It’s been a very interesting couple of weeks with having to self-isolate, learning how to be a teacher for your children, limiting all outdoor activities, learning how to make zoom calls and shopping in the supermarket once a week.
We all find ourselves in a situation which is unknown, uncertain and unpredictable. It is affecting all of us to varying degrees.
Over the past week I have had several conversations with people who are being hard on themselves for not coping and feeling stressed.
Below are my suggestions for how you can stay emotionally resilient through challenging times. More importantly get through each day with inner ease and calm.
The definition of ‘resilience’ that I work with is the one that the HeartMath Institute uses which is “your ability to prepare for, recover from and adapt in the face of adversity, challenge and stress”. Right now, we are all having to adapt to a situation which is outside of our control. However, there are several things you can do to stay in control of how think, act and feel.
1.0 Take time to stop and breathe deeper than you would normally breathe for just 5 minutes a day throughout the day. When you inhale and exhale focus your attention on your heart. When you have one point of focus the inner chatter will stop.
2.0 Focus on what you are grateful for. When you experience elevated emotions, you will feel more uplifted and positive. It is these emotions that will renew your inner battery of energy. This also allows your body to rest, repair and re-energise.
3.0 Don’t think of the worst-case scenario and keep things in perspective. When you notice that you are having a negative thought about a situation, see if you can find a positive thought to replace it. Is there a different point of view that you can see this situation from?
4.0 Focus on what you can control and not what you can’t. Plan your day and get into a routine as quickly as possible. The brain likes familiarity and when it experiences unfamiliarity and uncertainty it will register this as a threat. This will lead you to feel stressed. The sooner you can adjust your daily routines the easier it will become to adapt.
5.0 Stay present and focus on the now. The reality is the situation is changing daily. Wanting to deal with the uncertainty is another natural survival mechanism. Take time to appreciate what you are doing on a moment to moment basis. Don’t jump too far into the future and try predicting what is going to happen. This will only take you further into uncertainty.
6.0 Become more conscious of your thoughts and your feelings. Are they keeping you living in a state survival and stress or in a thrive and creative state? Identify what activities you have been putting off, which you now have the time to complete and are likely to shift you into state of creativity. This is also a great time to work on the business rather than in the business.
7.0 Be grateful for the time to retreat from your daily routines and notice the things you never make time for. You may not get this opportunity again. Set yourself a time limited challenge, like taking up a hobby, exercising or learning a new language.
8.0 Focus on what you can do and be as creative as possible. Make use of the technology to continue having virtual meetings with clients, friends and family.
9.0 Knock on your neighbour’s door and check that they are OK. This is a time to connect (digitally or safely as possible) with others and be more compassionate. Knowing that someone is thinking of you is really uplifting and can make a big difference especially if you live on your own.
10.0 Minimise how much of the news you are consuming and only visit official news sites. There is a lot of fake news being shared on social media so it’s important to discern between facts and fiction.
Finally, believe we will get through this challenging time as along as we keep supporting each other, stay compassionate, do what we can to stay safe and reach out for support.