” The beautiful thing about fear is that when you run to it, it runs away.” ~Robin Sharma
|The Essential Pandemic Survival Guide|
The pandemic caused by the spread of what is being called an invisible virus, the novel coronavirus Covid-19 has generated fear of the highest magnitude. Social distancing, schools shuttered, layoffs, canceled events, financial insecurity, etc. are all making us fearful for ourselves and our family. Hence tackling fear in a crisis like this is, no doubt a big challenge for most of us. We can handle this fear by engaging ourselves in good company, books, music, devotional chanting, etc. These things can provide immediate relief during this prolonged crisis.
When we feel like running or fleeing from fear, it’s time to face the fear with courage. This is the time to expose ourselves in tackling fear during a crisis. Although our automatic response is often to run away, numb our feelings, or somehow distract ourselves, escaping only temporarily relieves anxiety. Fear will return, possibly in a different form, until we choose to confront it head-on.
Treating Fear Like A Friend
We must make fear to know that we are not afraid of it. we must ask it: What are you trying to tell me? What do you want me to know?
Asking these questions will make us feel that the fear is trying to keep us safe from harm. A part of our situation needed to be acknowledged that fear is trying to tell us, “You can’t move on and become your most powerful self until you work through this, my friend. Then we must thank it for trying to protect us in the only way it knew.
Given below please find a few suggestions that will help in tackling fear in a crisis like this more effectively :
Routines and Habits
Working from home or staying at home for extended periods can be disorienting because it disrupts routines and habits. Routines and daily habits not only keep us centered, but they also save time because we have to make fewer decisions. In the absence of that routine, we are forced to spend time and energy making more decisions about things to do. To reduce this demand on our time and energy, we need to form new routines in our current situation. It means that even though it might not seem necessary, we must give ourselves a schedule to follow at home. It should be just like that we are going to the office.
Basics must not be neglected
We must take care of our basic routines like healthy sleep, healthy diet, exercise, breaks throughout the day, and healthy boundaries with ourselves and others. Social supports are crucial. Hence we must keep up our social interactions, too.
Maintaining Social Connection
If interacting with people effortlessly as part of our typical routine is our nature, we must maintain it. A more extroverted person might have been energized by these interactions and not even realized it. We often do not realize how important those regular social contacts are until they are gone. Even though it might feel clumsy to initiate those contacts now that our routine has changed, we must take the chance. Because that person might also be missing it. And most likely it would be appreciated.
In situations like this where we feel significant fear and stress, it is common to feel disempowered. One way to feel more confident in the face of uncertainty is to find ways to help others. Especially if someone is losing work hours or unemployed. In that case, identifying ways to help those around can be very healthy for our self-esteem and overall mental health.
Have More Water
Fear causes stress and a common way to get rid of this stress is hunger. Drinking more water can help us stay hydrated. Also, it allows us to distinguish our hunger from our thirst, and give us something to do when we are bored instead of snacking that we may later regret.
Revive Old Hobbies and Find New Ones
We must try to reconnect with old hobbies that we once enjoyed. If they had brought enjoyment when we were younger, they might once again do it. Also, we must explore new hobbies, given the current changed situation. Hobbies that involve creating something or cultivating a new ability provide a lasting reward. Because that reminds us that our time and energy can produce something tangible and long term.
Considering the drastic changes in our routines we must make it an opportunity to improve productivity. Also, we must make up for the losses due to lockdown. Now that so many things have turned on their heads, we must brainstorm about making changes that would be helpful not only in the present moment but in the future. And that could have a far-reaching impact like allowing more flexible work options permanently.
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