There’s a lot of fear and panic in the world right now, which I understand.
I’m a pretty optimistic person, but even I’ve found myself dwelling on the future and feeling confused and down about things from time to time.
So I wanted to share a guide to surviving tough times... for when things feel confusing and out of our control, or when we’re not sure what will happen next.
Take a look, try out one (or more) of these tips - and let me know what helps or what you’ve been doing!
1. Fear vs. love
I read somewhere that you can’t feel fear at the same time as love: it’s one or the other.
So if you’re feeling fearful, think of things you love, and let the fear dissolve.
Try it now: Think of something that makes you feel afraid - and then focus your attention to someone (or something) that you love. Maybe it’s a child, a pet, or an activity you love to do.
Really focus on it: see your child laughing joyfully... picture your dog or cat snuggling up to you... or think about the feeling you get when you do your favourite sport or craft.
Take in every detail of the image, and think about what you love about it.
It doesn’t change the situation around you, and it doesn’t make everything instantly better...
But it does diminish those fearful thoughts and replace them with something (much) better.
2. See the opportunities
I’m a big fan of finding the silver lining (although I don’t mean “fake optimism”). I mean really clarifying the positives in the situation.
Maybe you’re working remotely so you don’t have to commute for a while. So you have that time free for something else – maybe an online workout, a leisurely breakfast, or just cuddling with your loved ones...
Even if you didn’t commute before, but you now have more time at home, what about those things you’ve always wanted to do?
The book you always wanted to read... that DIY project you’ve been planning to start... sorting out a room or cupboard that’s been weighing you down.
You have the time/opportunity, so why not do it now?
(And if you need external accountability, share what you’re doing on social media – and encourage friends to get their long-standing projects done too!)
3. Remember the long-term
I know things seem scary right now. We don’t know what will happen from one week to the next.
But that doesn’t mean it will always be like this.
Markets recover (slowly but surely);
People help each other out;
Committees are set up to make sure we’re equipped to deal better with this kind of thing in the future.
We’ve gotten through recessions and wars in the past - and we’ll get through this too.
4. Avoid a news overload
I gave up following the news a long time ago, and it did wonders for my mental health.
However, I understand that right now, we do need to keep updated with the latest events. I’m not denying that at all.
So do it with common sense:
The same goes for using social media in general:
This isn’t specific to today’s climate – it refers to everything in life!
If we focus on what we can’t do or what is out of our control, it’s easy to feel scared.
If we focus on what we can do, it switches us back to hope and action.
So what could you do right now?
(And one final example – you never know how your talents could help.)
At times like this, remember the phrase “This too shall pass”.
We will get through this. We will come out the other side.
It might not seem like it right now, but we will.
We might have learned a lot (but that in itself isn’t a bad thing):
(And at the very least, we all got a whole lot better at hand-washing – which is never a bad thing :)
Either way, panicking on its own doesn’t help or change the situation. So be smart, be safe, and remember the points above.
And when this is all over, we’ll appreciate things on a whole new level (international travel; coffee dates... and big squeezy hugs!)
Hang in there, and stay safe,
PS – I’m sharing “5 days of cheer” this week on my Facebook page, to spread some happy in the world... take a peek, and add your own happy photo if you have one! :)