How to Take Control in the Chaos
This COVID-19 crisis has radically changed our lives. Just a few months ago, we had no idea our ‘world’ would be confined to our homes!
This crisis is a powerful reminder of how important freedom is – and how much we need human connection!
Remember you are not alone. Because what is different here is that everyone is impacted! Your neighbour, mom, boss and friends as well as individuals around the world are all going through something similar.
So, it’s important to remember:
Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. Viktor E. Frankl
This is the challenge each of us must rise to! If we’re going to be stuck at home, we may as well make the most of it.
Here Are Five Things You Can Do to Make Your Life Better while Physically Isolated:
1) Be in the moment:
In THIS moment you are OK. You are safe. All we can do is take one day at a time. One hour or even one breath at a time, if you need to.
This tip is about being super-present, not thinking ahead or remembering the past, but practicing BEING.
This is a PRACTICE – meaning you will have to do it over and over again – bringing yourself back to the NOW. Over time it gets easier, and it’s a great skill to have to take back to “normal” life.
So when you notice you’re worrying, feeling twitchy and want to pick up your device and find out what the “latest” is about the COVID-19 situation, say to yourself, “It’s OK. In this moment, I am safe. In this moment I am OK.” You can also add or say, “In this moment, my children/husband/family are safe.”
I invite you to try this coaching tool, which helps you let go of your worries and helps you to let go and focus on what is IN your control.
Distracting ourselves from our fears is a valid technique for feeling better!
Laughter releases helpful chemicals in our bloodstream – Endorphins (our natural “happy” drug) and Dopamine (part of our bodily “reward” system).
- What are your favourite comedy shows?
- Is there a comedian you like?
- Netflix and similar have so many watching options, so find something that makes you laugh!
I love watching episodes from The Office when I need something light and funny to lift my mood.
3) Start a Journal!
If you’ve always wanted to journal, now is a good time to start. More than just keeping a record of your day in lockdown, a journal can help you explore and sift through your feelings and experiences and learn from them. It’s a great way to get to know you. You may find this How to Journal article helpful to get you started.
I love choosing a beautiful notebook to get started, but you can use your laptop, the notes app on your phone, or just some paper. The most important thing is to just get started. Here are some prompts to get started with:
- Today I am feeling _________. I think this is because __________.
- One big thing I have learned during this crisis is _________.
- I remember the last time I was stuck in the house _________.
- One thing that’s surprised me recently is _________.
- What matters most to me in life is _________.
- Describe your ideal day _________.
I use two different journals. I have a blank journal that I use to find solutions to questions and challenges. The other journal I use is Intelligent Change’s 5-Minute Journal. It’s a gratitude journal and I recommend it to my clients because practicing gratitude is an instant mood change and for its convenience. It’s also fun to look back and remember the amazing things that happen, especially when you’re having a tough day.
4) Explore your Life Vision:
Rather than watching endless news streams, you can choose to focus on a bigger picture – your future. What do you want from the rest of your life? What would you be disappointed you did NOT do? Where do you envision yourself in 10 years?
Having a clear vision of how you want your life to be is a powerful motivator. A vision helps us work towards our goals, take action, and make change. Soon, we’ll all be super-busy again – and a vision might be just what you need to stay focused!
Here are 5 questions to ponder or journal around to go deeper:
- What do you desire or yearn for in your life?
- How do you want to feel?
- What do you really, really want to be different in your life?
- What would have happened in 3 years’ time such that your life is spectacular and you feel magnificent about yourself?
- What’s your dream for this lifetime? Imagine you’re 90 years old and looking back over your life; what did you do that made you proud and happy?
TIP: Remember to think possibility, not probability! Don’t limit yourself and your ideas because you don’t believe something is likely. Instead, believe it’s possible – and even if you don’t get all the way there, you may get close – or even find something better along the way!
And if you’d like some help with creating a vision for your life, I’m offering a free Life Visioning Session here. Just email me here to set this up.
5) Begin a Meditation Practice
Did you know that just 15 seconds of meditation can reduce COVID-19 anxiety?
Researchers say a 15-second meditation “comma”, placed throughout our day between daily activities, can be enough to realign back to peace and will help us feel fresher.
This practice involves simply pausing to notice any tension in your body, the depth of your breath, and how you are feeling. You then allow your body to relax, slow and deepen the breath, and name whatever thought or feeling you are having. This helps to release any negative thoughts or feelings. You can keep your eyes open but rest them on one focal point.
Meditation is a practice that has been proven scientifically to calm us, help us be more creative, and be happier (for starters). It’s extremely beneficial and you can reap those benefits even with a short 15-second practice.
There is a lot to learn about meditation – and it’s called a Meditation Practice for a reason. But it’s also not as hard as it sounds. Just starting is often the most challenging part. If you want to go deeper into the practice I recorded this new meditation, Calming the Raging River for you. You can download it below.
So, which of the above ideas resonated with you?
The area I am focusing on now is being in the moment. I’ve had to limit my news intake to once a day and remember that if it’s out of my hands it deserves freedom from my mind too.
Believe you have the skills and power to tackle this situation and you will! Choose to make the best of a difficult situation and no matter what – you’ll find a way.
This current and strange COVID-19 situation will end. And when it does, you’ll be proud of how you made it through.
Please let me know how I can help you. We are stronger together!