This month, media personality Jade Seah shares how sociable folks like her can stay positive so as to thrive in the new norm of staying indoors.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Getting used to the “new normal” was really difficult for me in the beginning. I went through bottles of skincare, desperately trying to declutter in the first week. I was suddenly hit by a wave of hopelessness, and I found myself sobbing on the bedroom floor.

Three weeks on, I’m calmer, more accepting, and doing well – an indication of how much I’ve grown in a short time through self-growth and discovery. Here are three things I have learnt.

1. Resilience is like a muscle

I’ve been actively building my resilience in many ways – reminding myself of the times I’ve been “hardy”, being conscious of my thoughts, and mindful of the negative traps. This “training” has made me mentally tough. What’s staying in for eight weeks when I have a roof over my head and good food at my fingertips? I’m resilient and have gotten through far worse. And so will you!

2. Positive mind

I’m determined to use this time to thrive rather than just to survive. This gives me purpose as I write new content, use my time to help friends in need and build connections with people whom I’ve lost touch with – virtually.

I reference the book Man’s Search for Meaning by Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl, where he wrote about searching for a purpose to one’s suffering, which makes the suffering not just bearable, but even meaningful.

American psychologist Carol Dweck talks about having a growth mindset, where we believe that all abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work, and that we have some control over our destiny. Cultivating such a view has created my great love of learning, as well as mental strength. It may be helpful for us to work on having a growth rather than a fixed mindset too.

3. Happiness is self-care

I have yet to resort to Netflix nor turn on the TV. #stayhome has reinforced the importance of human connection and physical fitness to me.

I find joy in “working out” with a group of girlfriends first thing in the morning, as well as daily calls, and Zoom dates with family and friends. I’ve even made some new friends in the process! I hope you’ll thrive and not simply survive the circuit breaker. Be conscious, use the time wisely, and be thankful to live the life that we do in Singapore. Stay safe.