It is quite understandable that many of us are experiencing some anxiety right now. It is particularly scary for the elderly folks in our population and for those with pre-existing health issues. The thing to remember is that excessive worrying does not help. The more we worry the more we put ourselves into the “stress response zone”. Worrying can impact us on many levels. We cannot make good rational decisions in our lives, we cannot relax, we are not present with others and we may not be able to get the sleep and deep rest that we need to function well.
It’s important in the face of any crisis to try and be mindful of how we are in our daily lives. This is a tough thing to do when we wake up every day with the world changing so rapidly. However, being forced to stay at home and take stock may make it easier for us to be “mindful”. We are being forced to slow down. We can take this opportunity to connect with ourselves and focus on our own well-being.
It’s also about having time for self-growth and self-care and paying attention to parts of ourselves, our relationships, and our families that often get pushed to the backburner in busyness of everyday life.
Be Mindful of your emotions…it really helps….
In order to ground yourself in a short period of time start with asking yourself, ‘how am I feeling right now and why?’. If there’s a gap between how you currently feel and how you want to feel then ask yourself ‘what can I do to change the way I am feeling right now? How do I move myself closer towards a more comfortable state of being?’ Labeling uncomfortable emotions is very useful. We can learn to observe them as being just like weather patterns that come and go then this can also really help. Another useful thing to do is to think about what you are grateful for at that moment in time. Before I go to bed each night, I think about 3 great things that happened during the day and why they were great. I find I have a much better sleep. If I go to bed ruminating about something that happening in my past, then forget having a goodnight’s sleep. It’s almost impossible.
Take advantage of being forced to slow down
Many of us are running on autopilot and we all tend to get caught up with our to-do lists, our social media and our emails that we absolutely must reply to. When we slow down, we can become aware of ourselves, the people around us and our surroundings which has a profound impact not just on our mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, but also on our ability to lead at work.
In my experience, I am at my absolute best when I am taking care of myself. As a result of taking care of myself I am in a much better position to serve others. If we can coach ourselves to be the person that we want to be, if we can manage our crazy overthinking mind and regulate our emotions, if we can show empathy for others and know how to listen mindfully, then we can present ourselves a much stronger and reliable person in the world. This self-leadership is really a practice in developing emotional intelligence, which we now know is essential to successfully leading others. When we have a higher EQ, we are more authentic and trustworthy. People are more likely to be inspired by us and follow where we lead.
Self-Care: Find out what works for you
It is essential that you experiment and work out what works for you. Also have a think about what makes you feel supported. What resources do you need to feel supported? I have noticed that when I am taking care of myself, I am generally less likely to project my emotions onto others and emotionally react (instead of authentically respond) to situations. I communicate with more empathy and compassion which in turn helps me feel much better and my communication with others significantly improves.
We are in this coronavirus situation together. My hope is that we can seize the opportunity and practice finding the good in ourselves and each other. If we can recover from these challenging times not only healthy but more grounded and connected with ourselves and others we will all benefit from this situation.