According to the NY Times, over 10 million U.S. jobs no longer exist and there are over one million Coronavirus cases worldwide. We’re facing extremely difficult times and it can be easy to be overtaken by fear, anxiety, grief, sadness and negativity. However, as a world, nation and society, it’s important that we stay strong, resilient and hopeful. Therefore, here are five positive mindset shifts we can make to help cope with the Coronavirus outbreak we’re currently facing.  

1. Find a sense of gratitude: When faced with a global pandemic, it can be hard to find things to be grateful for in our lives when every day is filled with uncertainty and negative news. However, it’s now more important than ever, especially for the sake of our mental health, to dig deep and find things in our lives to be grateful for. Whether it’s our health or the health of our loved ones, having a home and roof over our heads, still having our jobs if that’s the case, having school districts that have prepared an online curriculum for the rest of the year to keep our children educated, still being able to go outside and get some fresh air or other blessings, it can be helpful to take the time each day to remember just one thing we’re grateful for to keep things in perspective.

2. Practice empathy and be of service to others: There are so many people on the front lines who are risking their own health and lives to help us fight this pandemic and economic crisis such as healthcare workers, scientists, warehouse workers, truck drivers, restaurant owners, farmers, grocery store clerks and other professionals. Therefore, practicing empathy for them and doing our best to donate, if we have the means, to causes that help them as well as the patients and families being impacted, can go a long way in allowing us to be of service to others. One of the best things we can do at this time is extend a helping hand and make an impact.

3. Hold on to hope: Even though the numbers and stats surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak can make us feel like we’re constantly in dire straits, we have to hold on to hope. One of the greatest strengths of being human is staying hopeful, even in the toughest of times. The more we can look to our past history of pandemics and economic crises and remember that we were able to eventually prevail, the more we can know we will again this time around as well. Being hopeful is contagious and can allow others in our families, friend circles, work teams and communities to feel the same. Even if we lose some hope on certain days, which is only natural, the important thing is to come back to our hopeful state, time and time again and remain hopeful overall for a better future.

4. Seek opportunities for growth: Being quarantined at home means we naturally have a lot more time on our hands. Therefore, this is a good time to seek opportunities for growth, both personally and professionally. Whether that’s reading books or articles, listening to podcasts, taking online courses, working with a career, life or health coach, exercising more, obtaining new skills, setting new goals or planning for the future, these are all important ways to stretch ourselves, learn and grow in the midst of a tough time. Sometimes, new ideas and opportunities can pop up when we least expect them. Therefore, staying open to all the possibilities in front of us and those we may not have even thought of yet, can serve each of us well.

5. Cherish personal connections: Being home with our families right now is a huge blessing. While it can be easy to get frustrated with one another after spending time together 24/7, this also is a time to strengthen our relationships with our spouses, significant others, children and other family members or loved ones we live with. It’s also a time to connect with extended family, friends and colleagues over phone, video conference, text and social media to keep those connections going. Now is a time to create some memories and truly cherish these times together, especially in the midst of the uncertainty we’re all facing. When this is all hopefully over, we’ll all be so glad we did.


  • Reena Vokoun

    Entrepreneur | TEDx Speaker | Author | Media Spokesperson | Health & Wellness Expert | Content Creator & Marketer | Personal & Professional Development Coach | Activewear Designer

    Reena Vokoun graduated with a BBA in marketing and management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MS in advertising and communications from Boston University. She spent several years in corporate America working in marketing, sales and business development roles for companies such as Google, Yahoo, Reebok, CNET, GE and Grokker, while also being certified in health, fitness, nutrition and behavior change through the American Council on Exercise, Athletics and Fitness Association of America and IDEA Fitness. Her experiences and witnessing others during those years, showed her how much overwork, stress and a lack of work-life balance can impact your health and life. Therefore, she's passionate about educating others and helping them take control of their lives in these areas. Today, she serves companies, nonprofits, universities, schools and the media through her products, services and content, which focus on wellness education and training in the areas of fitness, nutrition, mindfulness, work-life balance, productivity and healthy lifestyles. She's featured regularly as a health contributor on the Fox KTVU news morning show in the San Francisco Bay Area, writes a monthly health column for the Los Altos Town Crier and also writes for Thrive Global, Shape and Working Mother. She's a mom, wife and first generation born Indian-American and has a unique perspective to help others balance it all.