“Men are not disturbed by things, but by the views they take of them.” —Epictetus, 50 AD–135 AD
That statement was documented more than 1885 years ago. It’s just as true and applicable today. The way humans live has advanced light-years over the last eighteen centuries, but the way we respond to acrisis is, well, still human. We see and address a catastrophe the way we view the world and live our life. For some, Covid-19 is personal; it’s one more disaster put upon them to destroy their life. For others, it’s an inconvenience. Either way, thinking about it all the time is exhausting for our brain.
The coronavirus is going to run its course, and people will continue to do their part to minimize the damage. The best gift you can treat yourself to right now is to take a break and give your brain a spa day. A step back from the madness. A place to let out the emotions swirling inside you, so you have room to breathe again.
Below are three simple activities to help you turn off the chaos, let go of negative emotions and envision a brighter future.
- Draw an image of your anger, depression or fear, then slowly tear it up or safely burn it, while visualizing that you are destroying your despair. Breathe deeply and imagine bright light around you as the drawing disappears.
- Write in a journal about how your anxiety makes you feel. Helpless? Vulnerable? Frustrated? Consider whether Covid-19 is the cause of your anger or if other factors — pain, loneliness, family or friends — are motivating it. Put it all down on paper. No one has to read it but you.
- Create a vision board. You design the life you aspire to on a poster board or an electronic device. It’s easy to put together with images and mementos that inspire, uplift and encourage you. Here are two links to creating a vision board to help you get started: https://christinekane.com/how-to-make-a-vision-board/ and http://www.louisebartlett.com/new-blog/2018/2/1/a-beginners-guide-to-creating-the-perfect-vision-board
Managing Covid-19 is particularly difficult because we have no “been there, done that” experience to draw upon. Repeatedly contemplating, debating and rationalizing every next step it takes to endure this pandemic is draining. This is when we can make regrettable decisions. Everyone, including you, is doing the best they can in this astonishing and strange world we now live in. Step back for a moment and give your brain something positive to hold on to. Make good mental health a priority — without it, everything is so much harder.