We live in extremely challenging times both as individuals and as a global community dealing with uncertainty and fear for ourselves but also those we love. How do we deal with uncertainty? Is it even possible to find inner peace during these trying times?
These are natural human emotions that we all feel when faced with something so new and so challenging, and it is right that these feelings are felt, processed, and spoken about. We all need to do this because being honest and talking about how we are feeling can protect us from feeling overwhelmed by these turbulent emotions. When things are spoken about, worry and shame tend to reduce, and it’s less likely we get a build-up internally of challenging emotions and thoughts, all of which can be destructive long-term.
The Covid-19 outbreak has magnified some life lessons that we all know deep down, but may have forgotten.
The individual’s responsibility to our collective society
We all know that each of our actions in washing hands, good hygiene, and appropriate self-isolation, is vital to protect not only ourselves but also others.
We all have a responsibility to take practical steps for ourselves and on behalf of others’ health, especially those more vulnerable and at risk of serious illness.
We are all one human race and one world
Unity and working together as a global community is vital in managing this situation. Recognizing this and putting division aside matters more than ever right now. We are all one society and not separate.
Kindness matters & altruism is everything
Just as we all would hope for, and expect kindness, or someone to check in on us and support us if we needed it; so we need to do the same for others, especially those who may not have family or anyone else to do this or the resources to look after themselves.
‘A society is judged by how it treats it’s most vulnerable’
We need to recognize and take steps to help those who are most at risk, most vulnerable, and those most in need of practical help, physical support, and emotional connection at this time.
It is so important, as well as protecting your physical health, to look after your mental health and emotional wellbeing. If we get chronically stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed, it can affect our sleep, our eating habits, and our mental health, which in turn affects our general wellbeing.
So, with the current situation, how can we find inner peace from overwhelming feelings and thoughts, and how can we ground ourselves, so our mental and emotional health are not affected?
Realize you are not alone in your feelings – this can be helpful in not feeling isolated and overwhelmed. It also means you can talk to people and connect with them to help you get those feelings and thoughts out.
Find a source of news you trust and set rules for yourself about how much exposure you are going to have to this. Don’t listen or read the news just before you try to go to bed. Factual information only should be consumed, not fear-driven. Boundary your time in terms of how much you consume the news, so you are up to date with relevant fact-driven changes & latest evidence-based advice on how you live your life, but not overwhelmed.
Try to keep some routine in your daily life – even if it can be tricky to have your ‘normal’ routine, you can find a grounding routine day to day of small things to help you feel like you recognize your life, and that things are not disorientating. This can help reduce anxiety and feeling out of step. So, for example, listening to the same radio station you always do, having a shower at the same times, watering your plants indoors like you always do, anything that feels like ‘normal’
Recognize there is uncertainty, and so try to take one day at a time. We find uncertainty challenging to deal with, so understand this, look ahead to think of a flexible approach you could take if things change, take some deep breaths, and realize this uncertainty will pass.
Recognize what you are in control and what you are not – take all practical and proactive steps to control what you can control, and realize this is where your power is. After these have been done, affirm to yourself that you have done everything you can and try to find ways of putting those thoughts and feelings aside by letting them go. All we can do is our best – we cannot do it anymore beyond that. Sometimes actively affirming or visualizing, making the rest of the worry go is helpful.
Exercise – be active if you can, to help reduce stress, worry, and to put your focus elsewhere. This will improve your mental health as well as your sleep. It could be anything, even something inside like lifting milk cartons as weights, or following an online yoga video.
Keep up with hobbies – anything that takes your mind away so you can relax is helpful and practical things like crafting, singing, baking, drawing, writing, and getting out in nature are good mindful activities that will help your mind have a break from any worries.
Worrying is tiring and draining – recognize that worry takes our energy away from being healthy, proactive, and helping ourselves and others, so do what you can to prioritize keeping your ‘brain tank’ full, so you have an excellent reserve to do what matters and what will help.
In times of great challenges, we must strive to find peace of mind and gain strength in our unity.