Stranger Things of 2020
If you’re a fan of Stranger Things, you know the Upside Down. It’s this crazy alternative world that is threatening Hawkins, an otherwise normal town in Indiana. Shutting the portal to the Upside Down before the human world is completely decimated becomes the central goal.
Do you feel like 2020 has sucked you into an alternative universe? Normal? What’s that? Social distancing. Masks. No crowds, concerts, churches, or clubs. Wanting to go on vacation? Good luck! We find ourselves working at home and wishing for a return to normal.
Here are seven basic steps to close the portal so you can survive the upside down:
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1. Make sure your social feeds are positive.
We are on our phones more than ever. That was happening before the pandemic, but now we are trapped at home and minutes can easily turn to hours. Take a good look at what you are seeing on your devices. Is it mostly positive or negative? What we feed our brain has an enormous impact on our success. If you are following a bunch of negative, complaining, whining people, don’t be surprised if you do the same thing. Mix in some positive voices, some good uplifting quotes, and a good dose of what makes you laugh. It really makes a difference in your day.
2. Surround yourself with positive friends.
If you look around and find that your friends are the mind flayer, the spider monster, and the Demogorgon, you may want to try to find a new group to hang with.
That’s why it’s great to see friends like Mike and Will or Dustin and Lucas. They are there for each other, supportive, and helping. It’s always easier to work together than apart.
Studies show that our friends have a powerful impact on our future. We often end up in similar health and wealth as those who are closest to us.
3. Practice gratitude.
Make no mistake about it. Gratitude is almost as powerful as Eleven’s psychokinetic abilities. It can reduce depression, increase energy, improve friendships, and make you more likable. Practice gratitude enough and you will find the portal to the Upside Down of life shut down.
4. Increase your sleep.
I know. Who needs it, right? We are busy. It’s fine to get just a few hours.
Not really. Miss enough sleep and you’ll find your memory gone, your anxiety up, your chance of injury skyrocketing, your ability to focus down, and your chance of getting COVID up. It’s a nightmare but you are awake for it.
Don’t worry what others say or think, just aim to get the sleep you need. You’ll feel better and you will be much better equipped to escape the Upside Down.
5. Make sure you get enough exercise.
When you see Mike pedaling for all he’s worth, you may not be thinking exercise. But Mike is getting all the benefits of his all-out race. And it’s especially important during a pandemic. One study at Penn State showed that 20 minutes of exercise increases happiness and reduces risk of disease.
6. Eat a healthy diet.
With a nod to Eleven and her love of burgers, fries, and, of course, Eggos, I’m sure that all things can be eaten in balance. How about the 8,000 calories in the triple decker Eggo? Hopper loads up a triple helping of Eggos with Hershey Kisses, Reese’s pieces, whipped cream, and more.
If you want to lower your stress and find your way out of the Upside Down, try for a healthier diet. And, if you can’t manage that, be like Hopper and share with a friend.
7. Develop a winning mindset.
Hopper’s answering machine is a winning mindset personified. “Hey, you’ve reached Jim…I’m probably doing something incredible now.” That’s exactly right. He is predicting his awesomeness in advance.
Look ahead to better times.
And that’s what we need to do even in the midst of a pandemic. Stay focused on what’s ahead. Think about the future and the incredible things to come. It will get better. It will be awesome!
2020 has been a year of ‘stranger things’ but don’t let it keep you in the Upside Down. Here’s to a return to the normal world in 2021 (we hope!).