There are a lot of things we can’t control right now. We can’t say when life will go back to “normal” or whether schools will be virtual or in-person in six months or if we’ll still be wearing face masks next summer.
But there is one thing we can always control, and that’s our attitude.
During hard times, it can be tough to maintain a positive attitude. We get it. And some people’s challenges certainly are bigger than others.
Yet most of the time, you can make the effort to approach things with the attitude of “I can improve” or “I can make this work.” To us, that attitude can be summed up in four words: Be better every day.
This past month, we’ve shared examples of people striving to “be better” on our Facebook page. Be better doesn’t have to mean doing something monumental. It can be a small gesture, a word of encouragement, a choice to find the good in something instead of the bad.
We put together six ideas for “being better” every day that you can use in your work and home life.
1. Read a Nonfiction Book
Books offer actionable tips that you can apply at home and at work to become more efficient and appreciate what you have. Don’t have time to read? Listening to audiobooks in the car or while you exercise kills two birds with one stone. Search for books that speak directly to your needs. For instance, do you have trouble adopting the habits you need to meet goals? Check out James Clear’s “Atomic Habits.”
2. Talk to Your Kids About School in a Positive Manner
You may not be happy about your kids attending school virtually, or maybe you don’t want them to go back to the classroom. There are no solutions that everyone likes right now, but your kids take their cues from you. If you speak to them positively about what’s going on at school, they’ll reflect your attitude. (Supporting teachers is also a way to “be better” right now!)
3. Offer Compliments Freely
Being nice is important. But offering a compliment goes beyond just “being nice.” It’s a proactive way to recognize something positive in another person. Everyone has done something worthy of praise. Recognizing it also puts you in a better mindset — you’re looking for the good in a situation.
4. Take Downtime When You Need It
You know what can be a real attitude-killer? Exhaustion. You have a shorter fuse when you don’t get enough rest. Something that’s really just a small problem can seem insurmountable if you’re bleary-eyed. Relax and take time away from work when you need it, and get as much sleep as you can at night.
5. Tackle the Problems You Can Fix
Too often, we wait for solutions to present themselves. Instead, we should seek solutions that we can implement. Even something as simple as canceling a video streaming service subscription that you never use can bring a measure of accomplishment if you’ve been meaning to take action for months.
6. Find Common Ground With Everyone
Feeling discouraged and angry right now is understandable, and sometimes that anger gets unfairly directed at others. Remind yourself that everyone is doing their best, and most people just want to help their families and friends. You can find something in common with nearly everyone, whether you love the same silly sitcom or both have kids in the same grade. Focus on what you have in common rather than what you do not.