisis, both in terms of thriving and in terms of relationships.

I have grouped them together here, so you can find them easily.  Some are from my Thriveology Podcast, and others from my Save The Marriage Podcast.

Here they are:

THRIVING-ORIENTED EPISODES:

Thriving in an Age of Panic

Stay Sane While Staying Safe

How to Hope in Tough Times

The Fear/Anxiety Contagion

RELATIONSHIP-ORIENTED EPISODES:

What Now? – Saving your marriage in the midst of a pandemic

Staying the Course in a Crisis (or 2)

Coping as a Couple Caught in COVID Quarantine

Time for a Relationship Reset?

The Fear/Anxiety Contagion

Coping with COVID Series

How to avoid being infected by the emotional contagion of fear and anxiety, especially during the coronavirus pandemic.  Special coronavirus podcast episode.It’s highly contagious.  You can catch it from a single interaction with one person.  You can catch it much faster in a crowd.  You can pass it on to someone else in an instant.

You can also catch it from just reading, watching, or listening to something.

In 39 milliseconds, you have it… and you didn’t even see it coming!

Coronavirus?  Nope.  That is certainly serious, and you absolutely want to do everything you can to avoid catching or spreading it.  I do not want to minimize the risks of this pandemic.

But that is not the contagion I am focusing on here.

This contagion is fear and anxiety.  Yes, you can catch fear.  Yes, you can catch anxiety.  And you can also spread them.

Humans have a natural wiring (we share it with the animals at the watering hole… and all the others) to pick up on fear and anxiety.

Many times, people have said, “Should I panic over this?”  The “this” has been lots of different things.  And my answer is always, “Panic is never a better option.  Should you respond?  Should you choose an action? Yes.  Panic?  No.”

That is easier said than done. But on this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, I share why fear/anxiety is contagious, along with how to limit the infection.  Listen below.

RELATED RESOURCES
Dealing with Fear
Attacking Anxiety
Self-Care
Order, Disorder, Reorder

Lee’s Thrive Books

Thriving in an Age of Panic

Coping with COVID Series

How to thrive in an age of panic — dealing with the corona virus pandemic without panic.When I recorded this episode of the Thriveology Podcast, it was almost another world.  Many people were still minimizing the novel coronavirus.  Even politicians were downplaying the severity and impact.

So much has changed.  Many, if not most, schools are closed to face-to-face instruction.  Many workers are working from home, where possible.  Lots of restaurants are only serving by delivery or take-out.  New guidelines suggest not being around more than 10 people… and that number may go down.

The world has changed, almost overnight.

It affects us all… making this episode just as important, if not more so.

We are going to have to define what it means to thrive.  That is what happens when it feels like every day is an attempt to survive.

Here is the good news:  humanity will prevail. We can thrive. Life WILL go on.  But it will never be the same.  Things will change.  How we used to do things will disappear, but new ways will appear.

I know these are scary times.  But we will get through this.  Together.

That’s what we do.

Lisen to the episode below.

RELATED RESOURCES:
CDC Information
WHO Information
Johns Hopkins Guide to Coronavirus
Check Out My Books to Help Thrive