Wednesday, March 18, 2020

A Both/And Mindset

This month I am participating in the 13th Annual Slice of Life Story Challenge. Visit Two Writing Teachers for more information.

The concept of both/and was not one I was familiar with before reading the article, "A Therapist's Guide to Emotional Health in a Pandemic," by Lori Gottlieb. I had recently read Gottlieb's book, Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, and found it to be smart and funny, so when this article came across my radar I thought it might provide some useful insight.

Yesterday, as I watched the briefing from the President and his coronavirus task force, part of me wanted to keep watching, so I stay aware of the most current information. The other part of me wanted to turn off the television and escape into my own virus-free thoughts and activities. I know the coronavirus pandemic has caused loss and suffering and heartache across the globe. But, I know I still want to laugh and find the joy in life. The last few days have been consumed with trying to process all the emotions that I feel regarding what is happening in the world.

Reading Gottlieb's article has helped to give me some clarity. Both/and is a mindset and allows us to acknowledge that a situation is terrible while also embracing what is positive and joyful. I can feel terrible about the loss and suffering and heartache that is occurring and also find joy in the books that I now have time to read, in the opportunity to sleep a little later, in the connections I am able to have with friends and family from a distance, and in the trivial aspects of life that just make me happy. For me, the both/and mindset is what will help me from feeling overwhelmed by it all.

9 comments:

  1. Putting this article on my TBR list. Great reminder that we really need both/and to keep our heads above the water! Can't wait to talk about this . . . "Both/and is a mindset and allows us to acknowledge that a situation is terrible while also embracing what is positive and joyful." Thank you!

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  2. This is so true, we have to keep the perspective with both/and, otherwise we won't cope. Thanks for the link to the article, will definitely read it.

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  3. "Both/and mindset"! YES being able to acknowledge that a situation is terrible while also embracing what is positive and joyful is exactly what I am trying to do right now. I've been tagging positive posts from people and creating lists of gratitudes to focus on. Thank you, Lisa!!

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  4. I'm trying to limit my news watching to certain times of the day so I'm not so overwhelmed with everything going on. And then going on with my now normal life. Finding the JOY in our lives is going to be so important for all of us from now on.

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  5. Thank-you SO MUCH for sharing that link. I appreciate your post today.

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  6. This post really appeals to the realistic optimist in me. I can be realistic about the changes COVID-19 has brought to our lives, but optimistic about the silver linings of more time to read, sleep, enjoy the outdoors.

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  7. So much holistic help here - I bookmarked the article to read. I am periodically overloaded by the news and have to turn it off. I have loved having more time and freedom to write, and have even ordered a couple of books based on what colleagues here in the SOLSC are reading - these are gifts, indeed. How much have I wished for such downtime? But it is costly - I keep saying to myself: It is only for a time, only for a time... this temporary pulling in will keep civilization from caving in. cannot conceive of the toll on the economy but at the same time am amazed by what government officials at every level from local to state and upward are doing decision-wise to keep us as safe as possible. As I enjoy my downtime, I wonder: How much sleep are THEY getting?

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  8. Thank you for this thought provoking post. I will definitely read this article. I was thinking similar thoughts today as i was contemplating my post. I had a trivial small moment that I just didn’t feel right posting judging it too light. Maybe we need the light posts to unburden ourselves from the pain and suffering and messiness out there.
    You’ve given me food for thought

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  9. Lisa, thanks for the article with the new both/and mindset that is new to me. I look forward to reading it. We all need outlets to help us feel not so overwhelmed.

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