Keeping Your Mind Sharp During Current Times

This pandemic hasn’t been easy for anyone.  The strongest of us have struggled to stay focused, stay motivated, keep pushing forward and even just keeping a smile on our faces.  The world, specifically the United States, can feel like it is burning down around us.  Every news cycle brings with it more negativity, more stress and an overall sense of doom.  We thought it was due time for a list of the top ways to keep your mind sharp, how to stay motivated,  and your eyes on the prize during turbulent times.

1. The media shows you things to elicit a very specific response. 
Keep it to a minimum.

The news isn’t really the news anymore.  Maybe it never was.  Depending on the channel, the medium, the anchor, the writer or even the season, you may get multiple doses of the same current events.  Every dose a different story.  This is by design of course and its purpose is to push the viewpoint of the voice delivering it.  Decades ago, the news was updated daily.  Before that, weekly.  And a century ago, most of the population only occasionally was up to date on current events outside of their little bubble.  Now, we are engulfed in a 24 hours news cycle that never lets up, never stops, and is never uniform.

Turn it off.  Leave it alone.  Whether you get your news from TV, social media, print, radio.  Just turn it off.  Set limits for yourself.  Maybe you check on global news site once in the morning and that’s it.  Maybe you put on your local news at 6PM and that’s it.  Whatever it is, keep it to a bare minimum and turn it off.  Unfortunately, there is nothing positive waiting for you there and the constant influx and stimulation of negativity is not healthy on a good day never mind the state of the world today.

2. Stay disciplined.

This is a topic we love here at Become Your Alpha.  Many people look to some form of motivation in order to stay committed.  Whether it is work, athletics, education, or something else, everyone always talks about finding their motivation.  Well, motivation can be fleeting.  When you are stuck in your house and your social life or work life has been completely turned upside down, the same motivators you had before may no longer work.  This can easily find you skipping physical movement, putting down the book, not picking up the phone to call customers.  You could go on a scavenger hunt for some more “reasons” to do those things or, you could just be disciplined.

Jocko Williink says “Discipline Equals Freedom.”  He couldn’t be more right.  Motivation is not going to get you through every bad day, every 5 AM wakeup when you don’t feel like getting out of bed, every call you have to make to ask for the order. Motivation isn’t strong enough.  It takes discipline.  The top 1% of athletes, businessmen, and women, and scientists all got there through discipline.  Sure, willpower is important and plays a role.  Maybe it is why you chose the path you’re on today but chances are, motivation alone won’t get you as far down the road as it is going to take for you to truly succeed.

3. Workout.

It may be cliché’ but the physical movement has been proven over and over again to not only be good for your physical health (including boosting your immune system) but also your mental health.  Pre-pandemic, go to any big box gym at 5 AM and often you’ll brush elbows with attorneys, doctors, and executives.  It’s not a coincidence.  They are not in there because they are all working on their 6 packs, they are there because physical exertion prior to starting their workday is part of their setting a schedule.  Don’t take our word for it, there are literally books on the subject.  Getting the endorphins flowing and the hormones pumping is a great way to keep your head up during good times and bad.  Not to mention, who couldn’t use an immune boost in the midst of a global pandemic?

4. Take the right supplements.

We aren’t talking about “happy pills” here although according to several thousand reviews, these ones work pretty well.  No, we are talking about vitamins and minerals that have been proven to be effective at elevating moods, balancing hormones, stay focused, improving libido and/or boosting immunity.  We’re not doctors but we are humans who push ourselves hard and focus on keeping our bodies and minds in working order.  So, the shortlist that can help nearly everyone include zinc, vitamin D, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin K.

5. Work.  Even if it is something new.

Times are tough right now.  The US GDP contracted by an astronomical amount.  Service jobs in restaurants, hospitality and travel have been hit hard as to have countless other professions.  The government has stepped into some extent to help but whether the unemployment assistance comes in or not, you should be doing something.  Sitting idle is not good for anyone’s psyche and while 2020 has been the kick to the liver none of us asked for, it could also be the catalyst to start something new.

The one thing the current situation has led us to is to adapt or die.  Sometimes you need help to figure out the best way to pivot and move on to something new or different.  If you have been hit by the pandemic or are a victim of the poor economy, don’t just sit idle and hope things change.  Change your focus.  Change your direction.  Pivot and find something new.  Maybe this is the chance to hit the restart button and do something you enjoy.  Maybe it is a chance for you to step back from the rat race, get a job to put some coin in your pocket and evaluate the next steps when the world comes back.  But don’t just sit back in victimhood and wait for everything to go back to the way it was.  Maybe the way it was wasn’t the way it should’ve been.

Final Thoughts It’s scary out there.  Whether you are just an average American who had a 9 to 5 and some semblance of a normal life, whether you’re a celebrity or whether you’re one of the baddest people to ever walk this fine earth, it’s still scary.  Drowning yourself in negative news, social media, victimhood, idle behavior, apathy, laziness, or just plain depression will not lead to a good ending to your story.  Take care of your mind, keep your eyes open, eat well, supplement your health, remain disciplined and ride the waves as they crest.  Whether the world wants to admit it or not, most of us are in this thing together and we are all going to need to do our best to pull ourselves out.  And if none of the above works, at least enjoy a good laugh.

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