Extroversion Trait During A Pandemic

Social Butterflies score high in this trait. After a long week working in a cubicle, or at home watching children, or being a hermit to get the job done, extroverts need social interaction to recharge their batteries. 

With social distancing, one can see where social minglers may have a problem. Once we reach a point where we need to get out and do something, staying in place hinders our happiness. Sure, we could jump on social media or have a virtual group call, but there’s nothing like the real deal. 

Right about now, being an introvert may sound optimal. This may be true up to a certain point. Everyone needs time alone, but isolation for long periods isn’t the answer. Everyone needs human contact; it’s psychologically proven. Some of us need more than others. 

Our list of necessities is unique, but we all have the same basic needs. It comes down to the quality and quantity of fulfilling those needs.  What works for you may not work for me. It is essential to find that happy medium.

So, whether we love snuggling up with a book or going to the park, we need to find what recharges our batteries without breaking any orders. This week of blogs has shown how the COVID-19 pandemic affects each of us differently. 

Our needs are as unique as our perspectives. Thus, the pandemic I experience may differ from the pandemic you experience. This is why it is important not to judge how others handle this crisis. Instead, we should come together as a community and assist those that need it. Or lend an ear to those that want to talk. Together we make this world a better place. 

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and click the like button.

Post Script: These blogs will return to their regular Friday posting. Thanks for taking the time to pause and read. 

Neurotic Trait During A Pandemic

To those who score high in this department, anxiety is well known. A feeling of dread brings questions. “What will happen? What will become of us?” Our minds flood with fear and fret. Soon we are left with nothing but a hopeless feeling within our soul. 

Our neurotic friends are moody with a side of anxiety, fear, frustration, anger, envy, guilt, and jealousy. What a package, right? Before we judge, let’s take a second to remember that we all have felt these feelings before. It would behoove us to show empathy towards those who experience these feelings every day, or close to that. 

We have experienced a lot in the past year; social distancing, political corruption, and financial burdens. This world of uncertainties is a nightmare for the neurotic. 

Those of us who score low in this trait now would be a perfect time to look down on those who didn’t take the time to plan for this. But, such behavior doesn’t become us. Being human means abstaining from the preceding and listening to those worried about the future. Comfort those who are pissed off but don’t know why.

Together we can take the hot and cold and find warmth. We all have our times of faltering in a  moment of vacillation. When chaos comes our way, it will behoove us to remember the following. 

If we are worrying, then we are not thinking.

If we are not thinking, then we are not planning.

If we are not planning, we will never find a solution.

Stop worrying.

Start thinking.

Start planning.

Find that solution. 

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and click the like button.

Agreeableness Trait During A Pandemic

The agreeableness trait is, by far, my favorite. This trait’s pros include kindness, empathy, and helpfulness, while the cons consist of caring too much, spread too thin, and self-neglect. People who score high here make fantastic friends.

Low scorers are more self-preserving and tend not to lend a hand. They have a resting “blah” face that makes them look unapproachable. They may love going out and enjoying the town, but they pay their tabs and don’t ask for favors. This trait may reside in someone who has suffered a considerable loss or has been hurt physically and/or emotionally. 

How has the pandemic affected them? First, there is a huge demand for help. Fifty thousand chances to make people smile every day; that’s every single day of every single week of every flippin’ month. Will it ever STOP!? And that’s how we go from “Oh boy!” to “Oh my!”. 

We are human, and there is a part of us that wants to help even if it’s in third-person (referring help) But, we have our limits and have a tendency to get in over our heads. Soon, we are drowning in what we love to do the next thing we know. 

For the conservative side, isolation may bring a bit of comfort but leave us with our thoughts for too long, and depression may follow. Social media has its benefits, but it is no substitute for social events. 

The average person fits in the middle but given the right environment, and we may find ourselves on either end of the spectrum. Take the time to analyze our surroundings. Are we getting in too deep?  Or, are we too isolated? 

As much as I’d like to say things will return to “normal”, that isn’t possible. We will find a new standard, and with it will come new happiness. This is how life works with its ever-changing ways. 

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and click the like button.

Consciousness Trait During A Pandemic

A place for everything and everything all over the place. Low scorers in the consciousness department may relate to this fragmented sentence. In contrast, a high scorer may find it insulting. 

Consciousness is the trait that points out the deliberate worker. This is the one who makes their bed every day, folds the clothes before they have time to cool down, alphabetize their book collection. Order is supreme. 

This may sound dreamy until chaos ensues. Order is challenging to find amid a pandemic. With everything changing, one can barely keep up. So it is with the conscious-minded. A job loss, illness, acting on misinformation, all are stumbling blocks for the conscious-minding. Disorganization or an unstable future can present a nervous breakdown. No one is bulletproof.

On the flip-side, the person who scores low in this department may have a difficult time. These are the ones who end up in poverty, jail, or homeless. They are not goal-driven, so they tend to take things as they come instead of seizing the moment. 

Without goals or direction, a person will find themselves wandering. They may feel lost. This can bring depression or a sense of hopelessness. Couple this with society looking down at them, and we have a perfect recipe for a criminal. When survival is at hand, we have fewer problems breaking the law. 

Though these two traits have different pandemic approaches, both can have complications just as easy as they can have success. Yes, I know my focus was on the negative side of this trait. And that’s the point. We are all susceptible to bad times. Check on each other, and be honest. If we’re having a bad day, let people who ask know that this is the Mondayest Friday ever. It happens, and we will get through it. 

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and click the like button. 

Open/Closed-Minded Trait During A Pandemic

After the seven-day trial of 2021, most of us are ready to cancel our subscription. Better times are coming, or for some, they may already be here. This pandemic has hit us all differently. Parents dealt with the school system, workers dealt with employment, and nurses dealt with crowded hospitals. Some of us faced one of these scenarios, while others faced all three. This is one aspect of how the COVID-19 virus has affected us in different manners.

I apologize for not posting last Friday. I wanted to take the time to look at how the big five traits are dealing with the pandemic. I intend to keep this week’s daily blog short and sweet. But, as writers, we know how that goes. 

Open-minded/Closed-minded

Here, a high scorer is not afraid of trying new things, while the low scorer tends to stick with traditional values. So which one will be more willing to shelter-in-place? 

Change comes easier for an open person rather than a closed person. Wearing a mask daily everywhere is a new norm. Adapting to children’s new schedules is never easy, but one can tackle this problem efficiently with an open mind. 

It sounds like open-minded is the way to go, right? Slow your roll turbo, a closed person may not be open to new things, but they have a higher risk assessment. They are cautious and make very deliberate changes. There are research and studies and reading to complete. After all, one does not jump willy-nilly into a pandemic.

Both traits can survive. One is faster at accepting the change while the other understands the reason for the change and can apply that reasoning to upcoming scenarios. 

End the end; we are all human. Our approach to this pandemic is as unique as we are. Yes, some of us are open-minded, while others are tightly closed-minded. We are neither right nor wrong, so long as we are working towards a common goal. There are some among us who believe there is no pandemic. Perhaps they are so open-minded to this idea that it is easy to accept. Or maybe they are closed-minded and clenching to how things used to be. Either way, both have their strength and weaknesses. This is why it is wise not to judge them.

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and click the like button. 

Welcome to 2021

I’m sure this is not what they meant by saying hindsight is 2020, but here we are on the flipside. This pandemic has everyone unsure and cautious of everything around us. And who can blame us? The media is blasting awful news to the point I’m sure Bruce Willis and a group of his friends launched last week to blow up an Earthbound asteroid. 

No one has a magic 8-ball forecasting the future, so until we do find such a thing, we may as well set back and enjoy the ride. Bad things are going to happen just as well as good. But for some odd reason, we are compelled to point everything that is not right with the world. Perhaps we should simmer down for a bit. But, in this capitalistic world, good news doesn’t pay as much as gossip.

As bad as 2020 may have been, it wasn’t voted as the worst year ever. Historians believe that title belongs to 1348, which was the height of the Black Plague. 1944 came in second, followed by 1816. 1816 was when a volcano erupted, blocked out the sun, and sent millions into starvation. But if you are curious as I am, 2020 ranked sixth. So, yeah, 2020 wasn’t our best year. This is strictly going off a 30 second Google search of “Was 2020 the worst year?” Hey, this is technical and scientifically opinionated stuff here. 

Will 2021 be better? It only has five spots ahead of this year to be counted as worse on the bright side. Perhaps a quick search of what Hollywood thought 2021 would be like will bring a smile to our faces. After all, the Jetson’s supposed to be in 2062. (100 years from the 1962 debut) Forty-one years until I buy my first flying car. It could happen. 

But whatever comes our way, our attitude will affect our perception. We are the reason we choose to get mad or decide to smile. We are in control of our emotions; no one else. So here’s to not only having a great year but a great time as well.

Happy New Year.

Until the next blog, live life, be happy and don’t forget to like.

Happy Holidays

In the spirit of the holidays, I’d like to wish you and yours love, peace, and joy. This year brought a lot of obstacles, but we are still here. Humanity never ceases to amaze me as neighbors are helping each other. Our communities are getting tighter and are realizing that we are not dependent. 

It is easy to call out everything wrong. But we are above the new media standards. We are the ones who give a soft smile as we greet strangers on the street. We hold the door for others at the local convenient-store. We are not subservient; we are kind, compassionate, and humble.

So to all of the readers out there, thank you for the kind comments. Year three is coming to an end for this blog, but there will be a fourth-year. With so much to look forward to, I am excited to see where this journey will lead. Thank you for your support and kind words

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.

We Are One Hug Away From Happiness

When stress is upon us, and life is a fury, we need to engage. Cortisol is a stress hormone that helps put us in a flight or fight mode. But, there are times when we are mentally stuck in a loop and continue to fret, worry, stress, and produce too much cortisol. This can lead to anxiety and depression. 

How do we reduce our cortisol levels? Simple, all we need is a hug. If a person has no underlying medical conditions causing an over-production of cortisol, then a hug will reduce the stress hormone in our system. Our brain releases oxytocin when we embrace each other, which reduces stress, anxiety, and cortisol. 

With reduced stress, our immune system has a chance to heal. This also leads to quicker recoveries from injuries. Who knew a simple act of kindness could do so much? In case you’re wondering, this works for both the hugger and the hugged. And, oxytocin is released when we embrace a pillow, bear (teddy type, not the wild one), or ourselves. 

On top of releasing the “cuddle” hormone, serotonin is released, which is our “feel good” hormone. This takes advantage of the reduced cortisol and brings us to our “happy place.” Who couldn’t use a little time there, right? 

With all of this said, I’d like to interject with a word of caution. Don’t force-hug others. If a person doesn’t want a hug, don’t give it to them anyway. Their brain isn’t going to chemically convince them that they are wrong and we’re right. Life doesn’t happen that way. Don’t do that. On the flip-side, it’s alright not to want a hug. Not everyone likes to have someone else’s arms wrapped around them like two pythons fighting over a meal. We all have bubbles, and not everyone is welcomed to enter.  A hug has its benefits if done correctly. Be respectful, and hug only those who want to be embraced. Together, with understanding, we can make this place a better world. After all, we are one hug away from happiness.

Until the next blog, live life, be happy, and click like. 

Turning Dreams Into Reality

Everyone wants to become successful in life. But what is success? Ask a group of people individually, and I’m sure we will receive an assortment of answers. Does this mean we do not know what success is? Not at all; it shows that we have different views. Although we have multiple perspectives on the subject, there are five steps everyone can take to reaching their goal.

Set a course

What is it that we want? This can be a career, a state of mind, or even a material object. What are the requirements for obtaining said goals? We may want to look at the cause and effect of reaching our goals. A new career may mean less time with our family. A luxury vehicle may mean high state taxes every year. Be sure to look at the pros and cons.

Make a plan

After selecting our goal, it’s time to make a plan. How do we get to our dream world? One goal at a time. Remember to take baby-steps at first. No one runs a marathon in one step. We must have alternate plans and periods of assessments. Play the “What if” game. Obstacles may appear, and we’ll have to divert around them. What if we had to drive one hundred miles to pick up our dream car. Are we willing to go the distance? Right now, the answer may be no. But after some time has passed, we may change our minds. This is where the assessment comes in. Plan for small pauses and verify that we are still going towards our goal.

Execute the plan

This may be the hardest step for most. We can have a dream, but that dream will never become a reality if we don’t execute our plan. How can we run a marathon without taking a step? This is where we will fail. Dreams are not perfect, and we may need to try several hundreds of times to hit the mark. That is normal. Hitting every caveat in the first attempt is not normal. This is why we made alternate plans. Be patient and do not get discouraged. Everything will work out if we stick to the flexible schedule.

Assess the direction

At this stage, we pause and verify that we are still going towards our goal. We make changes accordingly and push on. When to do the assessment is up to the individual. But, I would warn against doing it after every step. Assessments are planned delays. Don’t overload our dream with delays. Once the changes are made, get back at it and stick to the plan.

Repeat

So we reach the end, now what do we do? We make another plan. We are not one-dream heroes. Instead, we are a lifetime of dreams. Some are worth chasing, while others are best kept in our imagination. For example, my favorite corvette is this year’s model. With each changing year, I’ve enjoyed seeing the changes and improvements. I would love to own one, but there is a sense, so magic lost once some dreams are no longer dreams but reality—that something to keep in mind. Once we obtain our goal, it becomes a reality. Some plans are better kept in our imaginations.

Until the next blog, live life, be happy and don’t forget to like.

Make The Workplace Worthwhile

The most common reason for changing jobs is the individual felt as though it was time for a change. Beyond money, there are caveats that we must meet to feel satisfied with our employment. This means that there are ways to motivate employees to want to work. 

Let’s be honest. No one wants to work. However, we have bills to pay and things that we would like to buy. This takes money, and it so happens that employers are willing to part with their cash in exchange for our work. Notice I didn’t say time. I know a lot of workers that show up to collect a paycheck. Anyone can show up.

When a person has a sense of purpose in their work, they know why they are doing their job. There is a means to the madness, as one may say. Take that purpose away, and people will start to ask, “Why do I have to do that?” And that leads to my favorite, “Not my job, not my prob.”

Positivity in the workplace is another bonding force that keeps employees motivated. It’s easy to complain about everything. We all can gripe about the weather, sports, news, and don’t get us started on the year 2020. Besides, people have a strong inclination to listen to constructive criticism if presented positively. We all want to improve ourselves and are willing to become more of an asset to others. We just need the right motivation to get us going. 

This leads me to recognition. We all may not love the limelight, and that’s alright. But, we do need an occasional recognition for the work we do. Otherwise, what difference are we making in this world? We should see some form of positivity from our bosses. How else are we to know that we are going in the right direction. It’s a form of positive feedback. Speaking of feedback, don’t give it in front of their peers. If we only call people in to criticize them,  their peers will know what is going on when we call people. This doesn’t mean stop praising in public. 

Another item that keeps people from jumping ship is training. Just because we graduated from high school, vocational school, college, university, or the academy of awesome heroes, doesn’t mean we stop learning. It’s only just begun. Training and development can lead to a better career path. After all, we are driven by self-improvement. 

These are not new ideas by any means, but it’s nice to hear them as a reminder. It’s easy for us to get in a rut and forget the basics of satisfaction. So take the time and assess the current workforce attitude. This is particularly important if we work from home; get organized, and find that satisfaction.

Until the next blog, live life and be happy.