The Happiness Connection  

Is the risk too great?

Friends are meeting up. You know that although things may start out with appropriate social distancing, those gaps are likely to shrink when the wine begins to flow.

Do you stay home, or do you go out and enjoy the company of your buddies?

There are a lot of factors that go into making decisions like the one I described above. 

One huge consideration is whether your decision affects others. Having young children in your home or being around family with compromised immune systems may cause you to think a little more.

We are lucky in the Okanagan. We haven’t been affected as badly as other areas. Sometimes it feels like the pandemic isn’t happening here.

But as people travel within the province and soon between provinces, is our bubble going to continue to be so safe? 

How do you decide what to do and what not to do?

Let me share some things to think about.

There is no right choice.

When you make a decision, you rarely have a guaranteed outcome. You can weigh up the options, but there are always variables beyond your control. 

You could choose to ignore all the recommended guidelines and come away unscathed. Or you could take every precaution and still test positive. 

Consider your options, but don’t beat yourself up if things don’t work out the way you expected.

Talk to the people who may be affected by your choices.

If it is appropriate, have a conversation with the people in your bubble. 

I have elderly parents who depend on me for groceries, transportation, and general assistance. The choices I make could affect them.

When my breakfast networking group started meeting in person again, I talked to my parents about it. I explained what was happening and how my decision could affect them.

I wasn’t asking them to make the decision for me, but it was important for me to know how they felt. If they were uncomfortable with it, I could choose to stay home, or I could look for ways to protect my parents more.

It is important to create a safe space for everyone to talk honestly. Try to keep your emotions and expectations under wraps. You are looking for information not approval.

You are responsible for your decisions.

My parents told me to do whatever felt right for me. That doesn’t mean they made my decision for me. 

At the end of the day, you are still the person who makes the choice, regardless of whether other people agree with it or not.

Can you live with a worst-case scenario? 

I don’t want you to imagine a catastrophe but realizing that you can’t live with a specific outcome can help with your decision-making. If the risk is too great regardless of whether the chance of it happening is very small, then don’t do it.

Avoid judgment.

Unless you know yourself well and feel confident about the choices you make, it can be easy to feel judged by others. 

This is probably happening because deep down inside you are judging yourself. 

The same thing is probably true if you notice you are judging other people for their choices. It says more about what is happening within you than it does about the other person.

Be compassionate with everyone involved, especially with yourself.

Tap into what feels right.

Take time to close your eyes, breathe, and listen to what your heart has to say. 

When your brain gets involved, you may find your head and your heart are in two different places. You may start overthinking the situation. 

Trust your gut to help you figure out what the best thing is for you. 

I often advise people to sleep on big decisions. This is another way of silencing your thoughts to let what feels right surface. 

By making big decisions and taking responsibility for their outcome, you can increase your self-confidence and self-trust. Don’t shy away from them. They are part of the learning process.

If things don’t work out as expected, take time to reflect on why that was. This will help guide you when the next decision comes along. It will also help you build trust in yourself.

More The Happiness Connection articles

About the Author

Reen Rose is an experienced, informative, and engaging speaker, author, and educator. She has worked for over three decades in the world of education, teaching children and adults in Canada and England.

Research shows that happy people are better leaders, more successful, and healthier than their unhappy counterparts, and yet so many people still believe that happiness is a result of their circumstances.

Happiness is a choice. Reen’s presentations and workshops are designed to help you become robustly happy. This is her term for happiness that can withstand challenge and change.

Reen blends research-based expertise, storytelling, humour, and practical strategies to both inform and inspire. She is a Myers Briggs certified practitioner, a Microsoft Office certified trainer and a qualified and experienced teacher.

Email Reen at [email protected]

Check out her websites at www.ReenRose.com, or www.ModellingHappiness.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

Previous Stories