From the October 2020 issue of the Lockton Nurse Advocate Newsletter, written by Cortny Garmong

The bird’s eye view is one perspective of the world, but we’re not all birds and how each and every one of us sees the world and the other people in it is different. There are infinite perspectives out there, and the glaring sign of the times is showing it.

World peace, no poverty, political leaders working together to benefit humans, good health, happiness, all of these things could be reached if we accept that our perspective is not the ONLY perspective and even further, think about the other perspectives and how their situation may feel to you.

If you can read between the lines on that one, the golden rule shines through. We have been taught forever that we should treat others as we want to be treated, and seemingly the entire country believes this to be true. Then why is it so hard for some of us to do?

There’s an old song and the chorus goes like this, “People are people so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully?”

If you ask me, it comes down to perspectives. There is some empathy that goes along with that, but we are not all empaths, nor should we expect others to be empaths. However, we can all take the time to see situations a different way. It may be empathetic, sympathetic or any other “etic” we can manage. It simply means we are able to take a step back from our own certainty and realize not everyone sees the world in the same way each of us does.

What I’m getting at here is being able to look at the homeless person sitting in the bus stop, take a second to put yourself in their shoes at that very moment, and treat this person the way you would want to be treated in that moment. No blaming alcohol or lack of work ethic for getting them on that street corner. But rather seeing through love and compassion that no one plans to end up like that. It’s not our place to judge why or how this person got to this point. What is important is that we see this person, on the street corner, seemingly alone. What if a wave or smile is enough to make their day?

There are countless situations we can take a step back from and see not just one but multiple other perspectives. The cool thing about it is, what if you see something awesome, something you didn’t know existed in someone or something else? What if changing your perspective changed
your life?

Thinking of our current social climate in 2020, this year is crucial to seeing the perspectives of others. Whether it’s the topic of wearing masks, home schooling, protests, politics, diversity, mental health – the whole gamut of disparities we are experiencing together right now. Instead of using our judgment and narrow mindedness to see only our perspective and be so quick to criticize others on their choices, perhaps we take a minute to see it from their side, accept that not everyone makes the same choices and that’s okay.

Most of the time, the choices of others don’t really affect us. And if they do, typically it’s temporary, such as getting cut off in traffic. So why take that with you the rest of the day? Maybe even speculate a bit to help yourself move on without judgment. Perhaps that driver is having a medical emergency, or they’re late to a meeting just like you were yesterday. Maybe she’s pregnant and her 8 pound baby is sitting on her full bladder. It doesn’t matter that they cut you off.

Brush it off your shoulder and move on with your own positive intentions for the day. What matters are your choices and the perspectives you choose to see in making them. Healthy thoughts can take you a long way when it comes to attitudes about yourself, the world and the other people in it.

Cluttered Space Leads To A Cluttered Mind

Healthy thoughts can lead to healthy environments, and healthy environments can lead to overall health. Now more than ever – gotcha – now and as always, clean and healthy environments can help reduce the places where bacteria, mold, and viruses can grow. Keeping your surroundings clean and free of clutter can greatly reduce illness – acute and chronic. Clutter can harbor things like moisture, dust, mites, human and pet dander. Sounds like a perfect breeding ground for all things icky, including those that can enter our body and make us feel icky!

Some of us may not have clutter but we may not be cleaning when we pick up the house either. For others, we have nicely placed stacks of things all over the house, looking seemingly organized, but lurking under and between are hotbeds for bacteria to grow. Deep cleaning and de-cluttering your space will not only brighten the home, but the future of your health and stress.

The saying is true, a cluttered space leads to a cluttered mind. So, let’s get things cleaned up with these tips:

Start with 5 minutes at a time.

Start your timer and set a goal. Think how much you could get done in a week!

Create a checklist.

Nothing feels better than checking those boxes off!

Let go of things that don’t serve you.

If you didn’t know it existed before you came across it while cleaning, donate or pitch it!

Change your perspective.

View your home as a first-time visitor, what do you think?

Fill one trash bag each week.

You can break this up with the 5 minutes a day or simply set the goal to fill one a week. Donate what you can, especially if it’s hard to let go. Know it will serve someone else.

Take before and after photos.

These will validate your progress. Hang the photos on the fridge if it helps!

Donate clothes to a different cause.

Try mentorship programs, work release programs through the prison system, or other ways your clothes could benefit someone trying to help themselves.

Ask for help.

There is no shame in improving yourself, no matter how out of control or embarrassing it is. It is a noble and admirable thing to ask for help in any situation; most of the time it’s worth it.