Whoa! We certainly are in uncertain times. Who would have thought a few months ago that on a daily basis we’d be using words like Coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, self-quarantine, and social distancing?
We’re facing so much unknown, and that unknown is a breeding ground for making people feel anxious, worried, frustrated, powerless, and downright fearful.
This new reality is a bit of a shock to many of us. It’s normal to have a gut reaction of being scared. Our thoughts can so quickly go to worse case scenario.
Take Control Away From Fear
Today more than ever I’m so grateful for my Fearless Living life coach training where I’ve learned and practiced tools that help take control back from fear. I practice living in freedom where I can be proactive rather than reactive when making decisions. I feel more gratitude – even in less than pleasant situations. My confidence has grown, I’m in better control of my time-spend, and the list goes on.
And now I’m helping my coaching clients empower themselves and take control of their life away from fear and back into their own hands. The tips and tools I’m about to share with you have helped my clients particularly during this week of unknown and finding a new “temporary normal.”
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3 Ways to Reclaim Your Calm
Panic won’t help, so let’s talk about some things you can do to take control back from fear. Reclaim calm, even amidst the great unknown.
1 – Focus Where It Serves You Best
Energy flows where attention goes.
Focusing on what you CAN control feels so much better than dwelling on what is out of your hands. I’m not suggesting you stick your head in the sand, but do be aware of choices you still can make.
Here is a simple Fearless Living exercise (by Rhonda Britten) that you can do right now to help you focus on what you CAN control.
Make two lists: one that is titled “Things I can control” and the other “Things I can’t control.”
On my list of things I CAN control, I have things like:
- I can communicate with friends and family via texts, phone calls, and video calls, and thankfully have my husband in-person.
- I can go for a walk with my dogs and get out into nature whenever I desire.
- I can meditate.
- I choose to work on an art project which I find therapeutic.
- I am able to drive my car and go to the grocery store, if needed.
- I can order products online and have them delivered to my home. (I love Amazon!)
- I can sit with my coffee or tea and listen to music.
- I can give my dogs extra attention (admittedly complete with baby talk).
- I decide what to watch on TV. (I’ve done this for a while, but especially now with all the breaking news about the Coronavirus, I limit the time I watch media.)
- I choose which drawer/cupboard/closet to organize today.
- I can rejuvenate myself by spending extra time doing self-care activities.
- I can take advantage of many free resources for exercising in my own home.
- I choose what I read. My current book list is:
(Click image to buy on Amazon:)
On my list of things I CAN’T control, I have things like:
- The spread of COVID-19 beyond myself.
- The shutting down of schools and certain businesses.
- Loved ones possibly contracting the Coronavirus.
- Having my travel plans canceled.
- Visiting my mom who lives in an assisted living facility that is on lock down – no visitors.
After you make your list, you’ll find that you still do have control over a lot of things in your life.
Let go of what you don’t have control over. For help, read my post with 3 Tips for Letting Go.
Choose your thoughts wisely. Focusing on things that are out of your control will not serve you well. If you find yourself focusing on fear-based thoughts, change your thoughts! This pandemic will pass. Things will work out. We have each other.
Find some positive aspects of being self-quarantined to focus upon:
- Do you have more time for rest and relaxation?
- Do you now have time to do little projects that have been put off?
- Do you have the opportunity to try something new or a new way of doing something?
- Do you have more time with your family?
Give it a try and let me know in the comments how you feel when you focus on your list of things you CAN do and control.
2 – Stay Connected
There’s nothing normal about being quarantined. Human nature is to be together with our family, friends, and community. We like to travel at will, go to the theater whenever we desire, meet friends out for dinner… so many things I know I took for granted until this week.
Staying connected will help reduce stress. Mayo clinic states:
“A strong social support network can be critical to help you through the stress of tough times.”
There’s no time like the present to reach out to family, friends, and neighbors. Even while self-quarantined:
- Stay in contact with your important peeps.
- Catch up with old friends.
- Is there anyone who may need your help?
- Do you need to ask someone for help?
Of course we need to keep our distance, so it’s a great time to try some different methods of communication. Some that I am using are:
- Zoom video conferencing: You can video conference with one or more people. It’s free for one-on-one video conferencing, and free for up to 40 minutes of group conferencing. I’m using this to replace meeting a friend for coffee tomorrow. With multiple people, it shows on your monitor much like the Brady Bunch squares.
- FaceTime/Skype: Use your cellphone features and apps to video talk with people you used to visit. This is particularly nice to talk with my elderly mom who cannot currently allow visitors.
- Text/Message: This method of communication is so simple, fast, and convenient. It’s perfect for regular communication or for reigniting with old friends.
- SnapChat/FaceBook/Other Apps: I love SnapChat because it gives me a window to see real life photos of the people I care about. Facebook makes it convenient to gather as a community. Comment on your friends’ posts and participate in special interest groups.
- Email: Easy and you can write as little or much as you need.
- Letters: Yes! Old fashion letter writing sent via the post office. Would your mother, grandparent, or really anyone be excited when they find a letter from you in their mailbox? I know I’d love to receive a letter.
- Phone: There’s always the phone. Phone a neighbor to see if they might need something that you have on-hand. If so, put the item by their door so you can still honor the social distancing.
- Your Idea Here: If you have any other methods of staying connected, please tell me about it in a comment!
I told my grown children that keeping connected with them will help me stay calm. As a mom, my kids are top priority and it helps me to know how they’re doing.
We’re all in this together. Let’s go out of our way to practice kindness, help each other stay calm, and stay connected.
3 – Take Care of Yourself
You need to take care of yourself not only for yourself, but also so you can more fully be there for others in your life.
Meditate: If you have more time on your hands, why not try this simple activity that will have a huge impact on your mindset. My husband and I just starting meditating together in the morning. We are starting with 10 minutes and plan to work our way up to 20 minutes.
Learn the benefits of meditation and how to meditate.
Exercise: You may not be able to go to the gym for a while, so it’s a great opportunity for you to mix up your routine (or get into a routine)! Get outside for a walk – fresh air and exercise are a great combo for your physical and mental health. Check out the many free YouTube exercise videos (read about my favorite free yoga video series).
Comic Relief: Laughter is good medicine! Check out my collection of 80+ funny jokes and search YouTube for funny videos.
Here’s a funny video especially for all of you who are working from home and are doing a lot of video conferencing. Give it a watch, it’s work your 3 minutes LOL!
Self-Care: I am a huge fan of having a regular self-care routine. For more information and ideas, read What is Self-Care and Why is Self-Care Important?
My Favorite Self Care Products
(Click Image to View on Amazon)
Yes, there is a lot of unknown in all of our daily lives. The unknown of our personal and national future, the fumbling around while figuring out how to deal with schools and businesses being shutdown, not knowing how ourselves, family, and friends will be affected. I have faith that everything will work out.
Here in the U.S. we are (according to the media) working our way to the top of the COVID-19 curve, There’s inevitably more restrictions to come, and sadly more serious illness and death to come.
Stay calm. Focus on things on which you have control. Stay connected. Take extra special care of yourself.
I leave you with a question to ponder… What if out of our modified living came new and better living?
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5 Replies to “Are You Feeling Powerless? Frustrated? Worried? Fearful?”
Love everything about this. You’ve always been cool-headed! I’m so glad you’re using your good habits to help others!!!
Thank you for your encouraging words, Chris. This is something nobody could have predicted. Together we can get through it.
I love this post! Thank you for sharing your positivity and some easy actionable steps we can all take. I love the idea of making lists of what we can and cannot control – brilliant to get it down in black and white! I just wrote a blog post on seeing this pause in our normal routine as an opportunity, by asking ourselves the question “What is this a GREAT time for?” And it’s a great time for all of the things on the list that we can control, not to mention all those projects and to-dos we put off because we never have time. And thanks for the idea of cleaning one cupboard or drawer out a day!
Glad you found it helpful. I love your question about what is this a great time for! If we all make the best of the situation, we will be more fit, our houses will be clutter-free, and who knows what else!
Great advice Ellen!
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