I know stress levels are higher than ever right now. There are so many unknowns in the world that it’s hard to not feel worried. But I think it’s also time that we get ourselves in check. Over the past two several weeks of this coronavirus pandemic, we’ve become addicted to it.
We can’t seem to get enough information. We watch the news. We read social media. It’s like we need to know what the updates are at every minute. I talked the other day about limiting the amount of time you spend with the media and today I want to address something different—our conversations.
If you’re like most other people right now, this pandemic feels like the only thing you can talk about. When you talk to family, friends, coworkers, clients or even the cashier, it’s what people want to talk about.
WE NEED A BREAK!
The pandemic is consuming our attention.
And it makes perfect sense. It has completely changed the way that we live. The pandemic has impacted our kids going to school, people going to work, our ability to go out to eat or to the beach or a park. We can’t go to the movies or the mall. And, if we go to the grocery store, it’s an obvious reminder that things aren’t as they should be.
That makes the pandemic something easy to talk to about.
But, it’s not good for us. Talking about it feeds anxiety. It reminds us of all the negatives of our current situation. And, that’s why we need to be proactive in changing our focus and what we talk about.
How to change your conversations
If you feel like you have nothing to talk about other than coronavirus, the healthcare system, government, or the pandemic, you’re giving it too much of your time.
And, I get it. My husband is working from home the majority of the time right now so we’re always together. We’re hearing the same things at the same time. We know each other’s day. That means when we sit down to talk, it can be hard to think of something to talk about that doesn’t involve all this crazy.
I’ve heard people recommend to spend this time planning a future vacation, but it’s hard to talk about the future because we don’t know what to expect. That steals the fun out of vacation planning for me.
But, here’s what we can do—learn new things.
If we’re taking the time to read books or listen to podcasts or watch a documentary that’s teaching us something new, it will begin to fill our thoughts. It will provide us with something to think about and talk about that isn’t the coronavirus.
It might be a parenting skill, a craft, an idea, or a business system. It could be an autobiography that teaches you about someone that you admire or a self-help book that teaches you practical steps you can apply in your life. The topic doesn’t really matter as long as it’s giving you something to think about and talk about. And, bonus points if it gives you action steps that provide you something to do with more of your time.
Share the experience with others
You can take this a step further by getting friends and family to join you in it. You can start a virtual book club or Bible study. Or, encourage them to read or watch something they are interested in and you do the same and then you two can share the information with each other.
There’s a lot that we can’t do right now, but thanks to technology, there is still a lot that we can do.
If the coronavirus is all that you can think or talk about, it’s on you to change it. You’re the only one that can control what you think about and what you talk about. And, if you find that someone you talk with regularly can’t help but talk about anything else, then let them know you’re taking a break from it. Share with them that you’re happy to talk about other things, but if they want to go into pandemic mode, they’ll need to talk to someone else.
It’s OK to protect your mind by limiting the topics of your conversation.
I encourage you to read, listen to, or watch one thing today that inspires you, teaches you, or motivates you and then start a conversation with someone else about it. If you aren’t sure what to read, check the resources page. I shared a few books that have been great reads for me. You get to choose your conversations!