It came out of nowhere, this corona catastrophe.
No wonder people are afraid. Little is scarier than fear of the unknown.
People are fearful for their existence, illness, and loss. Add to that the disconnection and feelings of loneliness that come from lengthy stay-at-home orders, and is it any wonder that we’re worried, frustrated, and just plain bored?
I’m no different from you. I have the same fears and similar worries. And it got me thinking: what is it we need right now if we want to be able to master this crisis from a place of strength and resilience?
As a young adult, I used to have long discussions with my dad about what it was like to live in war-torn Germany — during and after WWII. Remembering our talks, I began to wonder whether viewing life from a more positive perspective is what helped many people keep going when they felt like all was lost.
Is it possible that a kind of survival instinct kicks in and helps us shift the way we see what’s going on around us, so that we don’t give up?
When I decided to marry a German, when I decided to move halfway around the world, when I started my first business…there have been many times when I was faced with the fear of the unknown in my life. Looking back, I can see that I’ve always bridged that fear by focusing on a vision of the positive outcome I was after.
A lot of people think it’s fear that limits us — it’s not.
It’s our perception of the situation we’re in. Change the perception, and we change our options.
With that in mind, here are some important things for you to think about:
>> What are your goals and desires in the next three years?
>> How do you want to emerge from this crisis?
>> What do you want to change in your life?
>> What do you really want to experience?
Aristotle, the happiness philosopher, wrote at length about friendship. Today, happiness research confirms the positive effect strong connection has on how we feel about ourselves and the world around us.
Due to the coronavirus, though, connecting has become a challenge. Many of us miss the in-person contact but thanks to Skype, WhatsApp, and Zoom, we can still reach out to those we love, look them in the eye, and enjoy heart-to-heart conversations. How much harder things were even just a decade ago!
Right now, that feeling of being “stuck” at home can leave you with a sense of overwhelm, fatigue, listlessness, and isolation. Do yourself and those you love a favor:
Make a point of calling them every two days or so, even if it’s just to say “Hi!” Not only will it strengthen your feelings of connectedness, it’ll put a smile on your face for the rest of the day!
When do you feel most fulfilled? Think about it for a moment.
If you’re like me, you probably feel most fulfilled when your day has been spent doing meaningful and joyful things. If, on the other hand, you spend all your time not doing much of anything constructive, you probably feel frustrated and unhappy.
Since, thanks to this crisis, most of us have a lot more “downtime” than we could’ve ever thought possible, it’s important to use that time wisely. Relax and recharge in ways that help keep you grounded and calm. But also decide on activities that give your time and your life both enjoyment and meaning.
For me, structure is important, so I have a set routine I work through each day. I continue to coach my clients and love writing for my blog. At the same time, I’ve taken up painting again and enjoy doing more in the garden. I’ve even been perfecting my favorite pie crust recipe!
There’s lots you can do. Whatever is meaningful for you — do more of those things.
Constantly worrying about something that we have little influence over is no help at all. I feel most at peace when I can let go and trust that, in the end, things will turn out okay.
Thoughts are pure energy. Investing them in negativity, squandering them on negative things you cannot change, will only leave you feeling exhausted, drained, and miserable.
This is the perfect time to practice trust…and letting go.
Let go and trust that you and those around you will step up to the challenge and do what needs to be done to stay strong, positive, and safe. Take it one day at a time and focus on doing those things that are in your power to do.
Unfortunately, as humans, we tend to focus on the negative. In the past, fear of the unknown shaped our fight for survival. It trained our brains to react to the negative rather than seek out the positive.
There is no doubt that the coronavirus presents a significant danger to many people around the world. And yet, like with any other situation, there is a positive side to this one as well.
People are reaching out to offer help and support — to those they know, and those they don’t. Families have been given an opportunity to reconnect and pull together in ways they haven’t in the past. The environment and Earth are getting a reprieve of sorts.
Take a close look at your life right now. Look past the inconvenience, the frustration, and the struggle. What are the positives?
Take a pen and paper, find a quiet place, and spend a few minutes looking for and writing down all the positive things that have come into your life as a result of this truly unprecedented situation.
Then, focus your energy on those.
My personal “fear-stopping” ritual in the face of Corona:
When fear of the unknown has my thoughts in a whirl, this is what I do.
I close my eyes and remember that life reflects the connection, perspective, focus, trust, and meaning you give it. I place my hand on my heart and let the memory of positive moments flood my body, from head to toe.
I may not know what’s to come but I can always tap into that positive energy when I need to — and it never fails to make me smile.