Throughout life we experience times that can be uneasy, uncertain, and down right scary. No matter the situation, we need to be able to have the tools to move forward even when we aren’t sure of the outcome. Our whole world is going through this together as COVID-19 becomes the forefront of our vocabulary. Schools have shut down, events cancelled, social distancing will be our norm, all for the greater good of society. This extreme societal break is really nothing we have experienced before so in this prevention of mass spreading of this virus, mass hysteria has infected the country. Grocery stores can’t keep up with essential supplies, people are stressing over the uncertainty of their jobs and who will watch their kids since they will be home indefinitely. While these may be valid reasons to feel heightened, for the sake of our health, humanity and because this could become a temporary season, we need to recenter ourselves. Focusing on what you can do versus what you can’t do is the first step to refreshing your outlook. The better our outlook, the better we manage our stress with the unknowns.
What you can do…
Educate yourself. Ignorance may be bliss but knowledge is wealth. Limiting social media and news can eliminate some of the mass hysteria, try not to get caught up in overwhelming yourself in loads of triggering posts. Understand the facts and know your local resources so you can plan accordingly. This alone will take a load off of the misconception and stress of not knowing what to do if it hits your household.
Focus on controlling your own actions and plans. Anxiety can stem from us trying to control things that are simply out of our control. This can be detrimental to our peace and heighten emotions. The best thing we can do is stay calm so we can make rational decisions in this challenging time.
Prioritize your family’s needs. Plan ahead and tend to you and your family’s physical and mental health. This is a time that the world is giving everyone to prioritize health, so please, take it if you are able. Re evaluate your priorities and say no to everything else. This can eliminate any unnecessary guilt that may arise. Get the essentials you need for the moment, the mass hysteria is driving people to buy in an extreme bulk. We are not being productive as a whole if we are buying stores out of supplies that everyone needs.
Gravitate toward the help. Whether you need help or maybe you have help to offer others, reach out to the organizations and individuals who you see joining or needing help. It is amazing how quickly people can come together in time of need. There are people who want to help and there are people who need it. If you are one of those people who need it, speak up, do not feel ashamed, everyone needs help at some point in life. Maybe this is a time for you. If you are someone who wants to help, check in with others you think may need it.
Stay healthy. Practice good hygiene, stay hydrated, eat nourishing foods, get rest and stay moving. This is a good time to ground in nature and get some fresh air. Set your body up for success, the more consistent we can be with making healthier decisions, the better prepared we are to handle or even prevent an illness.
Allow yourself some grace. This isn’t something we experience often and can be challenging. Give yourself patience and allow time for self care. What do you need in this moment? How can you make this stressful time easier for yourself? What do you need help with? Who can help you with this? What activities can you do to lighten the situation? Checking in with yourself often can lead you down a more calming path. Feelings will arise, and that is OK!
Find the silver lining. What good is coming out of this? What are you grateful for in this moment? My favorite activity to put my life in perspective is thinking of 3 things that I am grateful during intense times. This can really pull yourself out of a bad mental space. Social distancing can really be a good time to go within, spend quality time with family, and find creative ways to stay busy. You might actually create a new normal that sparks a new interest.
Know, this too shall pass. This is a new situation for most, but nothing lasts forever and we are all in this together. Rely on your support system, enjoy the time you are given, and get creative in your new definition of fun time. Time will pass and it will go by more pleasant if we can move forward as our best selves.
The ebbs and flows of life continue on even when we aren’t prepared for what’s to come. We aren’t able to prepare for an outcome but we can prepare for the way we handle it. Our actions are the key to how this season looks and feels. COVID-19 may be the culprit this time but we will always face times of uncertainty, none of us are immune. How will you move forward during this season of your life?