If you’re anything like me, the COVID-19 crisis has taken its toll, and in its wake, left a rollercoaster of emotion to sort through. There’s no denying the magnitude of stress, sadness, and fear that this global pandemic has brought, but there are also silver linings and celebrations just as there would be any time adversity is overcome. In the last two months, I’ve found it more challenging than ever achieving a balance between my naturally optimistic outlook and the pessimistic perspective that’s been a little more prevalent as of recent.  So what’s my secret to finding the sunny side of things amidst all this? Winnie the Pooh!

Okay, sort of. If you’ve ever given this Disney classic a watch or read, then you know the exuberant and enthusiastic Tigger, and you also know the gloom and doom Eeyore. Every day, we each have a choice to be a Tigger or an Eeyore, and though it’s all too easy to fall down the rabbit hole and identify with Eeyore, I find that a balance between the two is the best approach. 

Let’s face it – life is going to throw some touchdowns your way, but life is also going to tackle you hard. Like my last blog post, it’s okay to feel sad, frustrated, and angry every now and then – especially now! Truthfully, there are aspects to the current crisis that flat out stinks. But rather than sit and dwell on things beyond my control, I like to feel my emotions about the situation, and then move on to reflect on the positives in my life. Thinking about the things in my life that I’m thankful for, and surrounding myself with things that remind me of resilience or overcoming adversity helps me choose to be Tigger.

Take my workspace for example. I spend a lot of time at my desk, so I made the conscious effort to place mementos in my office that fuel my day with gratitude. Pictures of my family, Caitrin’s hat (read more about Caitrin here), and various other keepsakes are what I stare at day-in and day-out. Some of the items represent joy, but others tell the story of lessons learned, and remind me that this too shall pass. 

I encourage you to spend time today figuring out your happy place. Examine your life, and pinpoint the people and things in it that bring you joy and inspiration. Reflect on times you struggled, and the lessons you learned. Then write all this down in a journal, or do as I did, and place keepsakes in an area where you spend a lot of time. The next time you find yourself feeling gloomy, retreat to this place, or pull out your gratitude journal to alter your perspective. Before you know it, you’ll be waking up, pouring a cup of coffee, and choosing to be a Tigger.