Welcome to the “new normal.” Life 2.0. Everything you took for granted has been turned on its head. This is a mask-wearing, social-distancing, track-and-trace reality that’s changed the way we work and learn and live.
It might feel like we’re living in a post-apocalyptic dystopia, but it’s important to have some perspective. It’s important to develop a “coping mindset.”
A coping mindset lets us recognize the difficulty of the situation right now.
And accept it for what it is.
A Coping Mindset
A coping mindset doesn’t mean we don’t care. Or don’t worry. Or can’t grieve. It just means we accept the situation. We deal with it. This helps us cope. This helps us see things more objectively.
Many of us in the motion picture industry are still not working, not performing, not making, not creating.
And it really stinks.
But it is what it is. This won’t last forever. Nothing ever does.
Dr. Robert Leahy, a psychologist at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center has five “ingredients” for a coping mindset.
- Adjust your expectations
- Know that not everything you used to have was essential.
- Concentrate on what you can do. Not what you can’t do.
- Be polite.
- View this situation as a “chapter” in a book you’re writing.
The last one’s our favorite.
“If you look at life as a series of chapters, this chapter is objectively a hard one,” Dr. Leahy tells Health Matters. “But we can adjust our expectations and write a story about how we cope with this chapter to make it as good as it can be.”
(Read the entire article here. It’s fascinating.)
All of us in motion pictures know a good narrative. Most movies and theater productions have a similar structure — a chain of events with a beginning, middle, and an end. There are ups and downs, peaks and troughs, along the way. But good usually prevails in the end.
We know it’s tough right now. But, as Dr. Leahy says, this is just one chapter in your story. And all chapters come to an end.
Your next chapter will be better.
What You Can Do Now
You can make this chapter a little better too.
- Support motion pictures. Any way you can.
- Get involved in your local community. People need you.
- Be kind. It feels good.
- Look after yourself. (Exercise. Eat healthily.)
- Do something productive. Use any downtime as creative-time.
- Try not to worry too much. Distract your mind.
You’re Not Alone
Accepting the situation doesn’t mean accepting your situation. If you’re suffering, get help. Pick up the phone. Call a friend. Call us. ((888) 994-3863). Email us.
We provide financial aid to motion picture veterans of distribution, exhibition, and trade services who need help. It’s what we’ve done for 83 years. It’s what we’ll continue to do.
(We have separate financial resources for veterans hit hard by the pandemic.)
Oh, and donate, if you can.