Right now, we are surrounded by images and narratives of scarcity. Not enough masks or gloves to protect healthcare workers. Barren shelves in stores. A dearth of test kits for COVID-19.
These scarcity stories trigger a primal fear in us. Our heart races, sirens wail in our brains, anxiety swells. What if there isn’t enough? What if I don’t get some? What if I can’t protect myself or the people I love? We race from store to store in a panic or sit glued to our phones reading a ceaseless stream of headlines and updates, further increasing our sense of scarcity.
Although fear and a scarcity mindset are natural responses to a situation that feels scary, living like this harms our mental health. It makes us impatient with our partners and unkind to our neighbors. It makes it hard to see the good that is around us, like the community who surprised a young boy whose birthday party had been canceled, or the fitness instructor in Spain who led classes for his neighbors from his rooftop. It isolates us from our communities, and, although we need to remain physically distant from one another, community has never been more important.
The power to stop dwelling in fear and scarcity lies in our own hands: We can banish it by living with an abundant mindset. How much better would we feel if we all shared images of what stores have on their shelves, rather than what they don’t, or if we viewed staying home not as a prison but as a sacred duty to care for our most vulnerable? Practicing abundance can improve our relationships, equip us to deal with stress, and help us embrace change.
1. There is Enough
Most of us are spending a lot more time with our families as we become increasingly confined to our homes to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Under these circumstances, frustrations can build up and it’s easy to dwell on what you don’t have—perhaps, time alone or space for yourself. At the core of an abundant mindset is trust that there is enough for everyone. Use this belief, and healthy boundaries, to navigate the realities of all being home together all the time.
→ Try This: Discuss everyone’s needs for independence and connection, and how to share physical space and resources.
2. Live Generously
Generosity and love will see us through this storm, but it can be hard to remember that in such uncertain times. Abundance reminds us that there is enough for everyone, so we don’t have to cling tightly to what we have. Sharing your abundance with those in need will make you feel far better than hoarding. Plus, like all emotions, generosity ripples out—when you lovingly share with others, it helps them feel safe, realize that they are cared for, and, therefore, can be generous with others, too.
→ Try This: Let your neighbors know that you have extra supplies to share and invite them to do the same.
3. Financial Health
An abundant mindset can’t put money in the bank or restore our stock portfolios, but it can help us manage the financial stress and uncertainty we’re all feeling. Maybe you don’t have as much money as you did before, but perhaps you have enough. Maybe you’ll have to put some dreams on hold—a vacation, a remodel, a new car—but, in the meantime, how can you find joy in what you already have? If you’re dire straits, where can you turn for help? The flipside of being generous with your abundance is accepting with grace what others have to offer.
→ Try This: Write down 5 ways you want to try to enjoy what you already have.
4. Embrace Growth
An abundant mindset doesn’t mean that you have to approach this like Mary Poppins, with a smile on your face and a spring in your step every day. Give yourself permission to have bad days, grieve, cry, and live in your feelings. But don’t get stuck there: Abundance requires a willingness to change. Acknowledge those feelings—talk about them, write them down, meditate or pray on them—and then work to move beyond them. Doing so makes room in your heart for change and personal growth.