Hey Creative Friend,
I hope you’re staying well.
My state is one of the early states that has decided to order all residents to shelter in place. My kids are not likely to return to their schools till the end of the academic year. Graduations are likely not going to take place.
It’s a new reality for all of us.
In these troubling and uncertain times, we need to find ways to be calm and guard our mental health.
Every battle is first won or lost in the mind. If you think you can survive this, you can. If you think you can’t survive it, you can’t. We all need our wits around us more so now than ever before. That’s why it’s important for us to protect our mental well-being just as much as it’s important to protect our physical health.
If we can keep our mental health strong, even in the hardest situation, we’ll be able to get through this.
Here’s the thing. Fear is a response to uncertainty. What I’ve noticed is that fear overcomes us when we play in our minds, the multiple worst case scenarios that could possibly happen. The thought of those situations which we don’t have control over is what scares us.
So, why don’t you take a deep breath right now. Yes, do it. Then exhale. Do it again. Repeat it till you feel a sense of calm.
You don’t have control over the scary thoughts coming to your mind. I totally understand. However, you do have control over how you respond to them. The things causing you fear are only thoughts, not reality. Let me say that again. The things putting fear in you are only thoughts. They haven’t happened yet and may never happen. The things you’re worried about may not happen.
Did you get that? Whenever images of the worst case scenario come to your mind, let this thought calm you down.
I take this same stance with the thoughts that come to my mind. Thoughts about if one of my kids fall sick what am I going to do? Or if I fall sick how will I care for my kids? Or do we have enough supplies to last us however long we might need to shelter in place?
The thing is, if it ever happens, you can deal with the situation just like you’ve dealt with every major problem in your life. For now, deal with today.
Today is manageable, because it is here. You can feel it. You can wrap your mind around it. You can find solutions for today’s problems. It’s not so daunting when you focus on just taking care of today. That’s all you need to do and really, that’s all you can do.
Shifting your thoughts this way, minimizes the fear and makes you face your day more in control. You need your wits around you to make the important decisions we need to make to care for our loved ones, to figure out financial losses, and to live our daily lives.
Stress and anxiety are not helpful to our general health. Give your health a boost (we really need it especially now) by being mindful of your mental health.
We will get through this – together. The loss, the pain, the joy, the victories, the miracles – we’ll get through all of them.
For now, let’s take it one day at a time.
Here’s what you can do right now to curb your fears in these uncertain times.
7 Ways to Overcome Fear in these Uncertain Times
- Mental Wellness: Let’s get out of our own heads and stop getting worked up over things which may or may not happen.
- Creative Cure: Use the Creative Cure in these uncertain times. Work on creative projects, draw, paint, sew, bake, garden, or anything that helps you to stop fixating on the problem. If you’re not working on one now, seek out creative projects to work on.
- Breathing Exercises: When you feel yourself getting overwhelmed, practice breathing exercises. Breathe in and hold for a few seconds, then let it out. Repeat till you’re calm.
- Aware, and Alert, not Alarmed: How much news content are you consuming? We all need to be informed about what is going on and what our responsibilities are. However, let’s not spend all our time watching, reading, and consuming news. It’s very stressful.
- Stay Social: We’re social beings. We need to stay social to keep our sanity. Find a safe way to help or be there for someone. For example, video chat with people while maintaining social distancing. Helping people does not only serve their needs but also makes us feel better about ourselves
- Practice Gratitude: There’s always a chance to find something good in our day. The sunrise, the sunset, the sound of a child’s laughter, your ability to lay your head down in your own bed. Focus on the good in the middle of the storm. Good can be found in every situation.
- Reconnect with God. Your spirituality will keep you grounded in the midst of the storm. Stay connected.
There you have it – 7 ways to overcome fear and stay calm. Control your response to the fears so that you can make smart decisions.
We’ve got this.