Change is difficult enough to handle when we are completely prepared, but when we aren’t, we can feel out of control. We can experience grief for what we’ve lost. We can yearn for what we had and even try to replicate what we had. We didn’t expect Covid19. We didn’t expect a pandemic. We are all experiencing unexpected changes.
Here are some ideas for managing a range of emotions common during such a time.
1. A mantra for when sleep is difficult. “I am calm and relaxed.” Try replacing those damned fuzzy jumping sheep with those simple words.
2. When you are feeling stress or panic. First recognize the feelings by telling yourself, I am experiencing stress/panic. Second remind yourself that you can relax by thinking of a time you have experienced calm…picture that time in your mind. Third tell yourself that this emotion is a normal human emotion in this situation. Fourth tell yourself that everything is going to work out one way or another. ( Patting your body gently from head to toe while you run through this sequence can also help. )
3. When you feel like crying be strong and cry. That’s right cry. Let it out. Keeping those tears in are not a sign of strength. Be brave and let the tears out. It is our bodies way of cleansing.
4. When you are feeling hopeless. Pray. Lift your chin up, eyes to the sky, if there’s sunshine, stand in it. Pray. I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. I am so grateful for _______. I am open to receiving. Build on this structure in any way you want. Repetition is good!
5. When you are feeling a lack of purpose or self. Remember the virus has imposed a time of stillness on many of us. Stillness can be especially difficult for previously very busy people. Culturally, there is belief that still people are lazy, worthless. Remind yourself that by birthright, you are worthy. Remind yourself that stillness is hard work. Your work can be seen around the world in clearer sky’s and animals returning to places they haven’t been. You work of stillness is creating a healthier planet. If you have extra, making helping those without enough your side gig.
6. When you are feeling fearful about basic needs. Seek help. Help can be very hard and humbling to ask for, but help is a wonderful relief to receive. Governments and community organizations have made money and supports available to those who have lost jobs or need food and housing due to covid19. Ask for help.
7. When you are experiencing cabin fever. Make visual calls to check in on your loved ones. Go for a walk and mind your physical distancing. Sit out on your balcony and enjoy the fresh air. Put on you pandemic playlist and dance like no one is watching.
8. When you are feeling unmotivated and empty. Introduce a daily routine. Make it yours and be willing to tweak it as we move through this world event.
9. When you are feeling angry. Try not to lash out. We are all learning how to do pandemic as we are doing pandemic. We are going to make mistakes. No blaming. No shaming. Just learn from each experience and move forward. Try giving yourself some space from what or who you are feeling angry with.
Keep yourself safe. If you are a caregiver, keep those you care for safe. Concern yourself with following protocols, and making brave decisions and moving you and those you love safely to the other side of this. Let every day be a new day to see beauty in. Keep looking for those one thousand things to be thankful for beginning with every new dawn. We’ve got this.