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How To Talk About Literally Anything Else

Concerning life and relationships

  • What’s your first memory of me?
  • What’s your favorite memory of us together?
  • How did you meet your best friend or other best friends?
  • What’s an uncommon belief you hold?
  • What’s something you’d like to learn more about?
  • What is the most exciting thing you’ve learned in the past few months?
  • How do you define trust? What do you do to show trust in relationships?
  • What’s something I don’t already know about you?
  • What are your hidden talents?
  • What do you consider your biggest life accomplishment?
  • What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  • What person had the biggest positive impact on you as a child, and why?
  • Who do you really look up to, and why?

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How To Talk About Literally Anything Else

How To Talk About Literally Anything Else

https://forge.medium.com/how-to-talk-about-literally-anything-else-118b46a40fd0

forge.medium.com

6

Key Ideas

Exhausting icebreakers

Now with our social life in quarantine, calling a friend on a whim feels normal.

“How are you holding up?” Or, “How is quarantine treating you?” Or, “You guys ready to kill each other yet?”
These are very reasonably icebreakers right now, but also exhausting because none of us are doing exceptionally well.

How you can stay social

Instead of triggering more anxiety by rehashing your quarantine situations, think about what you can do to make your friends feel good and how to be there for them from a distance.

Tell them they matter to you and that you miss them. Then keep the conversation focused on things that make you both feel good.

Conversation suggestions

  • What’s something that made you smile or laugh this week?
  • What was the highlight of your day or week?
  • What have you been watching recently?
  • Have you read any good books or articles?
  • What’s your favorite podcast right now?
  • What have you been enjoying about working from home?
  • What have you been cooking?
  • Have you ordered out from any good restaurants lately?
  • What is making you feel most productive right now?
  • What is making you feel most at peace right now?
  • Have you found any fun ways to be creative?
  • What’s the most absurd thing you’ve seen on social media recently?
  • Where are you finding a sense of purpose right now?
  • What hobbies are you leaning into?
  • What are you doing to relax?

Concerning emotional support

  • What can I do to support you right now?
  • What is making you feel better?
  • When you think about next year, what makes you the most excited?
  • When have you felt the most supported in the past week or so?
  • When have you felt most hopeful in the past week or so?

Concerning life and relationships

  • What’s your first memory of me?
  • What’s your favorite memory of us together?
  • How did you meet your best friend or other best friends?
  • What’s an uncommon belief you hold?
  • What’s something you’d like to learn more about?
  • What is the most exciting thing you’ve learned in the past few months?
  • How do you define trust? What do you do to show trust in relationships?
  • What’s something I don’t already know about you?
  • What are your hidden talents?
  • What do you consider your biggest life accomplishment?
  • What’s your favorite childhood memory?
  • What person had the biggest positive impact on you as a child, and why?
  • Who do you really look up to, and why?

Comments that can help

  • I love you.
  • I miss you.
  • We’ll get through this together.
  • I’m here for you.
  • I was thinking about you recently when I saw/read…
  • I’d love to tell you about my day.
  • I’m grateful to be able to talk to you.
  • Let me tell you about this amazing show I’m watching/podcast I’m listening to/book I’m reading…
  • Let me tell you about this amazing recipe I made…
  • Remember that time when we…
  • When this all ends, I can’t wait to do… with you.

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During the pandemic, being at home with a partner reveals the "invisible work" they're doing, which may be taken for granted. This expanded view of ourselves and our partners can go in two directions.

  • In one direction, you are curious and say, "I never knew. I really appreciate it. I realize how I let you do everything." It becomes a source of connection.
  • It the other direction, it becomes a source of blame where you want to complain and tell your partner just how much you are doing. This way, you're not going to get help.
How people should fight

Couples go through harmony, disharmony, and repair. So they will inevitably get into arguments. However, what matters is how you fight. Don't highlight everything negative while taking the positive for granted.

  • Start by saying to yourself, "What are the one or two things that they have done that I can appreciate?" If you start with that, you will fight differently.

  • Stay focussed on the one thing that you're upset about at this moment. Don't end up talking about other things.

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Reasons you’re on your phone
Reasons you’re on your phone

Our phones, especially social media apps, may drain our time and energy. Scrolling often starts when you're responding to a message, reading an article, or looking at a few pictures. Then, four...

Consider posting less

If you find yourself posting a lot, ask what specifically you're seeking and if there are other ways that would leave you feeling better.

It's worthwhile to consider what you are posting to the world. Posting stories, tweeting, and messaging lead to back-and-forth responses that glues you to your feeds.

Use your phone for its main purpose: calling people

Even if you love a good text conversation, it might mean that you are more online than you otherwise might be.

One solution is to treat your phone like a phone. If you feel uncomfortable phoning, consider informing your friends that you will start calling more often, so they don't assume the worst when they hear your voice.

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Down Shifting Effect
Down Shifting Effect

The forced days at home have disrupted sleep and increased procrastination for many, making the ordinary workday a huge challenge.

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Change Your Actions

The scenario of a life turned upside down can be improved by:

  • Monitoring the quality of one’s input.
  • Pushing yourself for some exercise, which is sure to beat the blues.
  • Reading actual paper newspapers instead of mobile phone articles.
  • More fresh food, less processed food.
  • Working with work clothes on, not pajamas.
  • Bringing a change in routine and scenery.
Re-evaluation

Disruption and isolation have a way of encouraging us to electively re-evaluate our lives.

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Reconsidering priorities

Living through a crisis can be genuinely formative. There are enormous growth and power that can come from it.

With business as usual, we tend to become accustomed to an autopilot mode of living. Aspects that we once thought important, like what to wear or buy, are now really petty.

Collectively, we may be reconsidering our priorities, the lasting effects that will also have an economic impact.

Long-term effects

With the new constraints of lockdown, people will be facing isolation, boredom, and a need for small joy. During this time, things will be streamlined or lost. After the adjustment period follows a time of re-evaluation in which we decide which behavioral changes we made during a crisis, we will abandon, and which we will sustain.

  • Many pleasures like eating in restaurants and traveling will be resumed.
  • Luxury goods may experience the biggest consumer fallout.
  • Online entertainment might also take a hit.
Improvement with learning

From the moment we are born, we are always learning new skills. We see it in formal capacities in school or on the job, and informally, like learning from you buddy how to grill a steak.

Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins

“One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ability to learn rapidly.”

Select your skill carefully

Be very selective in the skill you're trying to masker to avoid sabotaging your success:

  • Make sure it's applicable: The perfect skill either solves a problem you have or scratches an itch you have.
  • Be very specific: Specific goals are easier to pursue than vague counterparts. To set yourself up, narrow your skill down as much as possible. Ask what specific problem are you trying to solve, and find out what aspects you find most fascinating.
  • Make sure you love the process, not just the outcome: Pick a skill where the road is as exciting as the outcome. Then plan out celebration points along the way.

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Craving for normalcy
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With all the 2020 events, we all want life to be normal again. While we are starting to adjust to the new normal, many of us are not adjusting in a good way. We let go of positive routines and repl...

Behavioral Activation Therapy - BAT

The idea behind BAT is that we have to do happy to feel happy. Instead of our mood changing what we do, we need to change what we do to fix our mood. The first principle of BAT is to change what you do. Engage in the right activities and positive feelings will follow.

We can't wait until we feel better before we act. Emotions perpetuate themselves. We have to move now and break the cycle of our feelings. This is how we grab hold of happiness.

The Balance Between Leisure And Mistery
  • Pleasure is vital, but we want the kind that will last and not leave you even more stressed than before you started. We're looking for a deeper satisfaction that comes from truly meaningful activities like relationships, exercise, and reading.
  • Mastery can be thought of as a feeling of accomplishment. Progress in goals that are meaningful to you, whether it pays the bills or not.

Create a balance between leisure activities and mastery.

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Acknowledge your weight gain fears 

Besides the health and economic crises we are facing, there are individuals who, due to the media, are also fighting their own fears to gain weight during the quarantine. 

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Control your eating habits, quarantine or not

Everybody seems worried that, during the ongoing pandemic, they will gain weight. 

However, a recent review has shown that individuals tend to gain the weight back after a diet in less than five years, even during regular times. Therefore, quarantine or not, you should pay attention to your eating habits, if you want to have a certain weight.

Emotional eating

While quarantined at home, we all have the tendency to eat foods that trigger that feeling of safety and happiness, that only by consuming these vary foods we can experience. 

As nice as this idea might sound, you should also try sleeping or spending virtual time with your friends, as these can work wonders as well.

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Quarantine makeover motivations
  • Beards are associated with warriors in ancient and medieval times and manliness. Growing a beard can be a show of resilience. Piercings and tattoos that require suffering actual physical pain may be serving a similar function.
  • Changing your appearance may also be a desire to change the one thing about your situation that's actually changeable.
  • For others, the motivation could be a way to mark the passage of a significant time.
The stakes are low right now

Person-to-person contact is limited right now. You can control who does and does not see you. It makes it a good time to experiment with appearance changes.

How much of what we experiment with during this time we will latch onto and keep, remains to be seen after this is over. It could lead to whole new trends.

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Get enough sleep in unusual times

Whenever we undergo a change in our daily schedule, our sleep tends to suffer a bit.

Simple facts such as not waking up and going to bed at the usual hour, not getting enough natural light or making less to no exercise can lead to sleep disorders.

Save your sleep

Especially during times of staying only in the house, one needs to make sure that the regular schedule is not too much disturbed, as this can lead, among other issues, to sleep disorders.

A good way to get your normal sleep is by maintaining a regular wake-up and bedtime, even through unusual periods of time. Furthermore, ensuring that your room gets enough natural light, or even better, that you get it, will definitely help. Among other helpful tips there are the fact of giving up on coffee or making as many indoor physical exercises as possible.

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Taking breaks is key to better productivity
Taking breaks is key to better productivity

The harder and longer you work, the less productive overall you'll be. Research confirms that taking breaks before you're mentally exhausted is essential for productivity.

Setting healthy boundaries

Set your personal boundaries, so you have dedicated time to take care of yourself, your family or household, and your professional responsibilities. You won't be any good to your family if you regularly jump up to respond to work.

The key to success is deciding on expectations, then communicating those to others. You need to get clear in your mind what hours you will be attending to your work. Perhaps dedicate a space in your home as the "office," letting everyone know that you need privacy. Decide when you are "on" and when you are "off."

Technology and productivity

We all have tools in our pockets to help us.

  • For example, consider using your phone's built-in alarm for taking breaks, or giving yourself a reminder to eat lunch, or taking a screen break to reduce eyestrain.
  • If you find it challenging to work, consider a productivity method like the Pomodoro technique, where you work deeply for about 25 minutes, then take a short break. Repeat four of the cycles, then take a 30-minute break before starting again. There are many Pomodoro apps to help you.
  • Don't forget to use the same technology to turn off notifications and distractions while you're working.

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