In anxious times, I’m finding it more difficult to focus on abundance thinking. Yet that is exactly what is needed in these difficult times.
Scarcity versus abundance mindset
I’m amazed at how quickly we have deteriorated into a scarcity mindset. It started with toilet paper, and now it has quickly spread to other things. On average, two out of every three Australians are obese. (Yep, talking about myself here as I know I am overweight.) But, suddenly, we think we are running out of food? Our grandparents survived rationing – we’ve got this. Maybe it’s time to go on a diet anyway. (Yes, I need to action this one myself, too.)
Now admittedly I’m one of these people who loves to cook, isn’t averse to a bit of urban foraging and has a high level of natural resilience. Not everyone can channel resilience when they want. (And I’m fragile, too – I have underlying anxiety that can get set off for random reasons. For some reason, I’m positive and okay at the moment and so have the capacity to share positivity.)
We are okay for toilet paper (thanks to a friend who sold us a box of Who Gives a Crap, and my friend Trish who delivered wee wipes). We are more than okay for rice, powdered milk, canned tuna and I make my own pasta. But when it really started to hit hard was when we realised there is a run of medicines. Neil, as a heart attack survivor, will need to take a cocktail of medicines for the rest of his life. He has a week and a half of his medicines left – can he get enough in time?
In the midst of this, it would be easy for me to fall into scarcity thinking (and panic). I am no longer in a stable, Commonwealth public servant position but now effectively a freelancer/business startup. I could have a conversation with myself that goes something like this. “Oh, it’s so terrible. I have so many AirBnB cancellations. No one is travelling anymore. No one will ever travel. No one wants to spend money on anything right now. You don’t make much money on freelance writing. All new businesses are failing – the ACT Chief Minister just said as much. We’re heading into a recession. My kids are going to starve – if we don’t all die from coronavirus first. And the stock market has dived and property market is going to go down, too.”
The first thing I am going to do is to delete that conversation. It never happened.
“Oh, it’s so terrible. I have so many AirBnB cancellations. No one is travelling anymore. No one will ever travel. No one wants to spend money on anything right now. You don’t make much money on freelance writing. All new businesses are failing – the ACT Chief Minister just said as much. We’re heading into a recession. My kids are going to starve – if we don’t all die from coronavirus first. And the stock market has dived and property market is going to go down, too.”
I am now creating a new, empowering conversation that goes something like this. “I am so happy and grateful that my family and I enjoy abundance and good health. I love walking outside in the beautiful sunny weather beneath the blue skies, and I nurture myself and my body. I look for opportunities to show leadership and build community support. In every challenge there is a golden opportunity.”
Maybe that sounds a bit naff, but what is causing this panic buying right now? Negative, scarcity thinking. What could be allowing us to live in abundance and happiness? Abundance thinking. And guess what, positive thinking actually boosts our immune system and helps us live longer as well so there’s an even greater imperative to be positive and happy.
Celebrate good times
Last night, we celebrated. We had Friday Karaoke night and we sang some silly songs. We even managed to drink a whole bottle of ALDI rose (at a grand total $5). We are not big drinkers, so this was a big night out for us. We made homemade pasta, and I made a sauce from mallow (a foraged weed), anchovies, garlic and parmesan cheese. And then I opened a box of Lindt chocolate balls for dessert (we don’t have enough ice cream for our usual Friday night treat.) We finished by staying up a bit too late to watch an old James Bond movie (did you know that James Bond actor George Lazenby is from Queanbeyan?)
This is one of our feel-good songs from last night. I want you to have it ALL – from me to you, sharing abundance thinking and good vibes.
So, what are we celebrating?
- We are all safe and well;
- Neil was supposed to fly to Spain last week – by the grace of God he could have been trapped over these, unable to stay in a hotel, and unable to fly home;
- Our cupboards are stocked with food, and I’m topping up with foraged foods;
- After months of smoke haze, we have beautiful clear blue skies and gorgeous early Autumn weather;
- Our The Joyful Frugalista podcast has over 500 downloads in just over two weeks;
- The Joyful Frugalista Instagram account now has 2,000 followers;
- I’ve had requests for more articles and recipes with Australia’s Best Recipes – and my recipes and articles have attracted 209,000 page views since I started in August last year;
- I pitched an idea for a budget cookbook after an initial ‘no’ (that was soooo scary);
- I’ve onboarded as a new investor with fintech Pearler, and will be making our first ETF investment next week;
- I work from home anyway, so working from home every day is not a problem – and I live in a great apartment;
- Although I’ve had some AirBnB cancellations, I’ve also got plenty of new bookings. I’ve had FOUR repeat visitors this month, and I’ve met some amazing people;
- I’m part of supportive online communities – and my church is going virtual as well.
Trauma and worry
To be clear, I’m not discounting or dismissing the anxiety that many people feel. My youngest son is scared – really scared. It started two weeks ago when he had a bad nightmare about a giant snowball ploughing through the city killing people (and his educators making him and other kids stand in its path). Yesterday morning, he woke up scared and last night struggled to go to sleep because he was scared. (Hubby says it was a ploy for my cuddles – he’s still young and cute so of course I oblige). At school, they talk about coronavirus and social distancing, and while their school is great, being young and around people who are scared kind of compounds things.
And then several friends have shared on social media that they’re really not coping that well. One friend works as a pharmacist and is struggling with discourteous, panicking, stockpiling customers and supplies becoming difficult to restock. Another is pregnant with her first child and upset that her family won’t be able to join her after she has her baby. And someone else just had a complete meltdown and has gone off social media altogether.
To those who are not coping, let me say that I hear you and I acknowledge what you are going through. I’m sending you (virtual) messages of love and positivity. May you have the strength one day at a time, one thing at a time, to get through these difficult times. You’ve got this.
Little Street Library
After having my boys at home for two and a half days (with no overt cold or flu symptoms), I sent them back to school. (Yes, a certain amount of guilt with this. But I wasn’t convinced my eldest son was even sick to begin with – I think he was just dehydrated.) After I dropped them off, I went for a walk. I recently discovered a cute little street library behind a small primary school. I dropped off two books and narrowly resisted picking up some more myself.
I’d been searching for a Little Street Library to contribute to as part of my #joyfulgiving campaign. I didn’t think there were any locally – but then I found one! I gave away two books.
Reading, by the way, is a great thing to do when you are home quarantined. And walking is more than okay to do during these difficult times. You can walk by yourself, maintaining social distance from other people and an added bonus is you can boost your immune system and reduce anxiety through exercise. There are some theories that light, specifically sunlight, can help kill (or reduce) viruses. This has not been scientifically proven, but I would add that at least you are getting Vitamin D and lifting your spirits, both of which definitely are good for you.
- Book: 3-minute stories: bedtime tales;
- Book: Spot’s big book of words.
What are you grateful for right now?