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Recently I have started on a course of coursera.org, called ‘The Science of well-being’ and is held by Laura Santos, Professor of Yale University. It’s a very practical course on how you can actually rewire your brain to feel more happy, more satisfied in or with your life – all based on scientific studies. 

In the first class, prof. Laura Santos held a Facebook Q&A on how to deal with certain emotions during the COVID-19 crisis and gave some very practical advice, all backed up by several researches and studies.

I believe that these can also be very handy during other periods of one’s life and that’s why I want to share with you what I’ve learned. 

All credits go to Prof. Laura Santos! Thank you again for this educational session!

Q; How can you reduce tension in your relationship when you’re closed up with each other 24/7 ?

A: Firstly, validate the situation! Acknowledge that the situation you’re in, is not ‘normal’ and go from there.

This is probably one of the first time that you work together and live together and are constantly in each others’ presence. Being constantly in the presence of the same person may lead to more irritations. It’s logical. The rule of big numbers. So be patient with each other!

We’re in a crisis; be chiller about your expectations towards your better half to prevent irritations.

But most importantly; double down on the things you both love and try to promote all the positive things between each other. 

Q: The opposite of the above: How do you stay positive when you’re single and live alone?

A: There’s a difference between being physically alone or socially alone. Studies showed, when connecting with each other, even if it’s via the phone or other digital ways, there’s actually hardly any mental difference from meeting each other physically. The most important thing is: stay and be connected with your peers.

Also, now is the time to take advantage of all the technology we possess. And do it intentionally. 

On the other hand; embrace your alone-time and get things done you would normally need to make/force time to do. Read; listen to a webinar; do yoga; learn to knit or anything else that gives you energy and you’ve ‘’been wanting to try for so long’’. 

Q: How to stay informed without getting anxious?

A: Be mindful about it. Be conscious about consuming news. Furthermore, don’t forget to consume positive news! They are out there!

Eventually, do try to reduce news consumption, especially near bed-time. The news that has happened today will still be news tomorrow so you won’t miss out on anything. You can read it tomorrow. Now go to sleep!

Q: How can you stay focused at work while there’s a chance of being laid off?

A: Firstly and most importantly, have some self-compassion. We’re in the middle of a pandemic, and an economic crisis that comes along with it. So we simply cannot be as productive as before. 

If you want to make progress, try to focus on your mental health. Take time to meditate; long walks, exercise. Whatever helps you to take care of your mind. It has been shown that focusing on our mental health can actually promote productivity, so you have a good excuse to do nothing so eventually you can do more!

Q: How to deal with getting fired?

A: Getting fired is probably going to cause some negative emotions, along with emotional and financial uncertainty. Horrible, especially in the middle of a crisis when there’s also a lack of perspective. Therefore, you need to find activities that will promote your mental health again.

Now is a good time to do some soul-searching. Even though you don’t have an income, you are very wealthy in time. Make it count! How often does it happen that you have all the time in the world?

Try to use it for some job crafting. What did you really like about your job? What are you good at? What kind of jobs would you be willing to or want to take in the future? 

Now you have time to find out.

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