All of this is a perfect storm for stress and anxiety.
Into this mix I offer the reminder that NOTHING is permanent. And, I have a question for you: when the crisis is over, will you be proud of how you responded? In the past week as I have watched my own emotions fluctuate with the uncertainty and confusion, I realized the moments where I was most stressed or agitated were when I focused on outward things that I have no control over, rather than inward on myself and what I can do.
To shift out of panic-mode and into solution-mode start by asking yourself “who do I want to be during this time and how do I want to show up?” In a crisis, to think of yourself first is a natural response; however, staying caught in this scarcity mindset will prevent you from helping others while keeping you focused on the problems. This leads to feeling hopeless, demotivated, isolated and paralyzed, which makes it much harder to see what is possible.
If you find yourself caught in the chaos, here are a few practical ways to reground:
When there’s a hoarding frenzy it can cause feelings of insecurity and trigger a sense that if you don’t jump into the fray you will be left behind. It makes sense to stock up on a few staples so that you limit your contact with the outside world, but then also take a moment to appreciate everything you do have, it’s probably more than you realize.
When I notice I am feeling stressed I like to use the familiar: “And this too shall pass” as a reminder that I am not always going to feel this way. By redirecting my focus I give myself the power to shift how I’m feeling.
- Teach yourself something new, like how to make this soup. It's a Greek lentil and spinach soup which looks easy and delicious and is what I will be making for dinner tonight!
- Start learning a new language, Duolingo is perfect for this. There are also many online options offered through local libraries.
- Write an old-fashioned letter to someone. If you know anyone who is feeling isolated during this time, receiving a thoughtful letter could be especially meaningful.
- Do a project you’ve been putting off like cleaning out the garage, organize a closet, paint a room. The sense of accomplishment when it’s done will go a long way to feeling positive and proactive.
and being obsessive.
While it’s important to stay up to date with relevant, useful information you will only increase your stress if you don’t give yourself a break from the news!
Wishing you peace and excellent health!