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Positivity is Powerful…Especially in a Pandemic

By DeAnn Buser, Technician, Corporate Project Services, Wenger Manufacturing, Inc.


It’s a strange and often frustrating reality we’ve been living and working in for the past year.

Keeping a positive outlook feels impossible at times…especially when your home internet connection goes out for the third time in a week (or day), and you get bumped out of a meeting—your one chance to see your co-workers who you miss terribly!

Last month I attended a virtual seminar on positivity, a day-long event featuring well-known and inspiring speakers talking about what a person can accomplish by staying positive (even when the world feels like it’s crashing in all around you). It was full of lessons relevant for the times we’re living in, for sure. I know I for one needed to hear their uplifting messages, and I know we all could use a mindset boost after the doozy of a year we’ve all endured.

Yes, positivity is needed to power through the hard times.

I’ll just come right out and admit it—when the pandemic first hit and, like so many others, our office shut down with a return date that kept getting pushed back further and further, I was unhappy. I did not want to work from home. I enjoy being at the office with my colleagues, and I feared a work-from-home environment had way too many distractions for me—you know, with my personal life and responsibilities nagging for my attention all day long. Plus there was the notion of being by myself during the workday when I much prefer the momentum and camaraderie that comes with spending the day with my coworkers.

Working remotely in rural Kansas comes with its own special challenges, and it seems we’re constantly dealing with an endless stream of workarounds (like the glitching that inevitably occurs during our weekly team meetings on Zoom). But even when the screen freezes, we stay positive, and we figure out a way around the obstacle, and then we move on. That’s what we have to do to survive. And it makes us better problem solvers in the long run.

Tony Robbins was the keynote speaker and wrapped up the day by encouraging us to pick three lessons and apply them to our lives immediately. The three lessons I really took to heart that spoke to me both on a personal and professional level are things that I know could be applied in a working environment.

Prioritize Self Care

Just as we’re offering grace to others, now more than ever we need to cut ourselves a little slack. We need to be more adamant with giving ourselves the time and love needed to get through the day with our heads up.

For me, maintaining a normal routine has been the key to staying focused and productive. I was so discouraged at first, and still not totally into the “work from home” mentality. I missed my almost-daily stops at the local coffee shop, which no longer were feasible because of pandemic hours and social distancing. But, I found my groove—getting my computer and WiFi working better helped immensely (thank you to Wenger’s IT department for the magical reconfiguration of my work-from-home technology!). And one little indulgence of self-care I’ve granted myself is making weekly trips to that local coffee shop, on Wednesdays, so I can grab the The Sabetha Herald and my coffee. It’s a refreshing change of pace and a perk for my week that sometimes even happens twice a week, and it’s totally worth the extra effort to get back part of one of my favorite rituals that was lost to the pandemic.

Stop Making Comparisons

More than any other point in our lifetimes, today we can safely acknowledge we’re all in the same boat. Sure, we’re all facing unique circumstances within the boat, but it’s important to remember we’re all paddling through a frustrating and uncertain reality on some level. Each of us is doing the best we can, and the healthiest mindset is to acknowledge everyone is entitled to their own opinions, whether they’re about working from home or giving up face-to-face interaction or business travel. It’s a rotten situation for everyone. But by trying to stay positive, we can make the best of it…and this too shall pass!

Quit Taking Things Personally

Another lesson I learned during the seminar was that rejection is not personal, so don’t take it that way. Our crazy reality makes it hard to connect with people, and the barrier of wearing a mask and overreliance on email and phones can make it tough to gauge emotion. It’s really easy to misinterpret the emotion or meaning of what another person says when you can’t see their facial expressions.

Rejection stings, but we must train ourselves not to react emotionally to what we’re seeing—or not seeing—in another person’s reaction, along with my reaction to others. If something rubs me the wrong way, I take a moment to step back and think about how I might be misinterpreting the words being said. And I know it’s also important to look at what I might have said that could have been construed the wrong way! It works both ways.

One of the speakers at my virtual seminar was Robin Roberts, and she spoke on Three Ds: Discipline, Determination, and Da Lord. That really resonated with me—to me that means keep getting ready every day like I was going into the office, determination to keep moving forward—despite slow internet, or whatever the problem du jour, and thanking the Lord that my husband, son and family – and my amazing friends and coworkers – have remained in good health and still have meaningful work to do.

This pandemic has been hard on all of us. Trust me when I say I’ve complained a lot. And you might be among the lucky ones who have heard me complain. Maybe you have complained a lot, too, and that’s perfectly understandable. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, and I believe we’re gaining lessons from the experience we aren’t even realizing yet.

If you’d like to learn more about CPS or connect with someone on our team, please reach out to us.

Corporate Project Services, a division of Wenger Manufacturing, is a dynamic group of planning specialists backed by Wenger’s more than 80 years of process system supply to the industry. Our knowledge base and breadth of experience in extrusion processing and facilities construction is unsurpassed – and our commitment to excellence is recognized around the world.