What's your family's mantra to get you through the COVID-19 pandemic?
March 20, 2020
With many people and communities stuck inside due to the coronavirus, there chance of family feuds significantly escalates. The mess becomes messier. And our loved ones can become momentarily unbearable.
We know that in many households around the world, it's women who do a great deal of the daily work and chores - often disproportionate to other family members.
Sadly, we also know that levels of violence against women to rise as a result of people living closely together for longer periods of time with higher levels of stress and little 'away time' from each other.
While useful guidance is plentiful - Stay further apart from people; Cover your face when coughing or sneezing; Wash your hands regularly - focus is also needed on the kinds of respectful, tolerant and patient actions and mindsets needed to maintain harmony in the uncertainty of COVID-19.
Make a family mantra to agree your positive action
If we all come together, we can choose to be a force for good and we can help each other in important ways as we try to get through these challenging times.
Sadly the coronavirus is changing life as we know it, but collectively we can all be creative about getting something else spreading worldwide. Something positive. Something good. Something that can guide and support positive actions. Something that can spread across the world even faster and more powerfully.
Together, we can make a mantra for positive action.
And by sharing our own mantra publicly, collectively we can all play a part in trying to forge harmony in an uncertain world - as well as in our our own situations.
What's your mantra?
A respectful unit is a cohesive unit.
Whether you're living together as a family, you're part of an educational setting, you're looking for ways to be more helpful from a distance in your community, or there's another unit you belong to - it's time to pledge constructive action via your very own mantra.
A mantra is an agreed collaborative set of wishes and parameters that identify and reinforce us of the actions that we are all trying to adopt in these trying times as we live closely together for increasingly longer periods of time.
A mantra involves all members of your unit pledging to certain mindsets and behaviors that will be helpful in getting us through these tough times.
A mantra can be simplified down to a few key easy-to-remember words that reinforce what behaviors members have agreed to, as seen in the image at the top of this page developed collectively by a family who identified the actions they agreed to maintain together, then displayed their mantra on their kitchen refrigerator reminding members to:
- HELP out as much as you can whether asked or not
- Practice good hygiene by keeping yourself CLEAN
- CONTROL your emotions and statements
- Give everyone some SPACE when they need it
Or a mantra may be a list reinforcing agreed practices on a daily basis, like the one below from a family in Dublin in Ireland.
Or a mantra can be far more extensive if more applicable.
Either way, how the mantra is developed, what is says, what it looks like, where it is displayed - is up to you.
It's the purpose that's key: To identify, agree and use positive thoughts and actions that will maintain harmony across the unit.
Naming positive thoughts and actions
Have some very deep and meaningful conversations around the kinds of situations that may become problematic in causing conflict over coming months.
And for each of these situations, help each other identify what positive thoughts and actions are going to be needed to help create a more 'ideal scenario' and what this could look like.
If you're an educator in a country that is still operating physical learning environments, support your students to develop a mantra.
If you're a care worker supporting patients or clients, have an open discussion about what actions and positive mindsets can be helpful in the current climate.
No matter what your situation, identify and pledge activity that can reduce tension and increase harmony.
Initiating the mantra conversation can come from anyone - anywhere.
Create your own mantra
Together, agree your mantra.
Together, create it.
Together, display it.
Together, respect and adhere to it.
And, importantly, use it as a point of reference when things get tough. If conflict arises, revisit your mantra - together, as a supportive unit.
Deep discussion about the mantra also provides a prime opportunity to revisit personal value sets - or to collectively articulate and form a shared and agreed value set for the very first time even.
Share your mantra on social media
Once you've created your mantra, feel free to share it on social media to inspire further units around the world to reflect on what thoughts and actions are going to be needed to maintain harmony within their own units throughout the pandemic.
Practical and useful ideas will be valuable, so share your wisdom about how certain actions established could help increase harmony when tensions run hot and to encourage others to think deeply about what actions may be helpful in their own contexts.
By sharing your mantra on social media you are encouraging others to engage in respectful, tolerant and patient activity that helps forge harmony in the uncertainty of COVID-19.
So share your mantra on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn and further - and be part of mobilizing a positive movement in these challenging times.
Forging a global public narrative about the positive action, tolerance and respect needed when in confinement and group isolation is key.
An equal world is an enabled world
By helping forge harmony as a worldwide community, we can continue call from International Women's Day for equality that sees millions of people worldwide reinforce their belief in equality and in forging a more inclusive and harmonious world.
Developing a mantra, and advocating for others to do the same, is a related request because conflict can significantly impact women's equality.
As such, the mantra while aiming to keep the peace within immediate units, also serves as an important mechanism for ensuring women's equality is supported.
Plus, we can all bring our fabulous creativity as a force for good in these very challenging times.
What will your mantra be?