What has been your reaction to pandemic news? Perhaps you are instinctively driven to hunker-down and shelter in place with your loved ones. Maybe it’s the opposite – perhaps you are driven to action and do whatever you can to stock up on food and supplies to weather the storm. Perhaps you are somewhere in between. Regardless of where you stand, a crisis affects each one of us differently. It is very personal. That being said, you are not alone! We are all going through the same collective experience right now, and while the feelings and emotions that arise will be unique to each person, the tools available for working through them are not. While material concerns are top of mind for many us, there may not be much within our control. However, we can reconnect with our own internal compass during this time to help us achieve a sense of direction when no external marker exists.
What you do and how you deal with what is in front of you is personal to you. But what happens when it all seems too overwhelming and you find yourself unable to move or act? Perhaps you find yourself crippled with fear, anxiety, or uncertainty of the future. With the amount of news and information constantly coming our way, managing our emotions becomes a daily priority, and we can take small actions that add up to a meaningful change in our ability to regulate ourselves over time.
There are four actions I take whenever life feels out of my control:
- Stop. Take a moment where you are and consider that as humans, we are biologically equipped to be adaptable to change. Assess what you have and what you need. Make a list and focus on accomplishing the small tasks.
- Breathe. Bring awareness to your breathing if you start feeling stuck. Start your mornings by spending quiet time journaling, meditating, listening to your favorite music or reading a book that inspires you. Give thanks. Go for a walk.
- Focus. Narrow in on where you are and where you want to go. Reach out to friends and loved ones. Use technology as a tool for connecting with others. Choose to see this time as a gift to work on yourself, to work on projects that perhaps you never had time for, or to act in service to others. Take as much time as you need to find your footing and love yourself through the process. Speak positivity and kind words to yourself.
- Let go. Accept what you cannot control…Do your best to stay present and know that nothing lasts forever. This too, shall pass.
We are powerful in our ability to care for ourselves. What small action will you commit to today that moves the needle toward balance in your life?