It is very easy, during times of crisis, to feel stuck, confused and unable to take action. We tend to turn inward in the interest of self-preservation and focus on our and our families’ survival. When the societal upheaval is as enormous and as “high-stakes” as it is now, it is difficult to see how to continue moving forward. Here are some concepts to work toward; they aren’t necessarily an easy switch, but every little bit will help you keep your mind clear.
1: SLOW DOWN – take a deep breath, or several. There is only so much you can control right now and simply moving more slowly, more deliberately, can help you right-size your spiraling anxiety.
2: STAY CURIOUS – do not fall into the trap of constant evaluation and judgment. Maintaining an open and curious mindset will create space for you to build resiliency for what may come in the future.
3: CREATE SOMETHING – if you find yourself with extra time on your hands and/or a restless, nervous energy that you have, in the past, previously numbed with consumption (food, alcohol, gambling, shopping, etc.), try leaning into that energy and creating something instead. It could be visual art, drawing or painting, writing, music, photography, anything. You do not need instruction to be creative; you have the spark within you to do it. Just stop tamping it down and feed it!
4: SHARE WITH OTHERS – not all of us are blessed with a plethora of supportive family and friends, but those relationships can change. When you share, even anonymously or from afar, you open yourself up to the possibility of having others see you in a new light, or finding new people with whom you can build a new support system. No one is really ever alone in this world, but sometimes our actions taken for self-protection actually shut down opportunities for connection that could be life- altering.