I’ve been in the middle of writing a series called Crazy Doesn’t Disappear. In light of the state of things right now, I think it’s incredibly important to discuss the craziness happening all around us. We’re currently in the throes of dealing with a completely unprecedented pandemic outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve certainly experienced the rush of emotions caused by circumstances that feel so out of our control. What a horrifying way to begin our year!
With all the fear and anxiety it’s caused, I’m reminded of a time when my husband was trying to manage some severe and intense anxiety of his own. He approached me and said something to the effect of, “We’ve spent all this money on your education and training (Doctorate of Psychology). You help people every day, so you should be able to me with my anxiety!” It’s difficult enough to manage stress and anxiety without a pandemic, let alone during a time like this, which is why it becomes all the more important to communicate and raise awareness about how to manage the unmanageable.
So, this is my attempt to help. I’ve come up with my Top Five To-Dos When Life Gets Crazy.
Maintain or Make progress. Maintain as much of a normal routine as possible, and if you have it in you, aim for an even better routine. Take this opportunity to make positive changes. Get active and put an emphasis on your health and well-being (your physical and mental health could use the attention). Start with periodically moving throughout the day – stand for a while outside, go on a walk, etc. If you stumble upon something inspirational online, let it move you. Consider even posting or forwarding to someone, you never know who just might need it that day. Take the time to get to that project around the house you’ve been putting off for months.
Help. Help where you can. This doesn’t have to be on a large scale. It’s the age-old adage that even the smallest act of kindness can make a huge difference. It makes a difference not only to those on the receiving end, but also to our own sense of purpose and well-being. Call a family member, or a friend you haven’t spoken to in a while. Order a product from a person you normally do business with. Support your local businesses (order to-go at your local restaurant or coffee shop, or purchase gift cards). Continue giving back through your favorite nonprofit organization.
Have Faith. Believe in the power of humans to overcome. There are stories of incredible survivors all over the world, every day; trauma survivors, natural disaster survivors, disease survivors, military veterans, disabled persons, victims of war and famine, victims of oppression, bankrupt business owners, the list goes on and on. We are an incredibly resilient species and will continue to surprise ourselves with our strength and ability to overcome even the most unfathomable of circumstances.
Trust Your Gut. Gather information but do so wisely. Distinguish between the good intentioned, need-to-know information, and that which aims to be sensational. It’s important to resist harmful conformity and listen to your own powerful inner wisdom. A somewhat funny, but unfortunately negative recent side effect of sensationalism in the media is the mass scavenging of toilet paper. In a panic, people bought and hoarded much more toilet paper than they actually need, making it scarce for those like the elderly, who now don’t have the resources to get it. Listen to your gut and prioritize what your mind and body truly need.
Watch Your Focus! To the best of your ability, focus on what genuinely matters during hard times. It’s easy to lose sight of what’s important or get carried away in all the muck surrounding us. Check in with yourself often and be mindful. Meditation can be a powerful tool in helping us slow down, breathe, and remember what’s important. Make sure that what you’re devoting your thoughts and energy to are honorable, true, and praise-worthy, as our thoughts inform our actions. Be grateful for what you have and what is going just fine for you right now.
“Inner peace is just on the other end of a new perspective.”
All this said, you may be wondering if this is the same advice I gave my husband. Honestly, no, it’s not. LOL. I did tell him to read the book Traveling Light (by Max Lucado). If you’re wondering, Max has other wonderful books including Anxious for Nothing, which has a great approach for dealing with worry.
This time though, I decided to offer suggestions myself. I can assure if you try these five things, it’ll change your perspective. At the end of the day, usually inner peace is just on the other end of a new perspective! If this post has helped you in any way, I’d cherish your feedback, and please forward so you can spread comfort to those in need. Feel free to comment with your own recommendations on how to inspire others, to help others, and to help me grow.